My old-but-reliable Treo has finally given up. More accurately, the spotty built-in microphone finally seems to have given up for good – I can hear them but they can’t hear me.
After realizing how much I’m getting taken for at my current carrier, I got interested in Wind. Their plans seem nice. But their limited phone selection makes things difficult. So the quest began to find a phone I wanted that would operate on the Wind network.
(There is a sticky topic at Howardforums.com that deals with this same topic, but I found it to be a bit too complicated. This is the for-dummies version.)
1. Look carefully at the phone specs for the magic number: 1700 MHz.
Wind runs on 1700. No 1700, no Wind!
Yes, you will see many other numbers. You don’t need any of them.
Specifically, you don’t need 2100 MHz.
2. Look for one of the key words: UMTS, WDCMA, HSPA, HSDPA, HSUPA, or HSPA+.
For our purposes here:
UMTS = WCDMA = HSPA = HSDPA = HSUPA = HSPA+
This is all the same technology, and Wind uses it, so your phone needs it.
3. Look for the key words: GSM, 850 MHz and 1900 MHz.
Wind has a really limited network. If you want to use your phone outside of Wind zones, it also has to run on Rogers.
Rogers runs GSM on the 850/1900 MHz bands. You need both 850 and 1900 MHz.
Fortunately, this is very common. You will also see 850/900/1800/1900 a lot, which is fine.
4. OPTIONAL If you care about international roaming, there is one more step.
(I honestly can’t think why anyone who does a lot of international would sign up with the carrier with the world’s smallest network. But hey, it’s your money. And I suppose for occasional travel to Mexico it’s nice to have.)
Look for the key words: “quad-band”and the magic numbers: 850 and 900 and 1800 and 1900 MHz.
This means the phone will work in the majority of countries around the world.
Fortunately, this is very common. You will see 850/900/1800/1900 a lot, which is fine.
5. OPTIONAL: If you care about international roaming, and you use data, and you want the fastest data speeds (3G, not just 2G) there is one more step.
Now, listen! If you do 1 through 3 above, you will get both international voice and international data. Data will work at 2G speeds, and not 3G speeds, but it will work fine. So this is optional.
But if you WANT it:
Look for the magic number: 2100 MHz.
Overseas networks use 2100 MHz to run their 3G networks.
Now, listen! 2100 is not used for voice. You don’t need it for voice. You don’t need it for voice. You don’t need it for voice!
Also, 2100 is not required for data. You don’t need it for data. You don’t need it for data. You don’t need it for data.
2100 is used for faster data internationally. That’s all. It’s optional. Not required.
I ended up getting an Xperia X10i. Nice device, but with a couple of quirks - kind of like Wind itself. Subject for a future post.