Set up and troubleshoot a mobile data connection (3G/4G)


The Fairphone 3 uses the 2G, 3G and 4G broadband cellular networks. (Scroll down to learn why the FP3 does not support 5G). Usually, your mobile data connection (3G/4G) works as soon as you insert your SIM card(s) (see video below) in your Fairphone and:

  • you have a pre-paid SIM card with data-credit or you have a valid contract with data-credit.
  • you are in an area that has 3G or 4G network coverage
  • your SIM card is in good condition and not older than a year
  • the mobile data on your phone is switched to On.
    • The quick way: pull down the Quick start menu and tap the Mobile Data connection icon (two arrows). If it is active, the icon is green
    • An alternative method: go to SettingsNetwork & internet → Mobile network → tap on the name of your provider/SIM card → at Mobile data switch the toggle to On.
  • your Fairphone 3 connects to the right network for your provider.

If all this is confirmed and you still can not use data, please read on below the video. 

To insert your SIM cards in the Fairphone 3:


Set your data SIM card to 4G

Your Fairphone with Dual SIM is only able to connect to one high speed (3G/4G) at a time. If both SIM cards have a data plan, it is possible to set both SIM cards to 4G.

To set your SIM card to 4G: go to SettingsNetwork & internet → Mobile network → tap on the name of your provider/SIM card → Preferred network type→ select 2G/3G/4G auto.


Mobile internet settings (APN)

If you are still not connected, find out if the settings required by your provider match with those on your Fairphone 3. We also recommend to consult the forum of your provider for a mention of issues like yours.


Change slots and connections

If you are still not connected, try different connection protocols (4G/3G/2G). 

  1. Go to: SettingsNetwork & internetMobile Networks → tap on the tab of your provider → Preferred networks and select one of the networks. 
  2. If this does not solve your issue, try the SIM card in the other SIM card slot and repeat step 1. 
    1. If this helps, inspect the previous SIM card slot.
      1. If it is damaged, contact customer support
      2. If it is not damaged, inspect your SIM card for damages. If the SIM card is old or damaged, contact your provider to get a new SIM card

If the issues persist, the phone might be trying to connect using a network protocol that is not supported by your contract. Contact your provider for more information.


No 5G

The Fairphone 3 does not operate via 5G. There are several reasons for this, the main one being that at the moment of launch, 2019, the technology was not completely available yet.

5G networks comprise of two different technologies. The first one, so-called sub-6GHz increases the available bands that can be used by a device to transfer data. The second one, called mmWave technology is expected to be a drastic improvement over the current technology.

Still, in 2020, the biggest part of the handsets claiming to support 5G, do not support the mmWave technology. Additionally, the same scenario is also true for the network operators claiming to support 5G. Here you can find more information on 5G technology.


If you still experience an issue after you have tried these troubleshoots, contact us!