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 what 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, 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 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 '16 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 '16 at 6:33
  • Somewhat similar. You can try the solution here android.stackexchange.com/q/189450/131553
    – beeshyams
    May 22 '18 at 8:36

It seams to me a problem of Android 6.

I have a similar problem with SONY XPERIA XA.

my behaviour:

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

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

So afer any reboot you should select manualy the network (if available!).

Don't know how to create a BUG request for android.

I allredy tyied to contact SONY, but no way!

regards Stefano


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, an 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.


I think Automate should solve your issue. OR Tasker with Autotools (paid app) will be able to solve the issue. I know it is default in Windows phone but this is really a corner case.

You can use GPS based rule to use Appropriate SIM. INMHO this is the best way to select sim card.

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

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