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Why do most new GSM phones have 1800 and not 900

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by azcellphonejunkie, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Thanks shoresguy, you know with as many times as I travel to Brazil I should have thought of that but I completely forgot :O. ofcourse as you pointed out there are still 900 only in some of these countries as well, so a 1800 only phone would be quite useless there too.

    I have a twist to the original question by az: Why do the phone manufacturers always choose the third frequency to be the higher of the 2 possible i.e. 1800 for the US models and 1900 for Eurasian models. The only reason that I can think of is the benefit of the longer range for the higher frequency, since I think we are coming to the conclusion that a triband of either combination would not cover the GSM world completely....Any ideas?
     
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  2. azcellphonejunkie

    azcellphonejunkie The Cell Phone Junkie
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    I guess my question now after all this discussion is if 1800 is like 1900 here. You really can go almost any major city in the country and have 1900 service from T-Mobile. Because of this, I would see a 900/1800/1900 phone more useful for someone in Europe than a 850/1800/1900 one here in the US. So is 1800 widepread enough for someone to be able to use it in most, if not all, of the major cities in the world? It is kindof sounding that way. Except for these countries which are 900 only:
    Antigua & Barbuda
    Azerbaijan
    Bangladesh
    British Virgin Islands
    China-this is wrong, 1800 is working for my fiance there right now!
    Croatia
    Cuba
    Egypt
    El Salvador
    Fiji
    French Polynesia
    Greenland
    Iran
    Iraq
    Jamaica
    Jordan
    Kazakhstan
    Kenya
    Kyrgyzstan
    Lebanon
    Libya
    Madagascar
    Malawi
    Moldova
    Monaco
    Mongolia
    Morocco
    New Zealand
    Pakistan
    Saudi Arabia
    Senegal
    Seychelles
    Sierra Leone
    Tunisia
    United Arab Emirates
     
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  3. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Actually off hand I can also think of the entire eastern half of India and all of Malayasia still only having 900 Mhz. also, although as I mentioned before 1800 overlay is coming to both. As I looked at the list it seems that the 900 only area is concentrated mostly to middle east and Africa with a few exception...interesting.

    Just my luck to pick the one country out of that list for vacationing with my 6230...LOL
     
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  4. azcellphonejunkie

    azcellphonejunkie The Cell Phone Junkie
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    I noticed that too. I basically have resided to the fact that 1800 should be OK in most international travel. I don't have any upcoming trips planned, so I'm not too worried about it. My fiance travels much more than I do, so the fact that she has a tri-band 850/1800/1900 was my main concern.

    I can't think of a reason that I would travel to any of the countries listed in the previous post, so I'm not to worried about it. Besides that, my V600 is a quad, so there is no real issue for me anyway. This whole thread started out of an observation and frustration for getting a new phone!
     
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  5. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    You mean an excuse to get a new phone...right?...LOL. Actually from my perspective this has been a great thread and got a few people thinking. I have actually travelled to a couple a of the countries in that list already for vacation and I travel to Malayasia regularly for business, ofcourse I have my "old faithful" the V66. :)
     
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  6. ShoresGuy

    ShoresGuy Euer WA Experte in Europa
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    Fact is that most Western European countries have at least GSM 1800-only provider so with an unlocked GSM 1800 capable phone you'll get reliable coverage in places like Germany, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Italy (well you get the picture :D).

    Of course, there is nothing that speaks against using a GSM 850/1800/1900 phone on a GSM 900/1800 network but it makes little sense. I remember meeting some Americans in London a couple years ago and one of them had a SE T616 roaming on Vodafone UK. He got some coverage but it was awfully shaky since the phone could only pick Vodafone's GSM 1800 towers. There are sufficient GSM 1800 towers in London but it is always best to use either GSM 1800-only providers or use a quad/triband phone with GSM 900/1800 in it.
     
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  7. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    One reason why phone makers choose 1800 instead of 900 in US triband phones may be the same reason why International tribands pick 1900 instead of 850 for the 3rd band.

    US Tribands are usually 850/1800/1900 but international tribands are 900/1800/1900. So if you look at the pattern here they both keep 1800 and 1900 and only replace 900 for 850. Basically, what I am getting at is manufacturing costs. It seems it is easier to replace 900 with 850 to make an American version of a phone rather than to replace 1800 for 850 because of the proximity in the bands. It probably just takes reprogramming a chip. However, if you replace 1800 for 850 then you probably need to replace a chip entirely.
     
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  8. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    You know Bobo, you took the words right out of my mouth :) . One of the comments I was going to make was " here we are trying to rack our brains looking for logic behind the choices and the company's are probably doing it more for financial reasons than anything else".

    The discussions on this thread was quite interesting though...wouldn't you agree?

