Wiggle My Legs Art.

Sony Xperia XA2 ROMs, Malware, VoLTE, and WiFi-calling.


Here below is the home screen of LineageOS 18.1 (Android 11), July 15th, 2021 running on my Sony Xperia XA2 H3123 phone which I bought as an unlocked phone from Best Buy about January of 2019.  I'll leave out details to make a very long, multi-year story a little shorter.  Over different updates of the Sony stock ROM, the H3123 had SIP features a WiFi-calling switch built into the dialer, and a VoLTE switch in Settings.  The first few weeks owning the phone was a pleasure as I was doing voice calls while on 4G, and VoLTE calls for the first time in my life.  When on a VoLTE call the phone said VoLTE at the top of the screen.  After a few weeks of this great connectivity, someone called identifying herself as an AT&T representative and said they were changing my account, which would hobble my phone and force it to switch from LTE to H or H+ (3G) for voice.  She also mentioned my phone being listed as a Samsung A10 rather than my Sony.  As you can imagine, I was fairly angry about this and I got absolutely nowhere with AT&T support.  I had to get back to work and eventually forgot about why my phone was dropping calls or getting no service.  Months later, I again started calling AT&T support because of calls and texts being dropped without remembering the Samsung mapping.  This went on for months from time to time when I was able to spend a few days working on it.  Over time and needing this fixed, I learned I wanted VoLTE and WiFi-calling, but could no longer find them at all in the OS, which was now a second upgrade OTA to stock 9.  Many support people started to erroneously believe it was a 3G phone.  So I would operate my OS, with LTE for browsing and data apps like Signal, yet it would always switch to H or H+ (3G) the moment I touched the green button to make or receive a call, then would immediately switch to LTE at hang up.  So incredibly annoying.  AT&T went so far as to offer me a free phone replacement which wasn't at all what I wanted.  Sony confirmed my phone was capable of VoLTE and WiFi-calling and had customers using it with AT&T, but it's a big world trying to get everyone on the same page.  With AT&T pushing for me to get a new phone, I finally decided a couple weeks ago to do what I meant to do over a year ago, and I flashed a clean ROM on the phone.  There is more on this 3-4 paragraphs down, but somehow upgrading to Android 11 via LineageOS allowed me to use voice over 4G.  As AT&T was not able to change my phone status to 4G, even though I had them check the call and they could see it was a 4G phone call, I ported my number over to Verizon, and ported back to AT&T in less than 24 hours, which is when AT&T reminded me they still had me listed as a Samsung A10, but still couldn't fix the database.  Sony puts in my IMEI and gets a VoLTE phone, and AT&T puts in my IMEI and gets a 3G phone.


August 5, 2021 update:  Somehow at AT&T and T-Mobile, my IMEI is identifying my phone as 3G.  I've read a URL explaining how to change your phone's IMEI, but it's hard to believe that is what happened.  Seems more likely the database that carriers use of official IMEI numbers has an error for my phone.  It could be the IMEI database only shows one XA2 instead of the 5 different models of the XA2.  Last time I asked Sony, their database still shows my XA2 H3123 as VoLTE.  Also today, Mint Mobile looked up my IMEI and said the database shows my phone is not compatible for lack of VoLTE, and then the rep looked at my H3123's specs at gsmarena.com and said it must be compatible as the H3123 has the bands Mint uses for VoLTE.


Screenshot of main home screen page 1 without AT&T at the top.

This screen below is showing 31% use of storage after loading my apps.  For many months I couldn't figure out why with the supposed stock OEM Android 9, I kept getting warnings from the OS to delete videos or apps to free up space.  I kept running out of storage, so would transfer my photos and videos to the computer more often, and started paying attention during frequent app updates to this storage screen because I knew I had been offloading my personal files to the computer.  I could be mixing up my memory of 62-63% storage used with some graph in settings, but if I'm remembering this right this screen was around 62-63 percent storage use with apps installed and my personal data removed.  Then when Lineage was installed and all my apps were installed from backup, I was so happily surprised to see storage down to 31 percent as you see here.


