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Thread: Need some help from someone who understands UMTS/WCDMA/etc

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    Need some help from someone who understands UMTS/WCDMA/etc

    I have in my hand an old Nokia feature phone that according to the manual "is approved for use on the GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900 and WCDMA 850, 1900, 2100 MHz networks". In the system settings it has a "Network mode" option that can be set to "UMTS", "GSM", or "Dual mode".

    What are the chances of this phone surviving AT&T's 2G sunset in a few days? If a phone supports UMTS/WCDMA, is it guaranteed to be able to route everything over that? Is there such a thing as a 3G phone that only does data over 3G but voice/txt over 2G?

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    It will work just fine on Dual or UMTS mode.
    Everything your phone supports (talk and text, maybe basic browsing) will continue to work everywhere you have/had 3G service.


    Galaxy S7 on AT&T's LTE Advanced Network

    Chicago, IL
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    What are the chances of a 3G phone surviving the 2G shutdown? 100%

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    OK, so just to be sure, there's no such thing as a phone that only does data over 3G and not voice? There are no other protocols/codecs/keys/etc that AT&T requires besides talking WCDMA over the right bands?

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    First of all, the technology is called UMTS. WCDMA is a misnomer and completely incorrect. UMTS is the proper term. Secondly, UMTS handles both data and voice. There is no such phone that uses one radio for voice and one for data. Everything goes thru one radio at a time. So there you go

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    Quote Originally Posted by WishIWasHer View Post
    First of all, the technology is called UMTS. WCDMA is a misnomer and completely incorrect. UMTS is the proper term. Secondly, UMTS handles both data and voice. There is no such phone that uses one radio for voice and one for data. Everything goes thru one radio at a time. So there you go
    WCDMA and UMTS are used interchangeably these days. It is not a misnomer, as even Samsung phones refer to UMTS/HSPA as WCDMA.

    Technically speaking, you're also incorrect about the second part. Both Verizon and Sprint had phones for a few years that had separate radios for 3G/4G. There has never been a GSM/UMTS/LTE phone with two radios, however.

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    I'm really not clear on a lot of this, but I was under the impression that UMTS was the overall specification, which allowed for three different "interfaces": WCDMA, TDCDMA, and TDSCDMA. WCDMA is what the US/Europe/Japan went with, while China picked TDSCDMA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by centum_calicate View Post
    I'm really not clear on a lot of this, but I was under the impression that UMTS was the overall specification, which allowed for three different "interfaces": WCDMA, TDCDMA, and TDSCDMA. WCDMA is what the US/Europe/Japan went with, while China picked TDSCDMA.
    Right. WCDMA is the modulation that UMTS uses, according to GusHerb94.

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    Where does "UTRA-FDD" and "UTRA-TDD" fit into this? I don't fully understand what those are.

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    My first dual-mode Nokia phone allowed switching between GSM and UMTS. That is what the Finns call it, thats what I am calling it. WCDMA sounds like CDMA which doesn't even use a SIM card. I like using phones with sim cards which is why I dont like xDMA technologies. TDMA, CDMA, WCDMA, et cetera. My first 3G phone called it UMTS, UMTS sounds better and doesn't convey Verizon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WishIWasHer View Post
    My first dual-mode Nokia phone allowed switching between GSM and UMTS. That is what the Finns call it, thats what I am calling it. WCDMA sounds like CDMA which doesn't even use a SIM card. I like using phones with sim cards which is why I dont like xDMA technologies. TDMA, CDMA, WCDMA, et cetera. My first 3G phone called it UMTS, UMTS sounds better and doesn't convey Verizon.
    But I thought WCDMA used more gigs than UMTS, or at least that's what I heard? So why would anyone want to use UMTS over WCDMA? Verizon's CDMA works better than UMTS anyway, so it would be more socially acceptable to reference WCDMA instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WishIWasHer View Post
    My first dual-mode Nokia phone allowed switching between GSM and UMTS. That is what the Finns call it, thats what I am calling it. WCDMA sounds like CDMA which doesn't even use a SIM card. I like using phones with sim cards which is why I dont like xDMA technologies. TDMA, CDMA, WCDMA, et cetera. My first 3G phone called it UMTS, UMTS sounds better and doesn't convey Verizon.
    CDMA, WCDMA, TDCDMA, and TDSCDMA are not identical technologies just because they contain the same letters. That's like saying you'll never be a homeowner because you don't like the word "meow". If you're using a UMTS device in America, then you're using WCDMA whether you like the way the name sounds or not. WCDMA is technology within UMTS, but not all UMTS devices can do WCDMA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by balleron24z View Post
    But I thought WCDMA used more gigs than UMTS, or at least that's what I heard? So why would anyone want to use UMTS over WCDMA?
    WCDMA is one of the three possible air-interfaces that the UMTS spec allows. I'm not sure who you were talking to or what they meant by 'gigs' in this context, but the W in WCDMA stands for 'wideband', and one of the criticisms of WCDMA is that it needs too large a spectrum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeuten View Post
    There has never been a GSM/UMTS/LTE phone with two radios, however.
    Getting back on track to my original question; I assumed that for simple cost reasons phone manufacturers would make a single radio that can talk both GSM and UMTS, so I'm not asking if the phone has two separate radios per se. Rather, if a phone supports WCDMA, is it guaranteed it can do everything through WCDMA? Remember that this is a feature phone which wasn't designed to browse the web while on a call, so I'm trying to figure out if there's a possibility that the phone might flip back and forth between GSM and UMTS modes depending on what you're doing and not actually support voice over 3G.
    Last edited by veriztd; 12-30-2016 at 03:47 PM.

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    When I put my rooted 4G LTE GSM phone in WCDMA-only mode, I am still able to make calls. Signal app report HSPA data network/UMTS voice network.

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