    Thanks
     
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  9. azcellphonejunkie

    azcellphonejunkie The Cell Phone Junkie
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    I agree with you charlyee. I have enjoyed the last few posts between you, shoresguy and bobolito. When you think about it, it is amazing that they can have a phone operate on more than 1 band at all. Look at 2-way radios. You have to have a very specific antenna in most cases that ranges for only about 50 MHZ or so (450-490) or (438-470) in UHF. Now granted a 2-way radio is putting out 4 watts or so in a typical configuration, and you need that speficically tuned antenna compared to the mere milliwatts that you get on a cell phone, but it still is amazing. Try to find a 2-way radio that transmitts on 4 bands, and only uses one antenna. They are few and far between!
     
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  10. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Thank you az, and I have enjoyed reading your input very much. :)
     
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  11. ShoresGuy

    ShoresGuy Euer WA Experte in Europa
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    Indeed, I can only reflect the sentiment echoed by azn and charlyee :D. It would be nice if I had an American handset here to do a test and see how it performs with 850/1800/1900.
     
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  12. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    1800 works just fine, since there are 1800 only carriers in most European countries, plus 900 carriers overlaid their networks with 1800; vodafone Germany has done a lot of that, even in not so urban areas.
     
  13. ShoresGuy

    ShoresGuy Euer WA Experte in Europa
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    Right but with a GSM 900/1800 provider, it's always best to have a GSM 900/1800 capable phone to avoid any possible gaps due to a lack of 1800 Mhz towers should you choose to roam on Vodafone Germany.

    ;)
     
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  14. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Absolutely, I agree. OR, have a 900 only phone with a 900/1800 provider.
    ;)
     
  15. ShoresGuy

    ShoresGuy Euer WA Experte in Europa
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    That is a better choice, IMHO :D.
     
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  16. AprilFool

    AprilFool Junior Member
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    Sorry for the late reply guys... been off-Internet for a few weeks. Highly recommended every now and then.

    I think 850/900/1900 still needs two power amplifiers whereas 850/1800/1900 needs just one so there is a big cost advantage and the US carriers will not pay a dime extra for the added international roaming capability for most handsets so there is no incentive to the handset manufacturer to do so either.

    TheRealAprilFool
     
  17. ShoresGuy

    ShoresGuy Euer WA Experte in Europa
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    That is certainly possible. But then again, US carriers must pay more for a powerful amp located in quadband phones. It could be that Motorola uses a different chip set or a different power amp for their phones.
     
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  18. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    I don't think this is really the case. Besides the entire chip is only a few bucks in cell phone quantities.
     
  19. AprilFool

    AprilFool Junior Member
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    You just made my day :biggrin:

    A few years ago I busted my own and my teams ___ for six months to save less than 40 cents. You really think the carrier is going to pay millions of dollars more due to "cell phone quantities" because one percent of their customers needs a quad? If there's one in their lineup then there is no need for another one and no need for another handset supplier to develop another one. There's no money in quads, sorry.

    FoolMeTwice...
     
  20. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Who said anything about quads?? We are talking about triband and whether euro or us version needs one or two power amps and the cost of either version.
     
  21. AprilFool

    AprilFool Junior Member
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    Sorry, my bad. The other tri (850/900/1900) costs almost the same as a quad. Two PAs minus some passives. 1800 comes almost free for a US dualbander (and 1900 for the EU dualie). My apologies.

    JustPlainDumb
     
  22. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Why is that? The delta F/Freg is about the same for 50Mhz/900 and 100Mhz/1900. I would think that if one power amp that can handle both 1800/1900 , a power amp can be made (cheaply) to cover 850/900 also.
     
  23. AprilFool

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    I remember it having to do with the efficiency. Maybe it is more challenging (more costly maybe in terms of worse yield) to put out 2W across both 850 and 900 than it is to put out 1W across 1800 and 1900 bands. Not that it is impossible. After all, major PA suppliers (RFMD, Hitachi, Philips etc.) all have been offering quads for a while now... so I stand corrected there.

    VillageIdiot
     
  24. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Take for instance a Motorola V300. The phone is "hardwarewise" a quad-band. However, Rogers sells it in Canada as a 850/1800/1900 phone, but T-Mobile sells it in the US as a 900/1800/1900 phone. What's the difference? Very simple: A SOFTWARE SETTING! You can take any V300 and change it from the T-Mobile version to the Rogers version by just editing a file in the phone. I've done it myself sitting right here in front of my computer. Pretty simple huh?, but the point I am making is that a lot of times manufacturers simply restrict certain features of their products simply for marketing reasons. I wouldn't doubt that the tri-band versus quad-band issue (or either of the tri-band flavors for that matter) may have something to do with market value because for some areas people may pay more for having 4 bands than having 3 bands or they may pay more for a US triband than an Euro triband provided we're talking about the same exact phone and just changing the bands.
     
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