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MHZ Question

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by vicken, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. vicken

    vicken Junior Member
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    I have tried searching this site for the answer so I am sorry if it is redundant. I would like to know what the difference is between 800, 850, 1800, 1900 MHZ. Are there advantages or disadvantages to one or the other? Which is stronger if any? And which providers use what MHZ?
     
  2. Matt

    Matt Twin girls!
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    800 and 850 are generally the same, since carriers all use one frequency but rather a range of frequencies. 800 is the term most frequently used with the old analog networks, and 850 started being used when the TDMA providers (ATT, Cingular) started deploying GSM at their 800/850 frequencies. 1800 is used in Europe, 1900 in North America. The general advantage to a lower frequency is the wavelength is longer, and all things being equal, penetrate buildings better. You also need fewer towers with a lower frequency.

    All legacy providers (the companies that started off as some old Bell network) have 800/850 at least in some locations (Verizon, Cingular, Alltel). Those networks and licenses date at least back to the 1980s. The newer companies (Sprint, T-Mobile) are all 1900 in the licenses and network that they own, since those licenses were auctioned in the early 1990s and those networks did not begin to go live until late 1995 into 1996. Both Sprint and TM roam on 850 carriers. Nextel is a bit different - their licenses are were originally purely walkie-talkie licenses (SMR Specialized Mobile Radio I think) - and are in a different portion of the 800 spectrum but I might be wrong on that. The 800/850 carriers listed above also have 1900 licenses in some areas.
     
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  3. vicken

    vicken Junior Member
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    Thanks. So does this mean that once Cingular has integrated all their sites with AT&T's they will have at least the second best network? Also, does one range get better voice quality than the other?
     
  4. hillbilly44

    hillbilly44 Senior Member
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    Actually they should be much improved. Alot of sites will be dual-banded (850/1900) but the voice quality doesn't have anything to do with frequency bands, but how the network id engineered. Hope this helps;)
     
  5. vicken

    vicken Junior Member
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    Thanks for the replies. I have also heard that as far as indoor coverage, the frequency doesn't matter it's where the tower is. Is this true or does the frequency really make that big of a difference inside?
     
  6. Matt

    Matt Twin girls!
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    How are you defining "best"?
     
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  7. Matt

    Matt Twin girls!
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    Both items are important, and of course the building material where you happen to be matters as well. 1900, which does not transmit as well indoors as 850, could be much better coverage if the tower is closer. If both are using the same tower, the 850 service will be generally better indoors. Then again, if there are 2 1900 towers nearby and only one at 850.......:confused:
     
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  8. hillbilly44

    hillbilly44 Senior Member
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    Matt;

    Your are correct about 1900 vs 850 almost. If an in-building distributed antenna system is installed then a 1900 system will perform better. :cool:
     
  9. vicken

    vicken Junior Member
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    If Verizon is generally accepted as having the best network, since they use 800-850MHZ, would this be why Cingular has the potential to be just as good if not better once they integrate AT&T's sites? That's what I meant.
     
  10. hillbilly44

    hillbilly44 Senior Member
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    Cingular also uses 800-850Mhz in alot of places along with 1900Mhz. Also, Verizon isn't 800-850 everywhere. They also have alot of 1900Mhz so they're not necessarily the best in all places like they claim;)
     
  11. Matt

    Matt Twin girls!
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    Not necessarily. You can make a very good network at 1900 - it probably just costs more :D
     
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  12. vicken

    vicken Junior Member
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    I'm just saying that Verizon has the best network and the best coverage out of all the wireless carriers. I'm not saying that they work everywhere.

    I just assumed that since Cingular took over the 850 MHZ from AT&T, in theory, they have the potential to be as good, if not better, than Verizon. Also since they use the 800-850 range they are probably going to get better indoor coverage.

    Matt, do you know if T-Mobile is improving/adding more towers in the southern California area? I have heard that they bought Cingular's old network, but are they improving that old network and filling in the holes?
     
  13. Matt

    Matt Twin girls!
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    TM is always adding towers, especially in urban areas (and suburban in 2006 - it's a special focus). TM adds over 3,000 cell sites per year nationwide. Here's a pic of part of LA - all of the pink Ts are new towers in the last 90 days.
     

