With all of the methods of delivering data to cell phones, it can be a bit confusing to track down connectivity problems. Phones that are capable of EDGE and 3G data usually connect to which ever one provides the stronger signal. I recently moved to a weak 3G area, and found my G1 resorting to EDGE.
What confused me was why, when my phone connected to my local Wi-Fi network, I had no Internet connectivity at all. My cable modem showed Internet activity, and I thought my laptop was online (turns out I just have a LOT of cached pages). My phone had the strongest possible signal from the router, but networking errors were the only response I received when attempting to fetch data from the web.
T-Mobile began billing for G1 data on November 1st. Anyone who received their G1 before then was on a free data plan. The automatic changeover that was supposed to occur left many without data altogether. For those unfortunate enough to experience this hassle, it happened at the turn of the month. My connectivity issues didn't begin until the 4th ? the day I got my Internet service set up in a new apartment.
When a strong Wi-Fi signal is present, the G1, like many other 3G phones, abandons EDGE and 3G connectivity. Even if your local network has no Internet connection, the G1 assumes that it does. In the end, I discovered that my coax cable had some sort of short. My modem was lying.
I figured all of this out after 4 calls to T-Mobile. The techs there didn't realize that the G1 won't look for over-the-air data when connected to a local network. Not only will it not look, it absolutely refuses to use EDGE or 3G at all?regardless of whether or not your network has a working internet connection.