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Thread: Can a T-Mobile Pre-paid phone be used on Ptel?

  1. #16
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    this is from wiki - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellular_frequencies


    USA Carrier Voice Frequencies 3G 4G 3G Technology 4G Technology

    AT&T 850 MHz, 1900 MHz 850 MHz, 1900 MHz 700 MHz, 1700/2100 MHz GSM/HSPA+ LTE

    MetroPCS 1700/2100 MHz, 1900 MHz 1700/2100 MHz, 1900 MHz 1700/2100 MHz CDMA/EVDO LTE

    Sprint 800 MHz, 1900 MHz 1900 MHz 800 MHz, 1900 MHz, 2500 MHz CDMA/EVDO WiMAX (2010–present)
    LTE (2012–present)

    T-Mobile USA 1700/2100 MHz, 1900 MHz 1700/2100 MHz, 1900 MHz 1700/2100 MHz GSM/HSPA+ LTE (2013)

    Verizon 850 MHz, 1900 MHz 850 MHz, 1900 MHz 700 MHz, 1700/2100 MHz (Planned) CDMA/EVDO LTE


    Hope this helps you sort out your understanding of carriers and bands. Yes, the tmo my touch will work.
    Never be afraid to try, but always know where your back up is when you screw up!

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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sashusmom View Post
    this is from wiki - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellular_frequencies

    T-Mobile USA 1700/2100 MHz, 1900 MHz 1700/2100 MHz, 1900 MHz 1700/2100 MHz GSM/HSPA+ LTE (2013)

    Hope this helps you sort out your understanding of carriers and bands. Yes, the tmo my touch will work.
    Thanks for answering my question that the "tmo my touch 4g slide" will work.

    I am still trying to interpret what I am reading ....

    Is it this phones spec listed as GSM and 1900: that tells me this phone will work? (As there is no pairing of 1700/2100 listed for GSM? And WCDMA, which looks like it uses 1700/2100, is the wrong technology? )

    "tmo my touch 4g slide" specifications:
    Network Generation 3G
    Network Technology EDGE, GSM/HSDPA / GPRS, HSPA+
    Band GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (Quadband) WCDMA (UMTS) 1700/1900/2100
    Operating System Android


    And how does the HSPA+ in the above spec affect regarding usability on T-Mobile?

    The wiki entry says that T-Mobile uses GSM/HSPA+ for "3G Technology".

    But the phone's specifiication just throws HSPA+ out there on the 2nd line. Is it assumed that means GSM/HSPA+ ?

  3. #18
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    T-Mobile is repurposing their 1900/PCS spectrum to UMTS and 1700/AWS spectrum to LTE, but they're going to leave you a slice of GSM 1900/PCS and UMTS 1700/AWS specifically so that your old T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide won't be rendered useless on PTel.

  4. #19
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    Hspa is just a faster 3g speed-sort of 3.5g - 21 mbps on some phones, and 42 mbps on some tmo phones. Their hspa is faster than ATT right now. Some carriers call this 4g, but it really isn't. LTE is different- that is true 4g that few carriers have yet. Tmo is working on deploying theirs late this year or early 2014. The refarmed 1900 band will allow ATT phones to get 3g on tmo carrier. Up till now, att phones only got 2g or edge speeds on tmo. This will change when they are done converting the 1900 to 3g.

    As far as what carriers' bands will support your tmo mytouch, you just have to read what the bands support what on what carriers. It is very confusing, I agree.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kecel View Post
    T-Mobile is repurposing their 1900/PCS spectrum to UMTS and 1700/AWS spectrum to LTE, but they're going to leave you a slice of GSM 1900/PCS and UMTS 1700/AWS specifically so that your old T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide won't be rendered useless on PTel.
    Thanks for trying to help. I can take on faith that if I buy this phone it will continue working.

    However, I am still not clear.

    When you say repurposing the 1900/PCS - I don't know what 1900 band you are pointing at:
    - Band GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (Quadband), or,
    - WCDMA (UMTS) 1700/1900/2100 ?

