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Can an android phone connect to both WiFi LAN (not necessarily connected to the Internet) and mobile data network at the same time? Or when it connects to one, does it have to disconnect from the other? My phone is Kyocera Hydro Icon with Android 4.4.2.

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Multipath TCP is a relatively new technology that allows a device to use multiple network connections for the same logical TCP connection. This is used for mobile phones to use WiFi and mobile data connections at the same time to reduce the time for retrieving data.

I'm not sure which Android phones currently support multipath TCP.

Without multipath TCP, a TCP connection must be either on WiFi or on the mobile data connection, but not both. It is up to the OS to decide how allocate these connections. I think the standard Android decision is to use WiFi if available (and perhaps with sufficient signal strength) to minimize cost under metered data plans.

  • Long before mobile devices, people were writing desktop applications connecting to several network interfaces simultaneously. It was necessary to handle that on the application, not system, level. iOS supports that perfectly, as long as Linux, Windows, OS X. The developers in Android team broke Linux they used to build Android and introduced a flip-flop switch in the Kernel to switch between Wi-Fi and 3G. Very sad. Some developers were trying to remove that but it was very complicated. So, Android sucks. – Brian Haak Sep 10 '17 at 18:03
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I'm not sure about your phone, but the Samsung Galaxy S5 can do that. It offers a "Download Booster" ability which connects to a Wifi and mobile data network simultaneously while downloading a file.

  • Thanks. Then how does the phone choose which network to download a file? – Tim Oct 15 '15 at 0:03
  • @Tim When selected both, the Android system will first try to connect to a WiFi-Network. If that didn't work, it will connect to mobile data automatically. Or did you mean the Download Booster function? – Suuldat Oct 15 '15 at 0:07
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on android 6+ there is a developer option

for previous versions something like this should work, the methods numbers are android version specific and these should work for kitkat

#!/system/bin/sh

radioM=20
mobileDataM=27
wlanIface=wlan0

## turn on radio
service call phone $radioM i32 1
## turn on mobile data
service call phone $mobiledataM

## set mobile data as preferred network
service call connectivity $preferredNetworkM i32 0

## wait for mobile data to connect
while [ -z "$(ip a | grep ccmni | grep inet)" ]; do sleep 1; done

## reup wifi
ifconfig $wlanIface up
## enable network bypassing android service
echo enable_network 0 | wpa_cli -p /data/misc/wifi/sockets/ -i $wlanIface
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The Speedify app seems to work for this purpose, and for free if you don't use a lot of data: http://speedify.com/

I happen to own a Kyocera Hydro Icon, and just tested it on 4.4.2, and it seems to enable to my phone to connect to and stream audio from my WiFi hotspot solely when configured as a microSD card server (meaning, it's not connected to the Internet), and to still access data over my phone's 4G/3G.

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