This screenshot shows 31% use of storage after loading my apps.

These two pictures below are showing what I see when I disconnect the XA2 from the USB cable after fastboot.  Sometimes there are 2,3, or 5 windows like this.  This first picture shows how the dialogue boxes are all stacked up on each other on the screen.  The second shows 5 boxes after I spread the stack of them apart.  If anyone can explain it to me that this means nothing, I'd appreciate it.


Picture of 3 disconnection dialgue boxes stacked up on desktop after removing USB cable from XA2.


Picture of 5 disconnection dialgue boxes spread out on desktop after removing USB cable from XA2

The three screen grabs here below are from two different but similar products from Protectstar showing malware, but Protectstar said it could be a false positive.  The first two shots are from Spyware Detector and the third is from Anti Spy, and they are both identifying my version of Google's "Data Transfer Tool" as malware.  Neither app was able to delete it.  Google got back to me and stated it is infeasible that it is malware.


Screen grab of Spyware Detector showing Data Transfer Tool as threat found.

Screen grab of Spyware Detector from Protectstar failing to uninstall Data Transfer Tool.

Screen grab of Anti Spy from Protectstar showing malware in the log file.





Here is the screen on July 14, 2021, after installing LineageOS and using the dialer in the phone app to enter the MMI code of *#*#4636#*#* and shows my switches no longer dimmed out.  However, when clicking the 3 dot menu in the upper right, you can see IMS is not registered.  I've read you must have IMS for VoLTE to work.  The VoLTE switch is also present and on again in Settings under Mobile the way it used to be, and the WiFi-calling switch is present again in the Phone app settings under Calls.  It was during these days I called AT&T support a few times and had them analyze the call.  They could confirm I'm speaking with them over 4G, but they couldn't get my account labeled 4G instead of the incorrect 3G.  They said as long as they put in my IMEI and it comes up as a 3G phone there is nothing they can do.


The screen grab from phone after entering MMI code of *#*#4636#*#* into dialer.





The screen grab from phone after entering MMI code of *#*#4636#*#* into dialer, and showing IMS not registered.



I took a logcat for about 25 seconds start to finish.  The original problem was switching from LTE to H or H+ during a call, and now with this LineageOS, calls still switch, but from LTE to 4G.  So I decided to load the Phone Dialer app and had my voicemail ready to dial with one touch, then I started logcat capture, dialed voicemail, watched the icon at the top switch from LTE to 4G, then I hung up my call and watched the icon switch back from 4G to LTE, and closed the logcat capture.  When I was looking at the logcat, there were binding errors, something called ""Conference"" that appeared to be a variable, and there was also a leak.  Regarding the logcat segment that included the word "Leak", I copied out that line and searched it, and was taken to Github where there was a long list of users asking someone to fix the Leak like it really mattered for months, even through releases of new versions of some app or something.  I was intending to look into this some more but now I'd have to get it from my search history or something.  As this is my first logcat in years, I don't understand it and have to look up all of it.  Unfortunately the logcat output file turned up missing from my desktop.



After investigating with Lineage and Protectstar data, I flashed backed to Oreo - Android 8 stock ROM from Sony.  Protectstar no longer finds malware, and in this older Phone app a SIP account can be configured in it's settings.  So here below is a grab of a URL that a Sony support rep showed me to prove the XA2 has VoLTE capability.


Screen grab of Sony support article entitled What is VoLTE and it's benefits? which lists XA2 as VoLTE.

Here is a grab of my live chat with Sony support where they said to tell AT&T my phone is a VoLTE phone.


Screen grab of live chat with Sony support saying AT&T has a mistake.

Below is a grab of a Sony support URL for the XA2 incorrectly (according to Sony) showing an AT&T notice of 3G cut off for this phone.


screen grab of Sony support URL for XA2 incorrectly showing XA2 with AT&T 3G cut off notice.

The gsmarena.com URL showing my H3123 4G bands.


Screen grab of XA2 4G bands listed for the H3123 at gsmarena.com.

The gsmarena.com URL showing the bands for the Samsung A10 which is the phone to which my acccount is somehow mapped.


