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What does the mobile network state mean?

Q:

What does the mobile network state mean?

A:

The mobile network state is an indicator found on a variety of modern smartphones and devices that shows whether these devices are connected to a mobile network provided by a particular telecom carrier.

As a basic indicator, the mobile network state simply shows whether that device is currently using a connection to the particular carrier network. Each telecom carrier company should have a specific description of the mobile network state indicator on the mobile phone or device interface, along with helpful instructions on how to use this feature.

The majority of information about mobile network state on the Internet has to do with tech support for devices like the iPhone, Blackberry or Android, and mobile carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon. Because of different questions about mobile network state indicators, a large number of subscribers and device users have written emails or visited Web forums to ask questions about what these indicators mean.

In some cases, questions about mobile network state reveal some interesting aspects of mobile device and interface design. One of these is that many modern smartphones offer either a connection to 4G wireless networks, or a connection to a local Wi-Fi setup. For example, when a smartphone automatically connects to a local Wi-Fi setup, it may mean that the mobile network state signaling connection to the 4G network reads "disconnected." Users may see this and be confused, thinking that something is disconnected on the phone, and that the user may not be able to receive calls or do different kinds of mobile computing. What these users typically find is that they can still use their phones, and that the mobile network state is reading "disconnected" because they are using a different network.

In other cases, a disconnected mobile network state does mean that a phone is not usable at a particular time. This may have to do with reception, maintenance, or other details around what the telecom provider offers to users. Part of understanding the mobile network state and other features of a provider interface involves reading the device manual and other resources carefully. As mentioned, online and phone tech support are usually also available.

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