Planning ahead: what and how to report on L5 when the time comes

Continuing the discussion from Librem 5 Video Reviews UK:

I had this thought about getting info on the L5 when it arrives - Dogwood or Evergreen, or comparing both: it would be helpful, if some of the info would be in a form that included all the relevant things in as similar manner as possible. That way anything relevant for discussions, questions, analysis and wild guesses is there and doesn’t need to be asked again each time someone kindly reports on their device. This is helpful in general development, troubleshooting, assessment of compatibility and usability etc. Lets call it “preferred comprehensive device information”, PCDI, for convenience (or should be have a competition about more interesting acronym?).

There are several aspects to discuss and develop beforehand. Just at the top of my head:

  1. What details should and could be shared, what are they needed for? Based on volunteering the data obviously, freely and publicly for all to make their own evaluations. I’d ques performance, compatibility and modem (cellphone operator/connection info) related data would be the main areas - right?
    – Data related to heat (internal, external, locations), CPU, GPU, battery use time and charge etc.
    – Used apps and devices and their versions.
    – Operator info, location (at some level), bands, etc.
    – And, along with the data, probably answers to some questions, like how does the device feel like, sound like, etc.

  2. What are the test protocols and gathering procedures in order to get data that can be compared?
    – What can be or is automatically logged and what are the exact and most revealing commands (without overloading with info) to get good outputs?
    – Or when human user sensory input is needed, do they just call to any one number/network to test connection or several (how many, when, where and how to assess)?
    – Length and timing of calls? How to do a an informative data transfer test? Do distance and line of sight matter (also thinking ease of testing vs. level of details)?
    – Etc.

  3. And then there is the matter of how and where to visualize the data, to make it usable.
    – I’d imagine a lot of the data will be published first in the forum but the same could be put to blogs, reddit, etc., which should word for the first few but will get difficult to handle after that. I’d hope info would be reported/listed in pretty identical manner (what things are first, what can be found in the end, and so).
    – For cell connectivity information, a map view with color coding for a quick overview would be great (for instance: “not tested/know”, “Modem A/B works here” or something like it) and possibly other information (which modem is used/suggested, level of translations, available keyboards, suggested networks etc.)
    – A list view for details: grouping sorted by country and network at least, maybe by area/city too…? Sortable list would be great, but if this is done in community wiki (?) what can be done there? Several different tables needed?

  4. Can or should any tools be used to collect and disseminate the data?
    – A net form or an app - and by whom (semi-automated, could someone make one)? Automated telemetry or feedback would not seem to be an option (sec&privacy) and there is some data that can’t be gotten that way (human user assessments).
    – Can existing network and cell mast datasets be used with this (may not need to)?
    – List and map could be updated by hand, if it doesn’t need to be updated too often - is couple of days a week or month enough (probably more often at first and less later)? There’s probably a spike after every update (thinking about amount of work).

Or how should this be approached - if at all? How to create something like this, how to have enough data but not too much? What is needed and usable (used for what: what questions need data like this for an answer)?

I was also thinking that similar challenges may come up with other new (linux) phones and same could be applied there as well (a joint effort perhaps).

Or perhaps there is no need for such…?


I think the easiest way to do this is for us to collect information from various sources and put it on the Librem 5 Community Wiki. Once the information on the Community Wiki is useful, people will start adding directly to the wiki. For info that we take from the forum, Reddit, Mastadon, reviews, etc, we should provide links in the Community Wiki back to the original source. That way, people who have questions can go and ask the original poster.

For example, we can create a table in the wiki that breaks it down by country and cellular providers with information about what has been tested and what works:

Cellular providers

Location Provider Bands provided Modem Bands tested Calls SMS Data VoLTE Notes Sources
USA Verizon LTE: B2 (1900 PCS), B4 (1700/2100 AWS 1), B13 (700 c)
CDMA: BC0 (800), BC1 (1900 PCS)
BM818-A1 LTE B2, LTE B13 Yes Yes N/T No Calls not reliable in Texas userX, userY, userZ

* N/T = Not tested


That seems like a reasonable approach for cell services / modem related - especially the links and sources. This would mean (when using a table in stead of a database) that every country would have several entries for each provider and the modem variations (I’d move that as the second column maybe?).

For some regions, I’m wondering should the area be more granular (like states in USA or even smaller areas). Perhaps it could be left to the user to give, if they so wish, and have format like “[country], [state], [area or city], [coordinates]”. Also, how does the user know which bands they are (able) to use? Can we have signal strength? Does the date, or more to the point, wouldn’t the used OS or any software component version matter (have the latest patches been applied)? Also, how old the info is. Does tower distance, line of sight or number towers have any relevance (probably unnecessary, right)?

On the notes, I like the reliability info, but maybe include something about in which way not reliable, and would also like have reported voice quality impressions, possible timing/delay/slowness aspects, compared signal strength/quality to other phones (with same provider and location) and any comments/communications from operator representatives related to L5. These would also be interesting if and when, over time, they improve.

Any other separate info columns needed/wanted?

Someone might have to provide hints about how that information can be gathered.

For example, let’s say that my phone and modem work, how do I know which band it is using (at any one time)? Some magic AT command incantation? Varies depending on the modem (Broadmobi v. Gemalto)? Available on some GUI screen somewhere? shell command?

