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Band-a-rito Band-a-roon

No this post is not about musical bands here nor there… It is actually a guide to understanding single dual tri quad band monicker that devices get. Here’s what you need to know:

A mobile phone operates using a radio communicating with a cell tower (hence cellular or cell phone)

Most of Asia (including the Philippines) and Europe uses GSM and our frequencies are as follows

GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 900/1800

UMTS: 900/2100

**China, Japan and Korea uses both GSM and CDMA

The Americas uses GSM and CDMA their GSM frequencies are:

GSM: 850/1900

UMTS: 1700 (T-Mobile) 850/1900 (AT&T)

Chances are if you are buying a phone locally, from Hong Kong or from Europe you’ll be fine. However if you buy a device from the Americas you have to be extra cautious. Their CDMA devices essentially don’t have SIM card slots and will not work with Globe, SMART or Sun. Their GSM devices may work provided they include the same bands we have locally. However keep in mind usually manufacturers swap out the 3G chip to match the region where the devices are intended to be sold.

Now let us look at 2 same devices released for 2 different regions

Nokia E71

Quadband GSM = 900/1800 (Asia) +850/1900 (US)

Dualband UMTS = 900/2100 (Asia)

===vs===

Nokia E71x = US DEVICE

Quadband GSM = 900/1800 (Asia) +850/1900 (US)

Dualband UMTS = 850/1900 (US)

So an E71x will work on our local networks but will be limited to GPRS/EDGE speeds only.

Here is an example of a Quadband GSM / Triband UMTS

The palm Treo Pro is a Quadband GSM and Triband UMTS devices.

Quadband GSM = 900/1800 (Asia) +850/1900 (US)

Triband UMTS = 2100 (Asia) + 850 / 1900 (US)

The treo can be used essentially everywhere on both high and low speed networks.

So the next time you are purchasing a device because you want to use it all over the world be sure to check which bands or frequencies they operate on. It is not enough to hear how many bands you have to find what bands those are. HTH

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