Hero Problem on Meteor Network

For some time now, anyone with their ears open will have heard of the “lock out” problem that is supposedly attributed to a 2G/3G handover issue on Meteor Ireland’s network for all users of the HTC Hero. Now when Meteor became the first Irish operator to launch an Android device last year (i.e. the Hero) they attracted a great deal of interest, myself included. I gave up all my beliefs about not paying monthly subscriptions, ditched my O2 prepay account and signed up for an 18 month contract. Since then there has been an array of issues all attributable to the Meteor network such as port blocking preventing some applications from running as advertised and the simply unbearable “lock out” issue.

Locked out on Android 2.1

Locked out on Android 2.1

The “lock out” issue can affect users of the handset anywhere up to 10 times a day on average. Basically what happens is that the phone drops signal and will not, no matter how long left alone, reconnect to the network. The only way of doing so is to reboot the phone or the faster route is to enter flight mode and then exit flight mode to re-register with the network. I have had friends verify that this is not an issue on other networks, trawling the web seems to throw up nothing in other countries but the Meteor forum is burning with rage about this issue. Some users are apparently being told that the problem will be fixed when the Hero is upgraded to Android 2.1 however, I can unequivocally say that this is not the case as I have been testing for a while now with a “rooted” Hero, running Android 2.1 and the latest radio firmware and I still experience the problem. For example, yesterday I had to cycle flight mode on my phone 6 times.

Normal people don’t check their phone every 5 minutes to see if they have a signal and as such this issue means that so many people are potentially going for the majority of the day without a signal on their Hero; paying for a service that they are not receiving. I can only imagine that this is going to turn ugly for Meteor and will no doubt be a PR disaster as currently, at least in my correspondence and the anecdotal sources on the Meteor forum, the company is not doing anything to appease the affected users and customer care agents are giving wrong information about Android updates solving the problem.

Here’s a video I made this morning of the “lock out” symptom and temporary solution of flight mode cycling.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05EvnmOroPs&w=480&h=385]

10 thoughts on “Hero Problem on Meteor Network”

  1. Same as yourself i jumped feet first onto the meteor htc hero bandwagon and i got scalded with the lockout screen, after a few weeks i noticed that it only occured when the data services were turned on (turning them off for a smart phone really beats the purpose of having one) anyway i contacted meteor about my pain and told them i was having to do it 2 or 3 times a day, a full reboot(before i realised the airplane mode trick myself) which would take 3-5 mins, which was a real pain. They were no use to me, im thinking about making a complaint to meteor that their network is unable to sufficiently support my needs and get an early exit from the contract because its rediculuous to have to go and do this several times a day.

    Also could you send me an email to let me know where you got the 2.1 ROM for your phone because the version i have on it is driving me up the walls with certain things, such as the constant right tabbing that goes on for no apparant reason which is really frustrating when your trying to key in a search term

  2. Same as yourself i jumped feet first onto the meteor htc hero bandwagon and i got scalded with the lockout screen, after a few weeks i noticed that it only occured when the data services were turned on (turning them off for a smart phone really beats the purpose of having one) anyway i contacted meteor about my pain and told them i was having to do it 2 or 3 times a day, a full reboot(before i realised the airplane mode trick myself) which would take 3-5 mins, which was a real pain. They were no use to me, im thinking about making a complaint to meteor that their network is unable to sufficiently support my needs and get an early exit from the contract because its rediculuous to have to go and do this several times a day.

    Also could you send me an email to let me know where you got the 2.1 ROM for your phone because the version i have on it is driving me up the walls with certain things, such as the constant right tabbing that goes on for no apparant reason which is really frustrating when your trying to key in a search term

  3. Haha, love the blackout of your pin code. Very informative. I hope this has been forwarded to Meteor, because I’m getting fairly frustrated having to explain what a no service message is each time.

    Mack (from the Meteor forums)

  4. Haha, love the blackout of your pin code. Very informative. I hope this has been forwarded to Meteor, because I’m getting fairly frustrated having to explain what a no service message is each time.

    Mack (from the Meteor forums)

  5. Hi Mack. Not a very useful blackout of the PIN but I thought it might be funny to leave it there. 🙂

    I posted it to the Meteor forums in early April and have been chasing the issue ever since with both ComReg and Meteor but to no avail.

    Like you I’m pretty annoyed at this stage but I’m not letting them off the hook with their frankly ridiculous “no penalty cancellation” offer. I want a refund for the service that wasn’t provided – I believe that is my right but this is Ireland and less you belong to a minority group rights are always questionable…

  6. Hi Mack. Not a very useful blackout of the PIN but I thought it might be funny to leave it there. 🙂

    I posted it to the Meteor forums in early April and have been chasing the issue ever since with both ComReg and Meteor but to no avail.

    Like you I’m pretty annoyed at this stage but I’m not letting them off the hook with their frankly ridiculous “no penalty cancellation” offer. I want a refund for the service that wasn’t provided – I believe that is my right but this is Ireland and less you belong to a minority group rights are always questionable…

  7. I may be taking them up on their no penalty cancellation offer eventually, but I’ll also want the handset and it unlocked.

    Mack

  8. I may be taking them up on their no penalty cancellation offer eventually, but I’ll also want the handset and it unlocked.

    Mack

  9. @Mack Good luck. However, in my experience there’s zero chance of them giving up the handset but rather giving you a refund on the purchase price. The handset should be unlocked by default – AFAIK all the Meteor Hero devices were “unbranded” and unlocked off the shelf. Not sure if the same is true of the other Android devices they sell. Had to laugh yesterday: I received a posted promotional letter from Meteor enticing me to their new plans. I got in to my contract in the days of 25 per month for 200mins/sms and they are trying to entice me to pay 30 per month for the same “lack” of service now with a bigger data cap. LOL! What a network!

  10. @Mack Good luck. However, in my experience there’s zero chance of them giving up the handset but rather giving you a refund on the purchase price. The handset should be unlocked by default – AFAIK all the Meteor Hero devices were “unbranded” and unlocked off the shelf. Not sure if the same is true of the other Android devices they sell. Had to laugh yesterday: I received a posted promotional letter from Meteor enticing me to their new plans. I got in to my contract in the days of 25 per month for 200mins/sms and they are trying to entice me to pay 30 per month for the same “lack” of service now with a bigger data cap. LOL! What a network!

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