iPhone 3GS: problem with connection to network: sometimes perfect connection, other times 'no service'

Iphone 3GS (OS 6.3.1)
This phone has a problem connecting to the phone network. Sometimes it connects perfectly after searching (automatic) a second or two. However at other times the connection peters out and I get 'no service'. When I switch off the phone and re-start it, it tends to connect again to the network, but it doesnt last.

This means that it does work, but it does not work properly. What could be the problem. I would be able to replace parts as I have done so successfully before with a iPhone 3G (for instance the Wi-Fi Antenna and battery).

The problem is not the network, because I have an older 3G phone and if I switch the sim card into this I get a perfect connection.

Any advice appreciated
Michael MurphyAsked:
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Nick RhodeIT DirectorCommented:
The phone iOS versions are the same?
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ZamZ0Commented:
There are a few things you can try if it is not a hardware problem. First, try forgetting the network and rejoining it, if you haven't done so already. Then, make sure your router has the latest firmware updates. Lastly, as a workaround you could go into the admin page on the router and assign the iphone a static ip address and configure the iphone to use staticip in network settings.
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
Help me here. The network (phone) is O2 (ireland). There is no router. I should b able to access it anywhere in Ireland. Recently I was in UK and it picked up the English networks.  But again the problem remained the same.  The signal often disappeared and I got the message 'no service.
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ZamZ0Commented:
If its not connecting to the cellular network it is likely a hardware problem and should be taken to an Apple store.
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
Additionally the older phone 3G has an older 10S than the newer 3GS. It is 4.2.1
The newer one is 6,4.1.
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
It is connecting to the cellular network but not fully all the time. Could it b a loose antenna?
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ZamZ0Commented:
Yes, or a faulty one. You could try a factory restore...
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
Have done a factory restore. No difference.
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Nick RhodeIT DirectorCommented:
My honest opinion its a bad phone or defect.  Take it to your retailer and see if it can be tested to see what the issue is.
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
Will do. By the way I see references to the cellular antenna and to to wi-fi antenna. I assume they are different items. Where is the cellular antenna located? But will take it to repair.
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ZamZ0Commented:
Its a little gold prong on the motherboard next to the battery screws. I read that it is easily bent while taking the motherboard out.
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
Can I close this question. I have tried all the aboveeithout success. Am going to replace cellular antenna plus docking unit
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
I am trying to purchase on line the right item - which will contain the cellular antenna. My problem is NOT with Wi Fi reception, but with Cell Phone reception. I have found this on eBay. is it correct. Does it contain the cellular antenna?

iPhone 3GS Complete Dock Connector Assembly Antenna Flex Loudspeaker Port Mic

I attach a Photograph.
item.JPG
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Nick RhodeIT DirectorCommented:
Thats looks like it is:  Make sure it matches your model

http://www.directfix.com/product/IP-2460.html?gclid=CPDs7q_S-7kCFQJqMgod-VwA6A
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