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A particular client whom I provide email hosting support for, has problems connecting to the mail server using iPhone, via IMAP and on the China Mobile 3G data plan in China.

When asked over the phone what error message he got on the iPhone, he says iPhone only reports cannot connect to server. He says when using WiFi everything is fine.

In general, are there any ways I can troubleshoot the 3G network?

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hmm... although the context is iPhone, I am really asking in general how (the tools etc) to troubleshoot a 3G network on any phone –  Jake Nov 6 '11 at 13:48
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migrated from superuser.com Nov 6 '11 at 13:34

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2 Answers

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There is zTools on the App store, like 99 cents, will do Ping, Trace, Whois, Port scan, etc. Maybe this is what you're looking for? This is the only one I know because I have it, perhaps there is other, similar apps on the store.

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Wow, tough one. Tough because there are many unknowns in this equation...

No way to know for sure if China Mobile is not causing the problem by blocking, for example, the ports required to connect to the mail server. The only way to test this would be to change the port settings on both the server and the client, I think. In theory, it is entirely possible for them to block ports they believe can be problematic or some other reason, although I don't see how blocking standard mail ports would be problematic and help their customers...

Are other services functioning properly when on 3G? Like web-surfing, app updates, chatting, etc.?

It might be a case where your client needs to contact China Mobile and ask them for a little help troubleshooting this problem on their side, just to be sure it's not their network that's causing the problem...

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@Clare Sorry if I wasn't clear, I meant to ask if there are ways to run network tests against the 3G network on the phone. e.g. on the computer we can do port scan, traceroute, ping etc but how to do these on the phone? –  Jake Nov 6 '11 at 16:48
    
@Fred I think the above reply might be for you... –  Clare Macrae Nov 6 '11 at 18:36
    
@Fred although that doesn't seem practical in my case since it will be impossible to convince my client to download the app, if you can, will you please edit your answer with your comment then I can mark it as answer? Thanks. –  Jake Nov 7 '11 at 13:45
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