Although this might seem quite unusual, it is essential for me. I live in a border area and I have two SIM cards in my phone (however, I think this problem also affects single SIM devices):

  • SIM 1 is from a French operator
  • SIM 2 is from a Swiss operator
  • The SIMs should be connected only to their home countries and should be unavailable if the network of the operator is unreachable

So if I am in Switzerland, only SIM 2 is active, if I am in France, only SIM 1 is active - and if both operators are available (= I am near the border, 80% of my life) both are operating.

I have an ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser ZE500KL, stock Android 6 without rooting (and I would like to keep it that way if possible). The behaviour described above is the default thing that happens on a Windows Phone and that's why it really grinds my gears why Android tries to be so creative. Basically, this happens:

  • Selecting the network provider manually is OK
  • However, the signal is lost sometimes (e.g., in the garage) so the Swiss card starts roaming in a random French operator's network
  • The phone only switches back to the Swiss operator if the "random French operator's" network is unreachable (or if I do it manually)

I know that this is an edge case, but it is really essential to me. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to try it on other Android phones (according to my colleague, he has the same problem with a Samsung "god knows which mid-range model with Android 4.4").

I am looking for a solution/workaround which does not involve regularly pressing a setting or changing SIMs and preferably does not need rooting. APN Lock for me did not work.

  • +1 for edge case . I think it is not possible. Signal strength even for a single network at the edges varies significantly and frequently for a stable measurement to act upon. Even changing the orientation of phone affects signal strength received
    – beeshyams
    Aug 2, 2016 at 2:10
  • That shouldn't happen: when you select a network manually, the device should stick to that. That's basically what I often used when going abroad: instead of sending the device to airplane mode, I've manually selected the network to avoid roaming. Always stuck. Bug in the device/ROM/radio? If you're still running the stock OS and are in warranty, I'd contact the service.
    – Izzy
    Aug 2, 2016 at 6:33
  • Somewhat similar. You can try the solution here android.stackexchange.com/q/189450/131553
    – beeshyams
    May 22, 2018 at 8:36

3 Answers 3


I have the exact same problem (France/Switzerland, with work exactly on the border) with my Archos Diamond Plus phone, running Android 5.1. I choose a network manually, it stays on it until the reception becomes weak (e.g. due to entering an elevator), making it connect to a roaming network. I then have to once again choose the network manually, which can take up to 10 minutes of searching.

On my old phone, a Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini running Android 4.2, if I chose a manual network, it was permanent. The phone would never connect to any other network until I actively told it to.


It seems to be a problem with Android 6. I have a similar problem with SONY XPERIA XA. My behaviour:

  • SIM1: Manual on Sunrise (CH)
  • SIM2: Manual on TIM (I)

After rebooting the phone:

  • SIM1: Manual on Sunrise (CH)
  • SIM2: Automatic (it select the power operator May Swisscom, TIM, or Orange).

So, after any reboot, you should select the network manually (if available).

Don't know how to create a BUG request for Android. I already tried to contact SONY, but no way.


I think Automate, or Tasker with AutoTools (paid app) will be able to solve the issue. I know it is the default in Windows Phone, but this is really a corner case.

You can use GPS-based rules to use appropriate SIM. INMHO, this is the best way to select a SIM card.

If direct option is not available, try toggling "Airplane Mode".

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