    I don't see 1900/PCS in the phones specs, or in the Wiki entry provided above. I just see 1900 (with no PCS attached to it)?

    Same for 1700/AWS. You say t-mobile is leaving a slice of 1700/PCS - but I read that 1700 is a one way transmission, and your need 2100 to go in the other direction (upload and download). So how does 1700 alone help? I accept what you are saying - I just don't see it?

    I think I do follow when you say t-mobile is leaving a slice of GSM/1900/PCS, because I do see that in the wiki table as a 3G solution that lists 1900 (although that table does not provide GSM or PCS info - so I am left to guess that must be GSM because t-mobile's path is to GSM from CDMA in their upgrade plan announcement - but the wiki table is not precise on that table entry being GSM or PCS?).

    It's just hard to identify these bands when it seems like there is so much latitiude for referring to them.

    Is PCS a synonym for the 1900 band (but under only GSM - but not WCDMA or UMTS)?

    Is AWS a synonym for the 1700 band (but under only GSM - but not WCDMA or UMTS)?

    Are WCDMA and UMTS like a type 2 ,and a type 3technology, where GSM would be another type, like type 1?

    I realize this is a lot to ask to have explained, but it seems like many of you "get it", and you must have learned it somewhere?

  6. #21
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    The T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide has GSM band 850 (Cellular), GSM band 900, GSM band 1800 (DCS), GSM band 1900 (PCS), UMTS band I (2100/IMT), and UMTS band IV (1700/AWS). GSM (2G) band 850/Cellular, used for service partner coverage, notice PTel coverage states, "Service Partner not included". GSM (2G) bands 900, 1800/DCS, and UMTS (3G) band I, used for international travel. GSM (2G) band 1900/PCS and UMTS (3G) band IV, primary bands used for PTel.

    One of my early phones was GSM (2G) 1900 and UMTS (3G) 2100, so a first question of mine was, "Why can't I download at 3G speeds?" It's not enough to have one frequency, as I explained in my reply to your post #9 at post #12. FDD uses paired bands. The 1700 band uses 2100, clarified as the AWS band so as not to confuse the 2100 band. The 2100 band uses 1900, clarified as the IMT band so as not to confuse the 1900 band. The 1900 band uses 1800, clarified as the PCS band so as not to confuse the 1800 band. The 1800 band uses 1700, clarified as the DCS band so as not to confuse the 1700 band, which is AWS.

    AFAICT, T-Mobile and MetroPCS are repurposing their PCS spectrum from GSM and CDMA to UMTS and repurposing their AWS spectrum from UMTS and CDMA to LTE. An old phone on MetroPCS may only have a shelf life of a few more years, but GSM 1900 and UMTS 1700 shall remain for the foreseeable future. Consider the T-Mobile myTouch Q (Huawei U8730) if you're worried, but don't mix that one up with the T-Mobile myTouch Q (LG C800).

    I believe I have zeroed in on the source of your confusion. I'm telling you about UMTS 1900/PCS/band II used in the States, you're telling me your phone is UMTS 1900/2100, instead of saying UMTS 2100/IMT/band I, which is not used here. As far as UMTS (3G) frequencies are concerned, your phone only has AWS band IV (1700/2100) and IMT band I (1900/2100), it does not, however, have PCS band II (1800/1900). But as for GSM (2G) frequencies, then yes, it does have the PCS 1900 band. So just as I could not use the IMT band's 2100 MHz frequency for 3G AWS, you also cannot use the IMT band's 1900 MHz frequency for 3G PCS, because UMTS-FDD uses paired bands.
    Last edited by kecel; 02-13-2013 at 08:15 PM.

  7. #22
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    I appreciate the detailed response. I am still digesting it. I had to print your response, and make notes on the printout ...

