Xiaomi using CN/Asia pool

Some context: Android uses a gps.conf file where things like time servers are declared. The accurate time reduces the time that it takes to get a position lock.

For years Xiaomi has used 3 options, with 2 of them being “asia.pool.ntp.org” and “0.cn.pool.ntp.org” in their GPS.conf file. I don’t know if they do this on all phones, but they do it at least on some of them… even those that are supposed to be “global” (international) variants running “global” software:

#NTP server

This creates some problems (“bad/slow GPS”, which often improves when using different NTP servers) for some users that are probably connecting to servers far away (if they can reach those servers at all). This also adds unnecessary load to the servers in the asia/cn region.

I don’t know if they should use their own vendor zone when Android already has one, but I think everyone could benefit if they used the anycast domains instead of setting their devices to use one specific region or country.

I’m posting this here because not many people seem to be aware. Xiaomi is one of the main mobile phone sellers in the world and they also sell a lot of internet connected devices. I don’t know if they’re doing this on all products, but they do it at least on some phones.

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In rather old Android versions, the gps.conf file was hardcoded as north-america.pool.ntp.org.
In later versions, regional zones were added into AOSP versions of gps.conf, but as you found in Xiaomi example, the vendor can customize the file, and the customized version may not fit everyone’s need. However the gps.conf cannot be edited without root access, so there is little thing ordinary users (and NTP Pool admins) can help.