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298 posts

Ultimate Geek
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# 154222 21-Oct-2014 16:53
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Hello all,

10 years ago it was simple. We had Vodafone which was GSM 900 and we had Telecom which was CDMA.

Today when I look at a phone spec and it says something like:

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100

I have no idea if I'll be able to use it with spark.. or  vodafone...

I don't care for this particular phone, but I would like to understand what type/bands of mobile network we have here in New Zealand.

3G / 4G appeared since that 10 years ago mark and they do not make the classification easier.

So, can you tell me what network each of Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees have? (Do Vodafone and 2degrees share the same infrastructure?)

And also how come, that telecom is not GSM (or so I believe) but iPhones work just fine with them? The sim card looks exactly the same as all GSM sims I've seen.

Another thing is that I've been to South Korea and Russia about a year ago, and telecom sim works in South Korea but is not detected in Russia, and it is exactly reverse for vodafone sim.

Can some one explains why?

Thank you in advance!

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Uber Geek
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  # 1159930 22-Oct-2014 12:21

The topic linked above covers the frequencies used. The important ones to note are 900MHz 3G for 2d/Vodafone and 850MHz 3G for Telecom/Spark/Skinny. It is very rare for a 3G phone to be missing the 2100MHz band as this is the most commonly used 3G band globally. If you're looking at 4G, be sure to note the band numbers a handset supports, as the frequencies alone can be misleading (There are many different 4G bands operating globally within the 700MHz frequency range, and they are not cross-compatible with one another).

'GSM' refers specifically to 2G network technologies, although it is used (incorrectly) as a catch-all term for the successor tech in the same family, such as 3G/UMTS  and 4G/LTE. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSM

2degrees has its own infrastructure in many areas, their customers roam on the Vodafone network in areas where it does not.

Spark/Telecom does not operate a 2G network, only 3G & 4G, so technically the network is not 'GSM'. 2G-only devices will not work on Spark or Skinny as there's no 2G network for them to connect to. SIM cards are the same shape and size regardless of whether a network is 2G/3G/4G as they're a backwards-compatible standard. There are of course mini/micro/nano SIM sizes as well.

With regard to roaming, that depends on which local network operators have roaming agreements with the international network operators in the countries you're roaming in, and whether your phone has connected to the right one - not all operators have roaming agreements in place in all countries. I know there was an issue with Vodafone's partner network in South Korea that was recently resolved. Best to check out the roaming section of your provider's site before traveling to make sure that the countries you're visiting are supported (Finding out the roaming rates is a good idea as well!).

 

Hope that helps.

 - Nik




Product Manager @ PB Tech

https://pbtech.co.nz/smartphones


 
 
 
 




298 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 1159937 22-Oct-2014 12:31
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With regard to roaming, that depends on which local network operators have roaming agreements with the international network operators in the countries you're roaming in, and whether your phone has connected to the right one - not all operators have roaming agreements in place in all countries.


Thank you for the long reply. In regards to the quoted above, if there is no roaming agreement, the local networks usually appear in the network list of your mobile phone - you just can't connect to them. In my case, nothing was coming up at all.

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  # 1159965 22-Oct-2014 13:35

zespri:
Thank you for the long reply. In regards to the quoted above, if there is no roaming agreement, the local networks usually appear in the network list of your mobile phone - you just can't connect to them. In my case, nothing was coming up at all.


That could depend on the phone(s) you were using at the time. Some countries have proprietary network setups that, while utilising common standards, use unique frequency combinations that often require purpose-built hardware. Japan, South Korea, and the US are the main ones in this basket.




Product Manager @ PB Tech

https://pbtech.co.nz/smartphones


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