    In the meantime, I was looking at an HTC Desire Z, with these specs:

    2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
    3G Network HSDPA 900 / 2100
    HSDPA 850 / 1900


    So the 2G band of 1900 is there. This will work with PTEL, but at only 2G speed?

    This phone's specs does not list any UMTS.

    (Btw, is UMTS another way of saying WCMDA? Is that why UMTS is in parenthesis in the specs in post #26 - the mytouch 4G?)

    But now I see a new acronym, HSPDA, with four bands. This is listed as 3G on the phone. Would any of the 4 bands work on PTEL?

    ===========================================

    I also looked at the myTouchQ (Huawei U8730) that you mentioned, and it's specs are:

    2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
    3G Network HSDPA 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100


    This phone replaces the HSPDA with 1700 (where the Desire had 950 instead).

    Is this HSPDA spec the one that PTEL meant - when they said that 1700/2100 pairing was needed for 3G speeds?

  8. #23
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    I just re-read the info from the PTEL.COM website. It says:

    Important: Phones without the AWS 1700/2100 band will not work on PTEL Mobile's 3G/4G network due to band limitations. In order to connect with the 3G/4G network, a device needs to use both the AWS 1700/2100 bands (not just one or the other).

    I think where I am getting confused is that PTEL says it is switching to GSM. Then warns (above) that the AWS 1700/2100 bands are required (for 3G/4G). So I was looking for the phone's specs to include something like:
    GSM xxxx / xxxx / 1700 / 2100 <=== But I never saw this !!!

    Then when I read the mytouch 4G has:
    WCDMA (UMTS) 1700/1900/2100 <=== I thought this was like PTEL specifying AWS 1700/2100.

    I don't think I've seen any phone list AWS in their bands provided information! Which is why I was looking for GSM, followed by the 1700/2100 bands.

    Doesn't that make sense? Or have I lost my mind!

  9. #24
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    Ok, So lots more reading on wikipedia...and this is what I have collected, and know from PTEL's site

    PTEL is switching from Sprint (CDMA phones) to T-Mobile(GSM phones).

    PTEL says we need GSM phones. If we want 3G/4G, we need phones with AWS 1700/2100 frequencies - "Phones without the AWS 1700/2100 band will not work on PTEL Mobile's 3G/4G network"
    http://www.platinumtel.com/support/faq

    So trying to match that with what the phones specifications say they support is confusing.

    Here is why, IMHO ...

    AWS-1 or UMTS, band IV, is a wireless telecommunications spectrum band
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Wireless_Services

    Band IV (W-CDMA 1700 or Advanced Wireless Services(AWS)) in the United States (T-Mobile USA), Canada (WIND Mobile, Mobilicity, Vidéotron) and Chile (VTR Movil, Nextel Chile)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UMTS_frequency_bands


    Now, the UMTS frequency bands are radio frequencies used by third generation (3G) wireless Universal Mobile Telecommunications System networks, and include (among 25 other frequency bands) these that we care about for PTEL:

    BAND = II
    FREQUENCY BAND = 1900
    COMMON NAME = PCS
    FREQUENCIES UE TRANSMIT (MHz) = 1850–1910
    FREQUENCIES UE RECEIVE (MHz) = 1930–1990
    REGION = Americas (AT&T, T-Mobile, Bell Mobility, Telcel, Telus, Rogers, SaskTel, MTS Mobility), Chile (Entel), Venezuela (Movilnet, Movistar), Colombia (Tigo Colombia)

    AND

    BAND = IV
    FREQUENCY BAND = 1700
    COMMON NAME = AWS
    FREQUENCIES UE TRANSMIT (MHz) = 1710–1755
    FREQUENCIES UE RECEIVE (MHz) = 2110–2155
    REGION = USA (T-Mobile, Cincinnati Bell Wireless, Big River Broadband), Canada (WIND Mobile, Mobilicity, Videotron), Chile (VTR Globalcom, Nextel)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UMTS_frequency_bands

