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865 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 108463 29-Aug-2012 17:49 Send private message

My daughter has had two, late model mobile phones over the past couple of years, namely an
Ideos U8150 and a Motorola Defy +.

The Ideos previously worked perfectly fine (voice, TXT and data) over the 2 Degrees and TNZ XT networks, but had (still does) reception problems when she switched to Skinny when it became available.

My understanding is that Skinny essentially is a 'pricing model' that runs over the XT network, so why the poor signal coverage?

We ran the phone's IMEI numbers through the compatability databases - XT said it was 'probably compatable', whilst the Skinny site at first (couple weeks ago) said ok, but now lists it as incompatible .... Skinny offer this as a reason for the poor reception in many areas.

My questions are -

1: Is Skinny and TNZ's XT really exactly the same network?

2: If it is, are Skinny SIM cards/numbers being 'throttled" or "shunted" within or to a special space (viz. lower performance) on the network to reflect the lower cost?

3: Would telcos really manipulate their services or SIMS for phones that they themselves don't sell?

Thanks.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 678879 29-Aug-2012 17:57 Send private message

1: Is Skinny and TNZ's XT really exactly the same network?
Yes

2: If it is, are Skinny SIM cards/numbers being 'throttled" or "shunted" within or to a special space (viz. lower performance) on the network to reflect the lower cost?
No

3: Would telcos really manipulate their services or SIMS for phones that they themselves don't sell?
Possibly, but I doubt it in this case.

Occam's razor would suggest that when you ran the IMEI the first time you had a typo.

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  Reply # 678880 29-Aug-2012 17:58 Send private message

Hey,
The U8150 sold in NZ was only sold on 2degrees and only supports 900mhz 3G and 2100mhz 3G.
Telecom (and therefore skinny) ues 850mhz 3G nationwide, and 2100mhz 3G in some cities.

This means it'll work over most of auckland and wellington and other central areas where 2100mhz coverage is available. Anywhere else, it'll be totally useless. 2100mhz is NOT designed to be relied on, its there purely for extra speed/capacity on the network.
The same goes for the Defy+ - another device sold by 2degrees. Telecoms Defy and Defy XT are different models with different radio bands to the defy+. And if you are wondering - yes you may have one device working when the other doesn't, phones have different levels of signal performance.

Unless your phone is from telecom or skinny sourced, or a high end quad band 3g phone (Galaxy S 2/3, Iphone 4/4s, HTC one X/V etc etc), it will not work on the XT network.

I wouldn't rely on the compatibiltiy checker. It has told me my compatible HTC desire is incompatible, and other devices which i know are incompatible to be compatible (or "probably compatible").

1. So yes, whatever coverage footprint you get on telecom, is identical on skinny, both of your devices lack the proper radio bands and so will always have coverage issues. Buy a new handset or switch networks to 2degrees or vodafone.
2. No, they are not throttled in any way. They do go through skinny's billing systems etc, but the physical layer of everything is identical.
3. They don't. Skinny is the only provider in NZ that locks their phones, with a $30 unlock fee. Other than that, no provider manipulates their phones or sims in any way. Your issue is a technical one, and theres no conspiracy about it, its quite a black and white issue too.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 678890 29-Aug-2012 18:17 Send private message

Many thanks Mantis and Xdee for your comprehensive replies .... makes the situation very clear to understand.

R.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 678897 29-Aug-2012 18:46 Send private message

Follow up question - the Motorola Defy + is cited as being 850 mhz/GSM.

Are there 'variations' within this band that would allow some otherwise identical phones work (or not)?

R.

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  Reply # 678901 29-Aug-2012 18:59 Send private message

Telecom and Skinny are 100% WCDMA (3G). GSM is 2G.

This means 850MHz GSM is not the same as 850MHz WCDMA.







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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 678903 29-Aug-2012 19:03 Send private message

Mauricio,

Thanks ... I realised what I'd written as I pressed SEND .

R.

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  Reply # 678943 29-Aug-2012 20:33 Send private message

Its worth noting you can get variations on phones. Most carry a slightly different model number, but sometimes it's not very obvious.

Eg my HTC desire is a A8183, whereas most desires are an A8181 which wont work on telecom.

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