Reading What Rules

Apr 24, 2005 13:28 # 35474

andromacha *** wants to know...

GSM 800-1900 MHz

Today I found out something interesting that I didn't think was possible. This always according to what I read, because the empiric proof will happen this summer.

Basically, from what I have read, European GSM phones (the dual band ones) work at a frequency that could go from 800-850 to 1900 MHz. In the United States, a frequency that goes from 850 to 1800/1900 MHz is used.

What this should mean? Well, that my crappy Nokia 3310, which is a dual band phone and works on a frequency 850-1900 MHz shouldn't have coverage problems down there. This is of course the theory.

I also know that my provider, Vodafone Omnitel, has a partnership with AT&T and some other American cell phone providers. The prices are incredible to be perfectly honest. They would take me 2 darn Euros for me to call Italy from the United States, and 50 cents for an sms. But, but there is a but ;) The cool part is that I can still call my friends and have the cell phone ring once. I won't spend anything, but at the same time I won't have to renounce to my favorite pastime ;)

It is probably an Italian tradition, I don't know, but basically if you give a ring it just means "hi" or "I am thinking about you". Likewise, if you get an sms that asks for a yes/no reply, if you ring the one who sent you once, it means yes.
Anyway, I will still be able to send free message to Vodafone users from the Internet site, so they can sms me freely and I can reply them as well. Ain't it cool?

I just hope that all of this also passes the empiric test I am going to try this summer. My only wonder is... how the heck am I gonna charge the battery while I am there? What I read on my cell phone charger is the following:

Input: 230 V - 50 Hz/21 mA/4,8VA
Output: 3,7 V/355 mA/1,3 VA
Type: ACP -7E

Hawkeye's parents have Nokia cell phones as well, but I know from experience that not all Nokia have the same chargers. For example, my mom's is a nokia 3110 (I know I know.. was made in 1915) and we can't use the same chargers. However, Nokia 5110 charger is the same as Nokia 3310 one.

Anybody has a clue about what could I do? Maybe buy a converter?

Italy no longer accepts illegal immigrants. Mr. B sink their boats!!!!!!!

Apr 25, 2005 07:48 # 35491

null has all the information you need...

Re: GSM 800-1900 MHz

?% | 1

I'm afraid I'm gonna have to disappoint you, but I think you've been badly misinformed.

There are quite a few GSM 'variants', GSM 900, GSM 1800 (newer networks all over the world), and GSM 850/1900 (most US GSM networks). These names are obviously based on the frequency used.
For the sake of completeness, you can find a list of allocated GSM frequencies on the GSM website.

Current European phones are usually dual-band, which means they understand GSM 900 and GSM 1800, but not GSM 1900 or 850. A dual-band phone will hence be unable to connect to a US GSM network - after all, the GSM1900 frequencies have been chosen so that they won't interfere with GSM1800, which of course means the two have to use completely different frequency ranges.

As for battery charging, there are a quite a few possibilities. I'll list them for the sake of completeness, but if you're in a hurry you should only read the last paragraph.

Buy an electronic power supply - those will usually accept input voltages from 110-240V and any frequency, which means you can use them virtually anywhere in the world. If possible pick one with an European power plug which can be removed to reveal a US plug beneath. Otherwise you'll also need a US-->Euro plug adapter.

Buy a 110V-->230V transformer - these are small and somewhat heavy boxes that plug into any US power outlet and provide you with one (or several - the more expensive models) Euro plug. The downside is that the frequency isn't changed from 60Hz to 50Hz, which means that power supplies with regular (non-electronic) transformers may experience problems. (Complicated technical explanation on request)

Borrow one from your parents-in-law - a slightly higher voltage shouldn't hurt your phone. It means the phone to which the power supply belongs can quick-charge its batteries (and thus might be one of the more expensive ones).

Buy a 12V car power adapter - this might be the best solution, as it will work anywhere as long as suitable cigarette lighter plug is available.

Yet this still doesn't solve the problem that your phone isn't tri-band, so I suggest that you forget everything I've just told you, and just buy a Motorola Timeport or similar old tri-band phone online. You'll usually get them for €20 or 30, less money than a power supply with adapter, and way cheaper than a 110-230V transformer. Plus they usually come with a power supply that plugs into both European and US outlets.