    So basically, GSM phones we can use on PTEL can be identified by phone specs that include any of these:
    GSM 1900, or
    AWS 1700/2100, or
    PCS 1900, or
    WCDMA 1700/2100, or
    UMTS 1700/2100, or
    WCDMA (UMTS) 1700/2100, or
    HSDPA 1700/2100, or
    who knows how many more flavors?
    Just somehow make sure that when it says UMTS 2100:
    - that it IS NOT the "BAND 1" UMTS 2100(which is for overseas usage only),
    - but rather that IT IS the "BAND IV" UMTS 2100 (which is for USA usage only)
    (which you may be able to determine if the phone says it is for USA usage, versus OVERSEAS usage !

    If I am not mistaken - It's just that simple ! ... Now I know why my head hurts

    FYI ... I did find this page on wikipedia, for devices that support AWS-1 or UMTS band IV(1700Mhz),
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_AWS_devices



    Oh, and then their is HSPA ... HSDPA ... HSPA+ which it sounds like are upgrades to UMTS networks"
    "High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) is an enhanced 3G (third generation) mobile telephony communications protocol in the High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) family, also dubbed 3.5G, 3G+ or turbo 3G, which allows networks based on Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) to have higher data transfer speeds and capacity. Current HSDPA deployments support down-link speeds of up to 42 Mbit/s. Further speed increases are available with HSPA+, which provides speeds of up to 337 Mbit/s with Release 11 of the 3GPP standards."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HSDPA


    If this is wrong...PLEASE CORRECT IT(ME)! Thanks!

    PS: (IMO...choosing a phone should not be this complex)
    Last edited by mnalep; 02-22-2013 at 12:55 AM.

  10. #25
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    Bell Desire Z is GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 and UMTS 850 / 1900 (bands II, V). T-Mobile G2 is GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 and UMTS 1700 / 2100 (bands I, IV). Huawei myTouch Q is GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 and UMTS 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 (bands I, II, IV, V).

    GSM and UMTS or WCDMA may refer to network. GPRS, EDGE, HSPA (HSDPA/HSUPA), and HSPA+ may refer to speed. If it has HSDPA speed then it has 3G network bands (UMTS, aka WCDMA), and if it mentions EDGE speed then it is safe to assume that it can use 2G network bands (GSM).

    UMTS or WCDMA 1700 is the AWS 1700/2100 band. The AWS 1700/2100 band is UMTS 1700 (band IV). UMTS 2100 is IMT 1900/2100 band or band I, PTel does not require this but you will see it a lot.

  11. #26
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    My head is spinning!!!! Great research and thanks for sharing. Just want to emphasize that if you do not have the tmobile refarmed 1900 band in your area, then non tmobile gsm phones that are not pentaband with the 1700/2100bands ( like at&t phones) will not pick up 3g. You will be stuck with 2g or edge speeds. You must be in the refarmed area for the 3g speeds.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by kecel View Post
    Bell Desire Z is GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 and UMTS 850 / 1900 (bands II, V).
    So the Bell Desire Z could work using GSM 1900, if I am in a "refarmed" area - but only 2G speed? But only overseas - since it is Band II, or will it work in USA?)

    I just looked again at the HTC desire Z, it lists being capable of:
    2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
    3G Network HSDPA 900 / 2100
    .................HSDPA 850 / 1900 - North America

    Does this mean it will get 3G speeds, as it says it is HSPDA, 1900?

    Quote Originally Posted by kecel View Post
    T-Mobile G2 is GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 and UMTS 1700 / 2100 (bands I, IV).
    So your saying the T-Mobile G2 could work using GSM 1900, if I am in a "refarmed" area - but only 2G speed?
    But it will also work on PTEL, at 3G speed, because it has UMTS 1700/2100? (Also because it is band IV flavor of 1700/2100, ie: the USA area, instead of band II which was for overseas only)