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  14. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    I don't think that Verizon claims to be the best, or is accepted to be the best, just because their network is on the cellular band in most areas.
    There's only a few areas where Verizon is not on the cellular band, like part of Texas, and almost all of FL and a few other places here and there. For example, even though their FL network is on 1900 Mhz it is accepted as being one of their best networks.
     
  15. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    You bet they are still adding sites in Southern California. :) Usage is always increasing and if you don't add sites there you network will go bad. ;)
     
  16. vicken

    vicken Junior Member
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    So Verizon doesn't have the best network? I always thought that they did. They have the most coverage though, don't they?
     
  17. hillbilly44

    hillbilly44 Senior Member
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    Not based on the licenses that they own, Cingular does. But most wireless companies use roaming partners (Cingular uses Dobson & Verizon uses Alltel for example) to give them "nation-wide" coverage. :cool:
     
  18. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    honestly, there's no way to call any network the best network. It depends on where you are. In my area, I would say that Verizon has the best network. when the old AT&T was TDMA here they used to have the best network, but not anymore. In other areas of the country a carrier like T-Mobile has the best network.
     
  19. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    That's the best statement I've read so far in this discussion.
     
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  20. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    If 1900 requires more towers and costs more to make coverage better, then that means 850Mhz is better, right?

    On a similar comparison, if you install enough towers and devote enough spectrum for it, an Analog network can handle 200 calls just fine or even more, it just requires more spectrum and more towers than CDMA. Therefore, this means that CDMA is better than Analog, right?
     
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  21. John Sprung

    John Sprung New Member

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    Is the difference between 850 MHz and 1900 MHz really that big a deal for coverage indoors? They're just over an octave apart. It's not like TV, where you have a span of over four octaves, 54 to 890 MHz. The wavelengths for the cell frequencies would be 13.9" and 6.2", so the chickenwire in stucco should hit them both pretty hard.



    -- J.S.
     
  22. Fire14

    Fire14 Easy,Cheap & Sleazy
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    It does make a difference on the distance the tower is to the building & the construction of the building. Normally a 1900 tower has to be closer to a building vs 850 to give indoor signal penetration.

    Just as an example in all things being equal & perfect.
    an 850 signal will travel 5 Miles where as a 1900 signal will travel 1-2 miles, again terrain, leaves, buildings all effect the signals.
     
  23. MeatChicken

    MeatChicken Senior Member
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    I've done some tests ( I believe Bobolito also has done these), & there is a BIG difference with indoor reception between 800 & 1900.
    "Apples to Apples", a 1900 signal will generally drop 10-20dB More than an 800 signal in the same building.
    Example - Take a dB reading at a point outside a building, for both a 1900 & an 800 signal. Walk to a point inside the building, & take another reading. You will find that the 1900 signal lost about 10-20db "more" of it's starting number than the 800 signal did. It doesn't matter what the start numbers were, or which signal was "stronger" outside.....
    If, for example, they were both "equal" at -70dB outside, you may get a reading indoors of, say, -79 for the 800 carrier, & -94 Db for the 1900 carrier at the same point inside. The actual amout of Db signal drop will vary with different buildings, but the 1900 signal will always drop 10-20 "more" than however many dB's the 800 signal dropped.
    These tests are very easy to do, especially in areas where VZW & CING are xmitting both bands from the same cell site.
     
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  24. hillbilly44

    hillbilly44 Senior Member
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    We don't use the term octave's when discussing RF or wireless, we use Kiloherz (Khz), MegaHertz (Mhz) or GigaHertz (Ghz). Also Spectrum is based on a Khz, Mhz or Ghz wavelength, not Octave, But the answer to your question is yes there is a tremendous differernce in the two frequency bands due to the way the signal modulates. An 800-850mhz signal has a longer wavelength than a 1900 signal so it makes it easier to carry a longer distance and penetrate a building easier. However if the signal is already in a building a 1900 signal will work better.:)
     
  25. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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    Is 1900 possibly better for data purposes? Many carriers seem to be preferring to use the 1900 band for data where possible, including places where they have both 800 and 1900 spectrum. Does the high frequency allow for higher data throughput?
     
  26. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    I think you are referring to Verizon, as an example. I think they want it at 1900 to not mess with 800 voice capacity/spectrum, but I could be wrong.
     

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