Changing Baseband Version on Android: How to?

Here’s how to change the baseband version on your Android phone:

The easiest way to change your baseband version is to run your updates. Baseband updates are included in standard Android updates, so you don’t have to do anything special to make it work. 

If you want to manually change baseband versions, you have to download the version you want and flash the phone.

So if you want to learn all about how to change your Android baseband version and which one is best, then you’re in the right place.

Keep reading!

What Is Baseband on Android?

If you are looking to change a baseband version, it probably helps to know what it is in the first place.

Baseband is a specific firmware set for Android phones. Firmware is a name that describes basic level software that allows physical devices to communicate with software. Firmware is the deep, behind-the-scenes stuff that makes things work at their most basic level.

As for baseband, it is firmware that specifically controls radio devices on an Android phone. As a phone is designed primarily for radio communication, baseband is a big deal. 

It allows your phone to use the antennas (which actually do all of the communicating). Baseband controls GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular calling, texting, data, and anything else related to wireless communication.

If you don’t have the right baseband version, your phone pretty much doesn’t work.

Why Does Baseband Change on Your Android Phone?

Like all software, baseband undergoes many updates. These updates are usually designed to fix bugs, add functionality, improve security and otherwise make things better.

Unlike a lot of software, baseband has to meet a ton of tight regulations. That’s because all radio communication is heavily regulated. 

If those rules ever change, baseband has to be updated to keep up with the rules changes. If it isn’t, developers and phone manufacturers can face devastating fines.

So, you can trust that baseband updates will be rolled out, and you probably won’t be surprised to learn that they are automated.

How Do You Change Baseband Versions on Android?

If you need to change your baseband version, there are a few ways to go about it. If you’re looking for the newest version, updates are your easiest option. You can manually change your version too, which will be covered later.

There are some cases where advanced users might want to revert to an older version of baseband. This usually has to do with phone customization, and it can get pretty complicated. But, if you can manually select your baseband version, you can use that version to revert as well.

Updates

Let’s start with the easy stuff. Android updates include firmware updates whenever they are rolled out by Google. If your baseband version is a little old, running your standard updates should fix it without any special effort on your part.

If you ever run into a situation where updates aren’t bringing your baseband firmware to the current version, you have a bug that needs troubleshooting. 

You can reach out to your carrier or phone manufacturer (or local tech support) for help. They should be able to get you on the right version.

Manually Changing

One of the appeals of Android systems is customization and personalization. Plenty of Android users enjoy the freedom to use their phones as they see fit. If you feel this way and want to manage baseband versions manually, you can.

First, a disclaimer. Manually changing baseband versions is an advanced topic. Basic users should not be trying this. If you mess up baseband firmware, your phone won’t work. 

Since your phone won’t be able to connect to the internet, you won’t be able to fix this by running updates. It’s a major problem.

With the disclaimer out of the way, let’s talk about how this works. To manually change baseband, you’ll need a few things.

First, you need an Android editing tool installed on a computer that can connect directly to the phone. Odin and Heimdall are pretty popular and open-source, so they aren’t a bad way to go. 

You also need to find and download the version of baseband that you want to install. This can involve proprietary information and copyrights, so you won’t find help here. If you want to do this, you’re on your own for finding the right copy of the firmware.

When you have all of these things, you can put your phone into download mode and plug it into the computer. With the connection established, run your editing tool. Let’s use Odin as an example to keep things easy.

When Odin can read your device, select the F. Reset Time from among the options. You will click on PDA or AP. 

Choose the .tar.md5 file from your firmware package. Wait until the MD5 file initializes, then click on Start. The phone should be flashed, and you have installed the firmware version that you selected.

Reverting

So, what if you need an older baseband version to make something work correctly on your phone? For that, you’ll use the above process. Flashing a phone is the same no matter what firmware you are actually installing.

The challenge with reverting is finding the right software. The most recent software version can usually be found through manufacturer support sites. Older versions (depending on how far back you are going) can be much harder to find.

Ultimately, you need to find a trusted source with the firmware you need. Otherwise, you’re going to be in the Wild West of the internet, downloading unverified firmware and hoping it works out for your phone.

If you’re going to revert, it is probably a good idea to download a copy of the latest firmware before you start. This way, you can revert everything to how it should be if anything goes wrong.

Why Change the Baseband Version on Your Android?

It might seem like a lot of work to change baseband versions. Why bother?

If you’re just doing updates, that’s pretty easy. The latest version will almost always work better than previous versions. Newer firmware has important security patches, new functionality, and it is up to date with regulatory demands.

If you’re doing things manually, it almost always means that you have a customized ROM on your Android device. Depending on the ROM and how it is updated, it will sometimes prove incompatible with new versions of baseband. 

You can wait for the ROM to catch up, or you can revert your baseband version until the ROM has updates available.