    Quote Originally Posted by kecel View Post
    Huawei myTouch Q is GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 and UMTS 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 (bands I, II, IV, V).
    So your saying the Huawei myTouch Q could work using GSM 1900, if I am in a "refarmed" area - but only 2G speed?
    But it will also work on PTEL, at 3G speed, because it has UMTS 1700/2100? (Also because it is band IV flavor of 1700/2100, ie: the USA area, instead of band II which was for overseas only)

    Quote Originally Posted by kecel View Post
    GSM and UMTS or WCDMA may refer to network. GPRS, EDGE, HSPA (HSDPA/HSUPA), and HSPA+ may refer to speed. If it has HSDPA speed then it has 3G network bands (UMTS, aka WCDMA), and if it mentions EDGE speed then it is safe to assume that it can use 2G network bands (GSM).
    So GPRS, EDGE, HSPA (HSDPA/HSUPA), and HSPA+ refer to speed ONLY - we still need to verify what bands are covered - in order to determine if the phone will work on PTEL?

    Quote Originally Posted by kecel View Post
    UMTS or WCDMA 1700 is the AWS 1700/2100 band. The AWS 1700/2100 band is UMTS 1700 (band IV). UMTS 2100 is IMT 1900/2100 band or band I, PTel does not require this but you will see it a lot.
    So, if I see a phone that lists in it's specs that it has either WCDMA 1700 (and does not mention 2100),
    like this:
    WCDMA 1700
    you are saying that phone still has both the 1700 and 2100 bands?

    Also, if I see a phone that lists in it's specs that it UMTS 1700 (but does not mention 2100),
    like this:
    UMTS 1700
    you are saying that phone still has both the 1700 and 2100 bands?
    Last edited by mnalep; 02-23-2013 at 06:24 PM.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sashusmom View Post
    My head is spinning!!!! Great research and thanks for sharing. Just want to emphasize that if you do not have the tmobile refarmed 1900 band in your area, then non tmobile gsm phones that are not pentaband with the 1700/2100bands ( like at&t phones) will not pick up 3g. You will be stuck with 2g or edge speeds. You must be in the refarmed area for the 3g speeds.
    Thanks for reminding me that the GMS 1900 works on PTEL only in a refarmed area (which I have been told I am in a 'refarmed' area, being that I am in Redford - a suburb of Detroit)

    What does pentaband mean?

  14. #29
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    I started looking at a Motorola Droid 2 Global:

    CDMA: 800, 1900 MHz
    GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
    UMTS: 850, 1900, 2100 MHz
    Data: HSDPA 10.2 Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s, UMTS, EDGE, EV-DO Rev.A


    But it would only give 2G speed on PTEL (being that it is GSM 1900). Is that correct?

    Now since this does not call itself a T-Mobile device, it would need to be 'unlocked' to work on PTEL?

    If a phone does not contain "'T-Mobile" as part of it's name (such as "T-Mobile G2" does) - does that automatically mean the phone must be unlocked?

  15. #30
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    Detroit is 2G/GSM 1900 and 3G/UMTS 1700/1900. North of there (Almont, Lapeer, Imlay City) is 2G/GSM 1900 only. And further north (Sandusky, Caro, Cass City) is roaming on T-Mobile service partner coverage, PTel has no service there. It seems to me that you would want a T-Mobile or unlocked phone to have GSM 1900 (or EDGE/2G 1900) and UMTS 1700/1900 (aka WCDMA/HSDPA 1700/1900).

    To restate the first answer to this thread, a T-Mobile phone (prepaid or postpaid) will work locked, it does not have to be unlocked. All other phones having compatible bands will either have to be sold unlocked or capable of being unlocked. As far as you're concerned, the Motorola Droid 2 Global, Droid Pro, XPRT, and Droid 3 are not capable of being unlocked.

    A quadband GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, pentaband UMTS 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 phone has GSM 1900 and UMTS 1700/1900 for PTel, GSM 850/1900 and UMTS 850/1900 for at&t MVNOs, and GSM 900/1800 and UMTS 900/2100 for international travel, sashusmom is covered virtually everywhere.

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