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The Apple iPhone 5c was announced on September 10, 2013. Repair of this device is similar to the previous models, and requires screwdrivers and prying tools. Available as GSM or CDMA / 8, 16, 32 GB / White, Pink, Yellow, Blue, and Green.

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Which component is responsible for connecting to the mobile network?

My iPhone 5c recently started intermittently displaying “No connection” in the top left. Resetting the phone would get it to work again. But starting from this morning, no amount of resetting or re-setting network settings has fixed it. Now that I’ve done “reset network settings”, it is stuck at “Searching…” as opposed to “No connection.”

So which component is the “mobile antenna”? Is it replacable? What connections can I clean or jiggle to ensure everything is solid?

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3 Answers

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Let's rule out hardware first as it's a common cause of the stuck on searching and no service problem.

Dial *#06# in the dialer and a 15 digit IMEI number should be displayed. If not there is a hardware fault relating to the baseband chip or circuit for it.

Check in settings > general > about phone for listed IMEI and modem firmware. If either fields are blank it's the same reason as above with hardware fault.

If it does end up being a baseband hardware fault it'll be too expensive to be fixed in my opinion. These types of board repairs can go upwards in the cost of $100 or more which is close to the cost of buying the same phone second hand.

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Thank you. Well bad news, I dialed *#06# and each time I press the call button, it darkens momentarily in response to being pressed, but nothing else changes on the screen. I guess this phone is a lost cause. I've done a hard reset but not a full software restore. Is it worth it? I'll probably try soon.

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Oh I have reset network settings, and since then, in Settings, General, About, the "Carrier" is listed as Telstra 28.4. Is there any way it can get that info outside of the mobile connection? Eg. from Wireless connection, or the SIM card?

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A full software restore may help but it may fail the restore with error -9 or -1 due to the baseband hardware fault.

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Hundreds of components are responsible for mobile connection. This is highly unlikely to be antenna issue as the iPhone uses 2 antennas to connect to mobile network since iPhone 4s.

Mad you said the display IMEI trick sometimes results in phone not responding. This is more likely to be baseband issue, which is a board level issue and difficult to fix.

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To rule out software, a full restore and set up as new to test connection will help to tell you definitively if it’s sn issue with the hardware. If it’s still searching after that.

To rule out SIM card - test the sim in another device (if you have access to one). Or try a new SIM card (you can get one at an Apple Retail Store or carrier store) and try to activate it.

If you want to open the device and test connections there, you can re-seat the coax cable that connects to the logic board. Sadly you can’t replace an antenna as it is built into the plastic enclosure of the device.

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Cellular antenna actually _can_ be replaced, it's part of the lightning connector assembly and extends to 2 further small modules laying on the lightning assembly. You can see main part at step 33 of this guide, however, from the issue described, it's probably to be ruled out as a faulty antenna issue

iPhone 5c Lightning Connector Assembly Replacement

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Thanks Bonnie. I can confirm the SIM card works in another phone as I'm now using it as a backup. I'm going to re-seat the coax cable, thank you. I'll also do a full restore.

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