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Top message:  850 downfall by 155n8th   Oct 29, 2003, 6:32 PM

Replying to:  Re: 850 downfall by scottj   Nov 3, 2003, 12:36 PM

Re: 850 downfall

by Rich Brome (Moderator)    Nov 3, 2003, 1:31 PM

Let's be realistic, here. Put all the GSM 850 carriers together, including AT&T and Cingular, and that's still a pretty small percentage of the global GSM market. Then combine that with the fact that not everyone needs or wants a world phone - most people just want a phone that works in their region.

So you can't expect every manufacturer to be rushing to create quad-band phones. There just isn't the demand. Every band added - no matter which band - adds cost. The phone has to be tuned, tested, re-tuned, and re-tested until it performs well on ALL bands. It's usually cheaper to create a dual-band phone, even if it means two models - one for the U.S. and one for Europe, etc.

Now, given the fact that GSM 850 is a relatively small part of the global picture, I think there are a fairly good number of GSM 850 phones. You can't expect every manufacturer to target the smaller market (GSM 850), and you can't expect every phone to be a world phone.

So why aren't all world phones quad-band already? Time and cost. Almost nobody designs a whole phone circuit board from scratch just for one model - they start with a ready-made reference platform or GSM module, whether developed in-house or otherwise. There are a zillion ready-to-go, cheap dual-band and tri-band GSM modules and reference platforms. There are relatively few quad-band modules and designs, and they are more expensive, and not as well-tested. That will certainly change over time, but for now, that's the situation.

Plus you've got the lead time issue. Development cycles for most phones are 18-24 months. Two years ago, when decisions were made about the new models being announced now, quad-band was an even more exotic, expensive technology, and it was not as clear that it would be so important.

Bottom line: There's no doubt that there will be many more quad-band phones over time. But for now, I think the current situation is totally understandable.

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