Carriers in the US don’t have the best reputation among their customers and some new changes discovered in the latest builds for Android suggest that signal strength shown on the device may be restricted in future versions of Android, depending on the carrier. Most users rely on the little icon in their status bar to determine network strength, but most devices allow you to see the exact dBm in the Settings menu.
With the latest changes, signal strength can be locked from showing up in the Sim Status menu. XDA Developers have performed a couple of tests and determined that the carrier configuration that’s defined in the vendor.xml file will determine whether or not you’ll be able to see signal strength with a carrier SIM inserted. By default, the new setting is set to false and there’s no indication which carriers will auto-hide this information on future versions.
And really, this new change to Android doesn’t affect any of the APIs that allow apps to get signal strength, so you’ll still be able to install an app from the Google Play Store to see signal strength displayed in dBm. This new commit simply gives carriers the option to hide this information automatically, instead of displaying it by default to users.