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Cell phone's in Europe-accessing partners networks that are 900 and 1800 frequencies?

Cell phone's in Europe-accessing partners networks that are 900 and 1800 frequencies?

Old May 2nd, 2005, 06:41 AM
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Cell phone's in Europe-accessing partners networks that are 900 and 1800 frequencies?

I have Cingular service, and they only offer access through the 850/1800/1900 frequencies. France and Belgium have good coverage indicating 900 and 1800 for several companies...but they do not indicate how much of their coverage network is 1800 and how much is 900. I have the distinct feeling that I do not understand accessibility to these coverage areas, that is, does having a phone without 900 coverage allow access to the 1800 frequency and therefore all the geographical area of coverage for both 900 and 1800, such as one finds in Belgium and France on several networks? I am totally unclear on this. The sites of each provider in France and Belgium do not address this issue...perhaps it is something they assume that users should be aware of intrinsically, but I am clueless here.
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 08:20 AM
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Here is a partial answer:
http://www.cellular-news.com/coverage/belgium.shtml

Based on the coverage map by provider, there is plenty of overlap between 900 and 1800. I'd think it would be true in France as well.
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 08:29 AM
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Hey, Orval - in March you posted that you had T-Mobile, did you switch recently?...
I found this post regarding Cingular usage in France:

Author: gradyghost Date: 04/12/2005, 07:09 am
Hello Wanderer:

FWIW: Our carrier is AT&T Wireless (now Cingular). Two years ago we switched our network to GSM (and purchased smartphones at a deep discount). We have used the phones successfully in Austria and France....
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 10:27 AM
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I don't quite understand when you say Cingular only offer access through 850/1800/1900. What you seem to be saying is that your phone, supplied by Cingular, only operates on those frequencies. I'm certain Cingular has roaming arrangement with most, if not all, network providers in France and Belgium that operate on 900, 1800 or combination of both.
To increase chances of good reception as you travel around, what you should do is to get another GSM phone that operates on both 900 and 1800, which means getting non-US spec or quad band phone. You simply slo in your sim card and it should be useable on all available frequencies in both countries. If your new phone is unlocked, it will accept any sim card and not be restricted to Cingular's, and you can save on roaming charges by buying local sim cards.
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 01:57 PM
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Travelnut,
Yes, I had to switch back because I was not getting the reception I needed in the United States. My wife now uses the T-Mobile I had. Thanks for the explanations. Although I am still confused re: Cingular. They tell me that they do not operate on 900 in all their literature, yet they offer quad phones that are blocked as to the 900 frequency. I got a triband after all the expense with T-Mobile.

So how can cingular then offer to provide access to the 900 frequency, if none of the GSM websites show that they have any 900 frequency partners in France and Belgium?
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 02:01 PM
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Alec,
What I am saying is that the partners of Cingular in say, France and Belgium may have 900/1800 coverage, but Cingular only uses the 1800 frequency specifically. I would be quite interested to know how someone uses their Cingular account in Europe (without removing their sim chip and actually using another provider in France, Belgium, etc.) to roam to the 900 frequency. Cingular tells me and their literature reinforces the fact that they operate on the 1800 frequency in Europe, and they do not use the 900 frequency anywhere.
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 02:16 PM
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Travelnut,
Here is a link to GSM World, coverage map for Belgium's 1800 frequency provider, "Base", formerly "Orange", It shows quite a lot more coverage for that provider than the link you referenced. Now I am nervous about travel in the southeast of Belgium with only 1800 coverage.

http://www.gsmworld.com/cgi-bin/ni_map.pl?cc=be&net=or

I went on the Base website, and they DO NOT show a coverage map, but only state that 98% of the population is covered, which may leave quite a bit of countryside in the southeast uncovered, who knows, as it is the least populated.
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 02:50 PM
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Does the T-Mobile phone your wife is now using have the missing frequency? If so, ask T-Mobile to activate the international plan and you can use that as a 'fill' for any areas your phone doesn't work. (unless she isn't going to travel with you...)
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 04:02 PM
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I posted on the other thread and I'm still confused. Where are you getting the information that you can't access the 900 frequency with Cingular's international roaming? I can't find anything on their website that seems to indicate this.

On this page, they even recommend purchasing a quad band phone that works on all frequencies -

http://www.cingular.com/customer_service/roaming_device

Are you sure you've been getting correct information from Cingular? Their website shows that they have roaming partners in France and Belgium that operate on 1800 only, 900/1800 or 900 only networks. Why would they sell a 850/900/1900 triband if you can't use the 900 band?
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 06:37 AM
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Travelnut,
Yes, good advice and that is our plan.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 06:51 AM
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Patty,
I think that is the problem. Different Cingular reps give different info. I have found that to be true with most cell providers, some more than others.
I am going to communicate with the corporate office. Thanks for your kind input.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 04:52 PM
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orval,
I too have often found Cingular reps to be clueless when it comes to international roaming. Something else just dawned on me... many countries have networks based entirely on 900 frequency. As far as I know, China and Kenya are two that fall in this category. If Cingular somehow doesn't allow access to this frequency, they wouldn't be able to offer roaming services in those countries (which they do). I hope you find someone who knows what they're talking about. Good luck!

BTW what issues did you have with T-mobile reception in the US? I just ordered a new phone from them yesterday but plan to use it mostly in cities.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 06:46 AM
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Patty,
With T-Mobile, most of the good reception areas are in the cities and along the interstates, main highways. There are a lot of places I travel away from cities, and they do not have good reception there. As Deutsch Telecom expands in the U.S., the reception will be better. I really like T-Mobile, and eventually they will be my choice in the U.S.
Of course, then there is the new 3-G that is beginning to make inroads...now Nokia has said that they will be providing 3 megapixel phone cameras and television on their phones by the end of this year...and on and on it goes...
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