VoLTE may be more than just a “yes” / “no” answer. Some networks might allow it optionally, some not at all, some might make it mandatory - and for some the answer might depend on the MVNO, in addition to the underlying network. In particular, where it is available but optional, again, how would a user gather the information about whether it is being used? (However, as I understand it, today VoLTE is not working yet on the L5 - so for the moment a hypothetical.)

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@dylanlesterpvcs is providing some Dogwood battery stats in another thread (Still no dogwood?) and I there mused if his data could be expanded:

…could it be possible to add a column or two to that script for more info? Load average would give some indication how much use device is getting (for instance cat /proc/loadavg all five or just the first and fourth). And maybe data transferred (total cumulative or separated by method/radio)?

Copied here to keep these together in their appropriate thread.

If someone would want to gather such data, should something be added or changed get the best picture? Better commands to use in a script? Especially that data transfer would be interesting: how much do those affect the battery and usetime - would make for an interesting graph, maybe (also maybe: an estimator/calculator to tell how much battery is needed for some large transfer).

[Edit: link to @dylanlesterpvcs’s data and script]

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I’ll toss load avg into the script, As for how useful it will be I’m not sure. I think Finding the files that tell if the baseband, camrea, etc are powered would be more helpful over all. The issue is I don’t know where they are. I’m far from an expert on where in the system they would be. Already from the data that I’ve captured I can say times when I had it in lockdown mode with it idle were the least power hungry. So if any of you have an idea where in the file structure that data would be found I’ll gladly add it to the script as well.

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Good thinking. More data is always more data. I vaguely remember that something related to this was discussed long ago in one of the threads but couldn’t find it. Maybe first try lsusb to see if the HW switch changes that and go from there (device present or not - though, I’m not sure if there should be anything showing or not)…?

To get this started, I have added a Cellular Providers page to the Community Wiki.

Please add information there.


There’s a wiki too? I learn something new every day!

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Hi @amosbatto. Thought I should point out (since I don’t see it mentioned in the table), that Ting has 2 different available SIMs, one on T-Mobile’s network and the other on Verizon. I’m not sure which one the table refers to, but we might want to differentiate.

Interesting fact: The Ting SIMs also have international roaming (although the data is expensive). Currently, only a few US MVNOs provide that, as far as I know.

I’m using Truphone’s prepaid international SIM, which runs on AT&T’s network in the U.S., and provides roaming in most countries of the world…kind of expensive roaming in most, but a select few countries are classed by Truphone as “local rates.” You can also add an additional number to your SIM, e.g. a UK or Australia number to your US SIM, and vice versa. (Truphone does not support MMS.)

[Edit: Another interesting thing about Truphone is that they don’t enforce regular usage of the SIM. I’ve gone for months and months (maybe a year) without a single billed event, and it stays active as long as you have a balance.]

Red Pocket’s AT&T SIM (“GSMA”) also works fine in the L5. (As it should, since it’s AT&T.) Red Pocket has a SIM for all 4 major U.S. networks: AT&T (GSMA), T-Mobile (GSMT), Sprint (CDMAS), and Verizon (CDMA). A global roaming add-on is available on CDMAS only, and only with certain Sprint-compatible phones.

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@amarok, I added your info to the wiki. Having you tested calls, SMS and data on Truphone? Have you tested calls SMD and data on Red Pocket GSMA?

Yep! No problems!
(Edit: It’s just AT&T, after all.)

@amarok, Did you test data as well? @dylanlesterpvcs said that data didn’t work on AT&T.

Yep! I’m lookin’ at it right now.

The guy setting up the simcard could not figure out how to set it up, the excuse he gave me apon looking into it seemed fishy. So I’m not sure what went wrong for him in trying to do it.

By default I believe cellular data is turned off in Settings, or at least that would be a place I would look if you have LTE but no IP address. After that I’d make sure that you are using the appropriate APN for your carrier–the database that’s built in may not always automatically pick and know the proper one to use. You could do that either from the carrier’s docs, or by swapping the SIM into a different phone that works and seeing what APN they use.


As I said then, don’t try to get them to set up a new line with it if you have another phone that is set up swap the simcards and have them set up the simcard on the other one. That will likely work. These people are working from massive manuals that take the “Teach a man to fish” analogy into the real world. He spent two hours messing around trying to figure it out and could not.

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He stated he could not figure out how to se up the APN after those hours of fiddling, the phone after checking with your support team said it had tfdata and att.mvno listed under APN in the settings. Am I meant to tell him how to get there so he can put in some username and password as it says under the settings bubble? With looking into it att.mvno seems to be for third party networks that us AT&T’s network, and I can’t find anything about tfdata.

Launch Settings app, then Mobile->Access Point Names, then click the + at the top right-hand side of the screen to add a new APN and try “PRODATA”

If that doesn’t work could you give me more info about your carrier and maybe we can look up the proper LTE data APN to use online.

And to answer your other question, you shouldn’t need to enter a username and password anywhere I wouldn’t think.

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I got it working with the 3G settings as it all 3G in my area, the settings I used are

Name : ATT
APN : wap.cingular
Username :
Password : cingular1

After looking it up a few times and trying a few. At least it finally works. Thank you for your help Kyle.

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