Screen grab of Samsung A10 4G bands listed at gsmarena.com.

The AT&T BYOD URL saying Keep the Phone You Love, unless you're Chris Wolff with an XA2 H3123.  :)


The AT&T BYOD URL saying Keep the Phone You Love

AT&T BYOD URL saying bring us your unlocked phones.  What's the truth?  Stay tuned, I hope to get back to this after a few days working for customers.  I'll be trying to flash back to Android 11 and talk on 4G again.'


AT&T BYOD URL saying bring us your unlocked phones.

Back now after flashing back to Android 11 and it still switches from LTE to 4G on calls.  Here below is a news article about Freedom Mobile adding Sony XA2 VoLTE support, including a screen grab of their Twitter account announcing it.  You can visit the URL here.


News article about Freedom Mobile adding Sony XA2 VoLTE support.

Tweet about Freedom Mobile adding Sony XA2 VoLTE support.

This one is fun.  This is a grab from an app called VoLTE Check by Kavish Arora showing my phone is a VoLTE phone.  


Screen grab from app VoLTE Check, showing Sony XA2 is VoLTE ready.

Last evening I was out and took some screen grabs with Network Cell Info Lite and you can see here below a few 4G bands my phone connected to for LTE.


Screen grab showing phone connected to band 2.

Screen grab showing phone connected to band 5.

Screen grab showing phone connected to band 66.

You may also see related information by clicking link to XDA-developers and these other links here below..



https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/volte-not-working.4207273/#post-85348477

https://community.t-mobile.com/network-coverage-5/lte-suddenly-not-working-on-tmobile-sony-xperia-xa2-h3123-13856

https://community.fxtec.com/topic/3055-volte-voice-over-4g-data/

Go to this link's last post by linuxhippy https://community.e.foundation/t/installing-e-pie-on-sony-xperia-xa2/27474/9

A person in this thread seems to know AT&T is notorious for dropping VoLTE coverage https://community.e.foundation/t/installing-e-pie-on-sony-xperia-xa2/27474/9




August 9, 2021, I sent the email shown here below to GSMA.

August 9, 2021, GSMA replied with ticket number assigned saying they would get back to me.

August 19, 2021, I replied asking if there is an update on my support ticket yet.

August 20, 2021, GSMA replied saying I need to contact Sony to have them correct the database.

August 20, 2021, I asked for the contact at Sony or the contact at GSMA that deals with Sony TACs.



Screen grab of my email to GSMA asking about fixing my Type Allocation Code.




While trying to learn about IMEI and Type Allocation Code (TAC) numbers, I later found some very helpful documentation on GSMA's URLs which are in PDF format at this URL.  Here below are some screen grabs from GSMA's URLs' about IMEI and TAC.  To GSMA's credit, throughout much of GSMA URLs there is a stated concern for the goodness of the entire ecosystem of cell phones and IOT.  However, I have not yet found an effective channel for the voice of, "We the People", millions of end-users.  It seems they confine dialogue to organizations only.  Links to the PDFs I looked at from GSMA are immediately here below and available at the GSMA link above.




GSMA_TAC_Allocation_Training_Module_1_Programming_Rules.pdf

GSMA_TAC_Allocation_Training_Module_2_Initial_Registration.pdf

GSMA_TAC_Allocation_Training_Module_3_TAC_Payment.pdf

GSMA_TAC_Allocation_Training_Module_4_Band_Profiles.pdf

GSMA_TAC_Allocation_Training_Module_5_Application_Form.pdf

GSMA_TAC_Allocation_Training_Module_6_IoT.pdf


Screen grab from page 1 of a GSMA training PDF document.


Screen grab from GSMA explaining non-compliant TAC reporting.


This screen grab below from the same link above at GSMA, explains a little about a process to correct TAC data for organizations.


Screen grab from GSMA TAC data correction process URL.


Here below is a fun slider gadget I decided to learn for my URL showing me sending web form email to Sony.  The web form email was sent August 18th.  Today is August 30 and while there has not yet been a response, it is possible the meaning of "very soon" is not for a while. :)


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