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.

Apr 25, 2005 08:03 # 35492

andromacha *** replies...

Re: GSM 800-1900 MHz

way cheaper than a 110-230V transformer

That costs about 12 Euros here. At least I have seen it for that price. But I am not going to buy a crappy tri band phone :P I'll just wait to be rich enough to switch to 3, and get a wonderful UMTS phone ;) Or maybe I'll still do that with Vodafone.. who knows. If I keep having 100 free sms per day :P (only to Vodafone customers though :( )

Italy no longer accepts illegal immigrants. Mr. B sink their boats!!!!!!!

Apr 26, 2005 02:38 # 35537

ginsterbusch *** throws in his two cents...

Re: GSM 800-1900 MHz

Or maybe I'll still do that with Vodafone.. who knows. If I keep having 100 free sms per day :P (only to Vodafone customers though :(

But only same country, aint it? If not so, try sending me some :D
I've chosen Vodafone because of their net range - nearly always a good connection and GPRS available - compare that to T-Mobile (bah). ;)

cu, w0lf.

beards are cool. every villain has one!

This post was edited by ginsterbusch on Apr 26, 2005.

Apr 26, 2005 09:15 # 35543

andromacha *** has all the information you need...

Re: GSM 800-1900 MHz

But only same country, aint it? If not so, try sending me some

Well actually I don't know that to be honest. It says to all the Vodafone customers, so I assume that it should work also to other countries.

Basically it happened this: for my birthday (23rd of March) I got an e-mail by them saying that I could choose to activate one of their promotions for free. Among all those that were available, I picked Infinity SMS. Do you have something similar in Germany?

Jetzt in alle dt. Netze:
Bis zu 6 x 300 Frei-SMS!1

Schließen Sie jetzt bis zum 15.06.2005 einen Vodafone-Kundenvertrag in einem der Vodafone-MinutenPakete oder UMTS-SpezialPakete mit einem SMS-Paket ab. Und Sie bekommen Ihr SMS-Paket 6 Monate lang mit bis zu 300 SMS monatlich gratis!

* Sie sparen bis zu 150 Euro!

This is what I found that looks kind of similar to our Infinity plan. What I don't understand (because I don't think it says, and I don't know how Vodafone works there) is whether or not, activating this option will change your tarif plan. My option doesn't. It is something in addtion to the plan I chose.

Also

Vodafone-HappyAbend

Wochentags von 20 bis 8 Uhr fast zum Nulltarif telefonieren
Wochentags von 20 bis 8 Uhr fast zum Nulltarif telefonieren

Mit der Tarifoption Vodafone-HappyAbend telefonieren Sie unterwegs fast kostenlos:

* Bis zu 1000 Minuten telefonieren für nur 7,50 Euro extra im Monat1
* Montags bis Freitags von 20 bis 8 Uhr
* Ins deutsche Vodafone- und Festnetz
* Nach drei Monaten kündbar

This option seems similar to our night time tariff; only we do pay a little bit at night (much less than normal though), but we don't have a minute limit as you do.

I don't like having minute limits.. sounds too American :P And in America they really have horrid plans, made on purpose to steal money away from people. Like if you don't put at least 10 dollars per month in your phone, they will delete your number. Here the important thing is that I put at least 3 Euros every 11 months! Can you believe that?! It's not much at all. Of course I normally charge it more often, because I use the cell phone, but for one who uses it only to receive calls for instance or for emergency calls, it is almost free.

Also, do you have a place from the site where to send free sms to vodafone customers? In the Italian site we need to log in for that of course, and maybe you do too in the German site. I find that option kinda interesting, because I normally use it every now and again (especially when the Infinity SMS will expire). Plus it's what Hawkeye uses to send me sms on my cell phone :P Go Vodafone!

Anyway, to get back to your question, I just found out that the customers have to own an Italian Vodafone SIM card. Therefore it doesn't matter if they are abroad, what it matters is their cell phone number.
Also, what I can say is that whenever I send an sms to null (and I am sure that it's the same to Orchid as well) I pay 30 cents versus the normal 10 cents I pay for an sms I send in Italy (actually they are free now but that's what my plan implies).

