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A Visual Guide to AWS

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T-Mobile Spectrum?

Jaw3000

Oct 16, 2006, 1:48 PM
Great article, although it does raise one question for me. In the article, you claim that the AWS spectrum, as well as the spectrum T-Mobile bought, corresponds to the UMTS bands used in Europe (at least the 2100 part), which will make it easy for existing 3G phones to work on AWS spectrum. The quote from the article is: "The upper part does line up perfectly with Europe's UMTS 2100 band, and the lower part does line up with Europe's DCS band. Therefore manufacturers already building GSM+WCDMA "world phones" actually won't have to support any additional frequency bands at all."

In T-Mobile's recent 3G announcement, they claim the AWS spectrum they bought is unfortunately "a few megahertz off from the UMTS 2100 used elsewhere, meaning exis...
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Rich Brome

Oct 16, 2006, 1:56 PM
Because, as this article says and the chart shows, the lower half (the half used for phone-to-tower) is completely different. It lines up with DCS, but not UMTS 2100.

"a few megahertz off from the UMTS 2100 used elsewhere" isn't really accurate. The upper half aligns perfectly, but the lower half is actually about 200 MHz off, not "a few".
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Rich Brome

Oct 16, 2006, 2:01 PM
...so was that really not clear from the article alone? ...because that's pretty much the single most important thing I was trying to explain by writing this article. I hoped the second chart on this page would explain it:

http://www.phonescoop.com/articles/aws/index.php?p=b »

...but if there's a way that's confusing or could be explained better, please let us know!
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pauldg

Oct 16, 2006, 2:59 PM
The quote the OP mentioned is a bit misleading:
"manufacturers already building GSM+WCDMA "world phones" actually won't have to support any additional frequency bands at all" - BUT they would have to support GSM + UMTS in a band they currently only use for one or the other.
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Rich Brome

Oct 16, 2006, 3:06 PM
That statement is accurate. I can see how it might be confusing... if it wasn't immediately followed with a sentence specifically clarifying that new phones will be needed.
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Mr. T-Mobile

Oct 16, 2006, 2:38 PM
Here is the deal. it is'nt what T-Mo got it is what they are going to do with what they now have. As most people know T-Mo does not give a HOOT about watching TV and VIDEOS on your phone ( we have enough accidents with people talking on the things ) T-Mo believes in a better call quality, staying in touch with those that matter most. So all emphisis will be on better call quality and and faster data speeds for e-mail and IM etc...... now the only down side to a lot of this is that what T-MO is doing is regulating the kinds of phones that can be used on they're network. Wich from what it sounds like is that.... if I want a unlocked phone from somewhere else I cant use it PERIOD. I can do this now, it only has to be GSM and Unlocked and I am o...
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Jaw3000

Oct 16, 2006, 5:02 PM
Thanks for the clarification. So, as I understand it, T-Mobile's downlink will be the same as European UMTS (2100), but the uplink will be different than what is used for UMTS in Europe, and that is where the problem will come in. Am I correct?

Mr. T-Mobile said:
now the only down side to a lot of this is that what T-MO is doing is regulating the kinds of phones that can be used on they're network. Which from what it sounds like is that.... if I want a unlocked phone from somewhere else I cant use it PERIOD. I can do this now, it only has to be GSM and Unlocked and I am off and running. However when this new so called " AMERICAN 3G/UMTS " roll out goes into effect all phone manufactures will have to make " Unlocked pho
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Mr. T-Mobile

Oct 16, 2006, 5:49 PM
Ok here is what I understand from what I have heard and read. T-Mobile is going to be offering service on a 1,700 & 2,100 Mhz combined freq. as it's new network. That being said it will different than in other countries as well as here. So that in mind a certain set of guidlines must be followed for phones to work on this new type of network, or maybe there is a way to make phones capable of working interchangebly, I am not sure, but that is not the case at this point. In PC Mag.com the article talks about this being a new or different type of 3g network an " American " version if you will so I am not knowledgeable enough to know how all this works just yet, but I am doing my homework. I don't want to be restricted to only phones offered in ...
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terryjohnson16

Oct 16, 2006, 9:16 PM
To sum it all up for you, you will see Multi-band 3G phones and device. You just have to give it time. There aren't any phones announced or out with the new bands from the AWS spectrum. I say wait til early next year, then you will see phones from T-Mobile and international phones having the 1700MHz band on it for USA 3G. Just like how Cingular sells 850/1900MHz 3G phones, manufactures have started selling international phones with the same bands, so people can buy those phones, and don't have to worry about the international 3G band problems.
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Rich Brome

Oct 16, 2006, 9:27 PM
Jaw3000 said:
Thanks for the clarification. So, as I understand it, T-Mobile's downlink will be the same as European UMTS (2100), but the uplink will be different than what is used for UMTS in Europe, and that is where the problem will come in. Am I correct?

Yes. Exactly. Smile
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Rich Brome

Oct 17, 2006, 3:11 AM
If the T-Mobile 3G upgrades restricts me only to the phones made for and sold by T-Mobile, I'll be really mad.


Well, there are really several very separate issues here:
  1. Will T-Mobile use the introduction of new 3G-technology phones as an opportunity to simultaneously introduce new technology that will make it harder to unlock 3G phones sold by carriers?

    I'd say that's a distinct possibility, since European carriers (like, oh, say... T-Mobile Europe) did that when they launched 3G over there.

