Did you know that by entering a shortcode on most Android phones, you can access a hidden menu which gives you a lot of information about the network and device, including radio frequency used (ARFCN) and signal performance?
Access the Android Testing menu (a.k.a Field Test)
I tested this menu on a Motorola Google Nexus 6 running Android 7.0 Nougat. It is very interesting because it gives detailed information about the radio layer, without having to install any app and rooting the device.
Usage statistics. It provides statistics about application usage on the smartphone. This is very interesting to analyze subscriber behaviour on smartphones but unfortunately it does not seem possible to export this long table of statistics to analyze it further.
Wi-Fi information. It allows to configure the Wi-Fi connection and also to view information about the active Wi-Fi connection status (including link speed for instance).
Phone information. This is certainly the most attractive function, that’s why it is presented last. In this menu you can get a detailed view of the radio network parameters. These include signal level and quality counters (RxLev, RxQual, RSCP, EcNo, RSRP, RSRQ), and also which radio frequency band is being used (ARFCN, UARFCN or EARFCN).
This is the first time I can find this functionality in Android and it is great news for Radio Engineers. Here is the demonstration for 2G, 3G and 4G:
2G / GSM radio signal infromation and ARFCN
3G / UMTS radio signal infromation and UARFCN
4G / LTE radio signal infromation and EARFCN
I tested this code on other phones but unfortunately it seems that (U/E)ARFCN information is not available with all devices and OS versions. I will build and update a table based on further tests and your feedback as follows:
|Google Nexus 6 (Motorola)||Android 7.0 (Nougat)||Yes (2G, 3G, 4G)
|OnePlus Three||Android 6.1 (Marshmallow)||No|
|Xiaomi Mi4i||Android 5.0.2 (Lollipop)||No|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 3||Android 5 (Lollipop)||No (code does not work)
|Huawei Mate 7||Android 5 (Lollipop)||No (code does not work)|
Share your feedback as I am sure it will be very helpful for a lot of radio engineers, (U/E)ARFCN) is something I never saw before and is making me like my Nexus 6 phone again despite its frequent bugs. It would be interesting to understand if this feature is new in Android 7.0 / Nougat or just depend on the hardware manufacturer (Motorola in this case).
Goodie: get your IMEI Number
See the result:
It’s always convenient to have a way to quickly retrieve your IMEI number if you lost the box of your smartphone where it was also written.