I think it is good for you to have chosen Vodafone, because I know it's a serious company. I have been with them for hmm 7 years now. Before they were only Omnitel, and afterwards like 3 or 4 years ago they have been bought by Vodafone. The only thing that I find a little disturbing about this company is that there is that Australian gal - Megan Gale - who advertises for their services.

hp_mnp3.gif

I also know that their UMTS services aren't that great yet. Of course with the phone I have (Nokia 3310) I don't have to worry about it now, but still it is good to know whether a company has potential flaws in the coverage or in the structure. For this reason I was almost thinking to keep two phones: one Vodafone and one 3. But this is just a thought now.

Italy no longer accepts illegal immigrants. Mr. B sink their boats!!!!!!!

Apr 26, 2005 10:33 # 35546

null throws in his two cents...

Sms

?% | 1

I pay 30 cents versus the normal 10 cents I pay for an sms I send in Italy

Whoah, and I thought our rates were theft! (About 13 cents per SMS to anywhere)
Short messages et al are the phone companies' cash cows. Consider that one SMS usually costs them less than one Euro cent, which means they have margins of 1200%-2900%! Unfortunately prices won't go down until people start refusing to pay such extortionate prices, and considering the SMS production rate of an average adolescent, that will probably happen somewhere in the year 2999.

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.

Apr 26, 2005 11:21 # 35548

andromacha *** replies...

Re: Sms

Whoah, and I thought our rates were theft! (About 13 cents per SMS to anywhere)

Yeah, well I have noticed this increase in the cost only lately actually, so I am thinking that they just switched. Before it was always 10 cents to send you or Orchid an sms. Now it is supposedly 10 cents to everybody who has an Italian sim card (aside from the Vodafone customers, because I have the infinity sms stuff) and 30 cents to anywhere in the world. But yes, I would probably pay less if I called you everytime I want to sms you, because with my international card I pay only 3 cents per minute.

If I send sms from abroad, I pay 30 cents as well. But I suppose that this is only valid for Europe, since I noticed that it was 50 cents per sms from USA.

The truth is that it was much more convenient to have and use a cell phone 7 years ago. That's the big companies' plan: put low rates at first so that they get people used to it, and make it hard to be without a cell phone, and then they gradually raise the rates to such levels.

But don't worry, null, I am sure that things will change soon in Switzerland too ;) I think that the truth is that the American companies are assimilating us! I see that in Germany they start having these "minutes" plans, like in America... soon they'll tell us that to maintain the number ergo use the phone we'll have to pour in it at least 10 Euros every month. That will be the point in time when I say "screw it! I don't need a cell phone".

Italy no longer accepts illegal immigrants. Mr. B sink their boats!!!!!!!

Apr 26, 2005 14:15 # 35549

null has all the information you need...

Re: Sms

?% | 1

I see that in Germany they start having these "minutes" plans, like in America... soon they'll tell us that to maintain the number ergo use the phone we'll have to pour in it at least 10 Euros every month.

They're already doing this virtually everywhere - in almost any prepaid cell phone contract there'll be a clause that your credit will expire in so-and-so-many months. What's cool is that this practice has already been ruled unlawful in Austria, and other countries should soon follow with similar court rulings. I do know for sure that Switzerland has such laws. Telephone companies are notorious cheaters and will use any dirty trick to get hold of your money (at least as long as they think they won't get caught).

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.

Apr 26, 2005 16:35 # 35552

andromacha *** replies...

Re: Sms

They're already doing this virtually everywhere - in almost any prepaid cell phone contract there'll be a clause that your credit will expire in so-and-so-many months.

Really? It's not that way here in Italy. If it is prepaid, it's prepaid, and they can't justify getting that information in any way. When you subscribe a prepaid contract, then you don't need to fill in with those pieces of information. I have never used credit card numbers or things like that.

Also, a cool feature of Vodafone here in Italy is that if you finish the money on your phone, you can call a toll free number and they will give you 3 more euros that they will remove from your account the next time you charge it with money. Obviously it is something you can do only once before the next recharge.

Italy no longer accepts illegal immigrants. Mr. B sink their boats!!!!!!!


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