Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Getting rid of 4G on an iPhone

This may seem like a strange thing to want to do: after all 4G is fast, and faster is always better, right?

Well although I do like a new shiny gadget, I also like a decent battery life and a reasonably cheap monthly phone tariff: both of which seem to be at odds with 4G at the moment.

So, after an update to my carrier settings, my iPhone 'Settings->Mobile->Enable 3G' toggle disappeared, and was replaced with 'Enable 4G', and I lost the ability to select 2G altogether. I haven't paid for 4G, so I would rather have a 3G/2G toggle than a 4G/3G toggle that I'm just going to leave on 3G all the time anyway.

After poking around on the web, I came across this page http://www.macworld.com/article/1143088/carriersettings.html about creating a custom carrier settings configuration profile.

So, I edited my O2/Giff Gaff carrier settings and managed to revert to a 3G/2G toggle by doing the following:
  1. Rename the carrier xxx.ipcc file as .zip
  2. Expand contents, so you see a 'Payload' folder
  3. Contents of Payload will be an operator specific bundle file - right click on it and select 'Show Package Contents'
  4. Of the files that expands out to, you will see a 'carrier.plist' file - open it up with a Property Editor of some kind (I used PlistEdit Pro)
  5. In my list of properties I had a 'DataIndicatorOverride' key, with a value of 4G - this seems to determine what the highest value data indicator on the phone.
  6. I also came across details on the 'DataExclusionOverride' key, which excludes certain data indicators and force the phone to present the next available data indicator.
  7. So, to remove 4G from my phone I deleted the 'DataIndicatorOverride' value, and added a 'DataExclusionOverride' value of 'LTE'.

Once this has been done, save the Property List, zip the Payload contents back into an .ipcc file, and install that to your phone via iTunes (as described in http://www.macworld.com/article/1143088/carriersettings.html), and your mobile settings should look like mine below:

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