Verizon Galaxy S8 roaming won’t work abroad, sim card is not recognized error, other issues

Our post today discusses two connectivity issues that some #GalaxyS8 users have reported. In this material, we answer the issue that touches on roaming and wifi problem in this device. We hope you’ll find this post helpful.

If you are looking for solutions to your own #Android issue, you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page.

When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

Below are specific topics we’re bringing for you today:

Problem 1: Verizon Galaxy S8 roaming won’t work abroad, sim card is not recognized error

This phone was 2 days old, used both days flawlessly. I use verizon and I have an international travel plan for overseas use. I had the same thing with my S7 and never had this issue. Now when I got off the plane in Malaysia, the phone began showing the 2 error messages (process.com.android.phone has stopped and also sim card is not recognized). Verizon told me to clear cache, do reset, soft reset and then to go get a new SIM card. The resets did not resolve it and there is nothing wrong with the SIM card that came with the phone since it works fine now in USA once we did a master reset.

Getting a new SIM card in Malaysia would not allow me to connect to my network or data so that was not an option. I spent 2 weeks without my phone or synched calendar or contacts list and it was a pain. Now verizon told me this is a problem when the S8 goes out of the country. Samsung told me Verizon should have told me to install a new, better, different SIM card before I left. ALL BS as far I can tell, designed to get me off the call and gone away.

Now back in the country, even though it is working fine again here, I cannot test if anything is resolved and no problems on my next trip out of the country. And since everyone wants to just do more hard resets, wasting my time to reinstall apps and password, that seems a really poor solution. Any other suggestions? — Bforshay

Solution: Hi Bforshay. We don’t have the full history of your device so all we can discuss here may be mistaken.

Roaming must be set before leaving home network

First of all, we want to make it clear that you have a roaming issue here. This means that as far as we can tell, this is not a device issue at all but most probably an account configuration problem on your carrier’s side. As long as your phone’s radio is compatible with the frequency of the carrier in Malaysia, roaming should work there if it was set properly before you left the USA. Carriers around the world have agreements with each other to allow roaming to work so only a minor account modifications on your carrier’s side and in your phone is necessary to make it to work. The important thing is to make sure that you let Verizon know first that you’re planning to use the device outside their network, also known as roaming, so they can do appropriate steps. Keep in mind that changes to prepare a device to roam must be performed while it’s still in Verizon network. If this was not done before you left the US, you can’t expect your phone to roam properly at all.

Importance of error codes/messages in troubleshooting

Secondly, process.com.android.phone has stopped and sim card is not recognized errors all appear to be network-related, given the circumstances you were in in Malaysia. If these errors don’t show when you’re in Verizon network, they’re indicators that the operating system may not be set up properly to use a Malaysian carrier SIM. Since Verizon uses CDMA technology, your S8 must also be CDMA device, which means that you can’t simply insert a SIM card to it from another carrier and expect it work. CDMA phones must be reprogrammed properly in order for it to detect a third party SIM card. Every carrier has its own proprietary set of software modifications to allow this function to work and they’re not publicly available, which is the reason why you can only work with Verizon technical support. Even Samsung can’t help you set your phone up to work in another network.

Hardware compatibility

Another reason why you were not able to use your phone’s network functions in Malaysia may be due to a hardware limitation. No smartphone can work in any network. Even a high end Galaxy S8 is only designed to work within some parameters. Its radio is designed to work with a particular range of frequencies only. If the frequency of the Malaysian network is not supported by your phone, you’re out of luck. To prevent the same situation from happening again, make sure to do some research about the network you’ll be using when abroad. Better still, ask your carrier about it. If they have roaming agreement with that carrier, your device is most likely compatible. But again, you’ll have to be very specific regarding what device you’ll be using so they can double check if it’s indeed compatible.

Verizon categorizes their smartphones and tablets into two — World devices and Non-World devices. World devices are those that can work both in the US and in majority of other countries. They’re still CDMA devices but they have one of the following additional network functionality to work outside the USA:

  • 4G LTE
  • Dual BandA feature on some mobile devices that allows the handset to operate using either the 800 MHz cellular or the 1900 MHz PCS frequencies. GSM
  • Quad Band GSM
  • UMTS capabilities

On the other hand, Non-World devices are purely CDMA devices and are designed to work mainly in mainland US, US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

To know more about your device, contact Verizon technical support.

Problem 2: Galaxy S8 can’t connect to the internet using home wifi network

Hello. I have a Galaxy S8, and it recently started to drop connecting to my wifi at home. I’m able to connect to wifi at my work. I have “forgotten” my wifi connection and recreated, and still no resolution. I’ve tried all the suggestions to soft reboot my phone, turn off my wifi router at home and still nothing. I’ve seen conversations on “reset network connection,”but nothing has explained what it actually will do. My phone is unlocked, and I don’t know if doing this will “relock” my phone, or erase my current carrier information. If I do a “reset network connection,”should I remove my SIM first?

I don’t want to rename my SSID as I’m not 100% sure this will fix my issue at home. I’m able to connect my tablet & printer via wifi at home with no issue. Only my phone is dropping the connection, so that I can’t access the internet at all, tells me I’m off line. Thank you for any assistance you can provide. — Michelle

Solution: Hi Michelle. We don’t know exactly what you mean by “reset network connection” but if it only involves changing options under Settings>Connections>Mobile networks, then it should be okay. Doing so will not change the operating system level settings that unlocked the phone. What you should avoid is a factory reset or master reset, which, unfortunately, may be the only way to fix this wifi problem.

An issue like yours cannot be caused by either software or hardware problem only but also by a router-side issue. Below are the troubleshooting steps that you can try.

Refresh the system cache

This is the first device troubleshooting that you should do. Although there’s no way to directly link an issue like this to the system cache, any Android troubleshooting should include wiping the cache to ensure that the device uses a fresh set of system cache. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  4. Press the Volume down key to highlight wipe cache partition.
  5. Press the Power key to select.
  6. Press the Volume down key to highlight “yes” and press the Power key to select.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Restart to safe mode

Safe Mode is a special boot mode in Samsung devices that allows a user to check if a third party app is causing a problem. While in this mode, all third party apps and their associated services will be blocked. Thus, if your phone’s wifi will work at home while the device is in safe mode, that’s a clear indication that one of your downloaded apps is to blame. In that case, you must uninstall third party apps until the issue has been eliminated.

To restart your S8 to safe mode, follow these steps:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen.
  3. When “SAMSUNG” appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  4. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  5. Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  6. Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  7. Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.
  8. Uninstall apps that are causing a problem.

Install Android and app updates

In a lot of cases, problems are fixed by simply doing this step. If your phone has pending Android and app updates, be sure to install them and see if that will make a difference. Your phone’s networking chip runs its own firmware/operating system and sometimes, an update can make it work efficiently or properly. These updates are only rolled out by the manufacturer of the chip and come packaged together with system updates.

Troubleshoot your router

Since you’re only having an issue with your own wifi network, it’s possible that the issue may be router-specific. There may be a filter or restriction set by your wifi administrator that blocks your phone from connecting to the internet. There’s a chance that someone (if you are not the administrator of your wifi network) may have set a block for your phone causing it to be unable to lose internet connection. If you don’t know how to troubleshoot your router, contact your internet provider or the router manufacturer. Remember, each router has it’s own unique set of troubleshooting steps so it’s good if your can talk to the right people how to troubleshoot your equipment properly.