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CTIA 2005

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Lack of Quad-Band GSM phones

bones boy

Mar 17, 2005, 10:55 AM
I am always amazed that more carriers don't spend the extra money and make their GSM phones Quad-Band (850/900/1800/1900) instead of coming out with one or even two tri-band versions of the same phone.

I realize that very few people actually seek out quad-band phones, but if you're making the phone capable for three frequencies, why not four?

Perhaps the rest of the manufacturers know something that Motorola will not admit - that squeezing 4 radios in these compact phones affects RF performance.

Anyway I will continue to only purchase quad-band, as the last thing I want to do is get stuck wishing I had GSM 900 in Gabon or GSM 1800 in Trinidad. And you pretty much need 850/1900 here in the states. Oh well.
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gargspy

Mar 17, 2005, 11:37 AM
Price point buddy....by adding the necessary components, SW, R&D work to perfect the quad-band handsets...you end up spending too much. This extends your price point for the handset, which in turn reduces the appeal. The only reason it will affect the RF performance is through SW issues. Getting 4 RF receivers tuned and in-sync is difficult to do (in respect to releasing a product in a reasonable amount of time.) Basically...it all comes down to the mighty dollar.
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bones boy

Mar 18, 2005, 11:03 AM
I agree that it's definitely more expensive to squeeze 4 bands into one phone, but have you seen the prices that a lot of the phones are going for anyway? If I'm paying $450 WITH a 2/yr. contract for SonyEricsson S710a, I would like it to be quad-band. It seems like it would cost more to come out with two versions of one phone (like the SE S700 and S710 for example) than it would to just make one phone with all bands. I think SW has a lot to do with it as well, like you said.

It would also seem to me that quad-band phones are definitely niche products, and that is why you mainly see them in higher end phones, like you said, price point. Besides Motorola however, it just amazes me that none of the other majors (Nokia, Samsung, SE, etc.) a...
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Rich Brome

Mar 18, 2005, 2:03 PM
It's a couple of issues, actually.

It's not so much extra components or software - that's the easy part.

For most manufacturers, it's all about antenna design. With a typical tri-band antenna, it's essentially just three pieces of connected metal. Each of the three pieces is a different "length", so it is "tuned" to that band, and that's how one piece of stamped metal can tune to three different bands at once.

But with quad-band, 900 is just too close to 850. If you try to tune it with two elements, they're too close in "length", and it doesn't work well. If you try it with one common element, it won't work well at the upper end of 900 or the lower end of 850.

So basically, it's hard to design an antenna that works well at both 8...
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DDA

Mar 18, 2005, 7:11 PM
Does that mean that, in theory, it is easier to make a quad band CDMA & GSM phone, since CDMA opperates at 800 band?
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Rich Brome

Mar 18, 2005, 10:49 PM
No, because despite the different numbers, "GSM 850" and "CDMA 800" actually operate in the same exact frequency band.

Why the industry uses such inconsistent terminology like that is a question for the ages. Rolling Eyes
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