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9 posts

Wannabe Geek


# 36545 27-Jun-2009 20:50
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Just thought I'd put together a few notes after recent investigation prior to purchasing an Xperia X1.

So the general claim is a quad band phone works on both Vodafone and Telecom XT right? Well so far as GSM voice/data and GPRS services go the answer is yes. However if you're wanting full 3G functionality the story is a little different. I have found no manufacturers who actually produce a quad band UMTS/HSDPA handset or OEM module, so what does this mean? Well it depends on where you live and where you want 3G services to work.

Looking at http://www.vodafone.co.nz/coverage/ you'll notice they have 2G/2.5G, 3G and 3G Extended coverage zone maps. The 3G and 3G Extended maps equate to UMTS/HSDPA 2100MHz and UMTS/HSDPA 900MHz respectivily. Telecom XT however provides 3G Extended coverage using UMTS/HSDPA on 850MHz.

So if you purchase a quad band phone will it work on both networks? The answer is both yes and no.

The statment "Quad band" refers to the GSM voice/data and GPRS frequencies, 850/900/1900/2100MHz, however to my knowledge all handsets and modules are currently never more than triband UMTS/HSDPA on 850/1900/2100MHz or 900/1900/2100MHz (yes there are some other frequencies used elsewhere like 1700MHz but this post is NZ specific).

I'll use my SE Xperia X1 as an example:

Phone variants are:
X1i GSM 850/900/1900/2100MHz UMTS/HSDPA 900/1900/2100MHz
X1a GSM 850/900/1900/2100MHz UMTS/HSDPA 850/1900/2100MHz

3G services will work in main cities with both variants on both networks, however I was faced with the choice of either Vodafone 900MHz or Telecom XT 850MHz for 3G extended. One reseller I came across claimed the X1a worked on both networks, which is not quite true.

Keep your eyes peeled for Quad band GSM/UMTS/HSDPA handsets, then we'll finally have a real choice between networks.

Cheers,

Jason
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  # 228856 27-Jun-2009 22:55
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Informative post for those that don't understand but sounds more blog-ish than forum thread to me, something to keep in mind in the future . . .

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# 229143 29-Jun-2009 11:00
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KiwiFIRST: Looking at http://www.vodafone.co.nz/coverage/ you'll notice they have 2G/2.5G, 3G and 3G Extended coverage zone maps. The 3G and 3G Extended maps equate to UMTS/HSDPA 2100MHz and UMTS/HSDPA 900MHz respectivily. Telecom XT however provides 3G Extended coverage using UMTS/HSDPA on 850MHz.


"3G Extended" is a Vodafone branding, it's not an official 3G naming convention. 

The entire Telecom XT Network is based on 850 MHz WCDMA, so there's not "extended" in the context. Telecom does provide some 2100 MHz infill sites - meaning you shouldn't buy a handset to use on XT Network solely by its support of 2100 MHz band since 2100 MHz is only used where sites may be overloaded or there are lots of inbound roaming users.

KiwiFIRST: X1a GSM 850/900/1900/2100MHz UMTS/HSDPA 850/1900/2100MHz

3G services will work in main cities with both variants on both networks, however I was faced with the choice of either Vodafone 900MHz or Telecom XT 850MHz for 3G extended. One reseller I came across claimed the X1a worked on both networks, which is not quite true.


It's somewhat true. It will work on 100% of Telecom XT Network, and will work on Vodafone 2100 MHz 3G (their original deployment), which is available in 19 main centres around the country.







 
 
 
 




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Wannabe Geek


  # 229698 30-Jun-2009 19:45
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From a technical standpoint I suspect Telecom will grow their network by introducing more smaller cells at 2100MHz, the roll out with 850MHz large cells is faster and probably more economic until the subscriber base grows. When Vodafone rolled out UMTS the 900MHz frequency simply wasn't an option and fall back to GPRS for wide area coverage was acceptable.

So I guess the network roll out has been dictated by available technology.

Cheers,

Jason
KiwiFIRST.org

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