  2. Will T-Mobile launch proprietary 3G services that require software only found on 3G phones sold by T-Mobile?

    Probably. Most carriers have done that when launching 3G. Witness Cingular Video, VCast, Power
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AshDizzle

Oct 19, 2006, 7:47 AM
With phones getting more and more advanced all the time, I wouldn't be surprised if it got to the point where you could take an unlocked phone and have it flashed at a carrier's store to it's proprietary software, so you could take advantage of that carrier's services. Provided the phone had the proper chipset to support your frequencies and phone standard (GSM, CDMA).

It would be like putting linux, windows, or dos on your home computer. Except your OS is a carrier's software.

This statement really has nothing to do with reality but is just some weird vision I had.
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strangerthanfiction48

Oct 16, 2006, 9:15 PM
I know you just clarified it in like 2 or 3 different ways, and i do understand the different reasons... but will his E61 never pick up even that second half of AWS that does in fact line up?

So, i guess what im asking is it ALL OF BOTH OR NOTHING AT ALL?? or will there be times or areas that a European UMTS 2100 will actually work on AWS here in the states? Sometimes even? or just plain out loud no...?
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terryjohnson16

Oct 16, 2006, 9:19 PM
No. UMTS 2100MHz devices, will not work here for the 3G data part, unless, they have the UMTS 1700MHz band on the phone. Just like those UMTS 2100 phones will not work here on Cingular unless you see the 850/1900/2100MHZ UMTS bands indicated in the specs. The 850/1900 UMTS is what allows u to use 3G on Cingular. It will be the same way when the 850/1900/1700/2100MHz UMTS bands are put on the newer phones that will come out next year.
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Rich Brome

Oct 16, 2006, 9:25 PM
strangerthanfiction48 said:
I know you just clarified it in like 2 or 3 different ways, and i do understand the different reasons... but will his E61 never pick up even that second half of AWS that does in fact line up?

No. Absolutely not.

So, i guess what im asking is it ALL OF BOTH OR NOTHING AT ALL?? or will there be times or areas that a European UMTS 2100 will actually work on AWS here in the states? Sometimes even? or just plain out loud no...?

Plain out loud no.

Read the whole article. Two key things to pick up that answer your question:

1. New phones will be required to use AWS. That's stated explicitly.

2. "That second half of AWS that does in fact line up" with...
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Rich Brome

Oct 17, 2006, 12:40 AM
I meant to say:

The tower wouldn't even have any way of knowing the phone exists.
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Rich Brome

Oct 17, 2006, 12:48 AM
Rich Brome said:
New phones will be required to use AWS.


I should clarify that further.

I don't mean that the FCC will require that all new cell phones support AWS. They won't.

I simply mean that as of today, no phone is for sale - or has even been announced - that will work in the AWS band.

They are coming, and they won't be hard to make, but no such phone has been announced yet.
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terryjohnson16

Oct 17, 2006, 12:58 PM
Rich, you don't have to go out of your way and explain it to them more than 2x. If they don't understand, then thats them. Some of them are just mad that they went ahead and bought international 3G phones, to use on either Cingular or T-Mobile. The Cingular one's will work as long as they have the UMTS 850/1900MHz band, but some are mad it won't work on T-Mobile's upcoming 3G network. They shouldn't have been so fast and anxious for a 3G phone on T-Mobile's network.
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virain

Oct 18, 2006, 3:37 PM
Well, so now it makes even more difficult to buy unlocked phone! Before, GSM phone could be tri-band, quod-band, just insert a SIM card, and you ready to go! With all this mess with spectrums, looks like we will forced to buy 3G GSM phones ONLY thru carrier. If I understood correctly, phone that works with Cingular 3G, won't work with T-Mobile's.
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terryjohnson16

Oct 18, 2006, 4:21 PM
None of the GSM 3G phones being sold today, whether it be from Cingular or unbranded/unlocked will work with T-Mobile's upcoming 3G network, since their network will use the UMTS/HSDPA 1700MHz band. "You will", be able to use it once some 3G Quad-band phones become available. That means you will have to have a phone with Quad-Band GSM (GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz), "and" Quad-band UMTS/HSDPA (UMTS 850/1700/1900/2100MHz) to truely call it a "World phone". By having all what I mentioned it will make it better for you to have a phone and use the phone features and data feature.

The reason why the GSM 3G phones that are currently being sold, or that have been announced prior-to-the-AWS auction, won't be able to be used with T-Mobile's network, ...
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virain

Oct 18, 2006, 8:24 PM
Sure, but don't you think manufacturers will be "relaxed" to make phones for T-Mobile USA with one set of parameters, and for Cingular with another set of bands. That will not make much business scense, unless they are in bed with carrier. So good-bye unlock phones.
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aber

Oct 18, 2006, 11:04 PM
Cingular purchased some UMTS 1700MHz spectrum in certain locations. That means that when they build out that network, people who have current Cingular 3G phone with the UMTS/HSDPA (850/1900MHz), will have to get new phones from Cingular when Cingular makes 3G service with the 1700MHz band available to the public, in order to take advantage of their new network band. Same with T-Mobile customers when, T-Mobile launches 3G service.


Sort of. Except the fact that the current Cingular 3g phones include GSM 850.

Thanks for the great article, Rich!
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Rich Brome

Oct 17, 2006, 1:17 AM
One of my original strategies with this article was to rely on graphics to explain some of the more complex issues, but your feedback helped me realize that the major points need to be explained in detail in the text as well, so you know what to look for in the charts, etc.

I hope I've done a decent job of that with the other key points, but you pointed out an area where the text was relatively weak in guiding readers through the graphics.

Therefore I've just added the following text to clarify the exact question you asked:

No current phones (as of October 2006) are capable of operating in the AWS band.

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The chart above also shows why current UMTS 2100 phones aren't compatible with the AWS band. UMTS 2100 phones
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