Librem 5 Canada LTE support


#1

It seems neither modems (SIMCom 7100A or SIMCom 7100E) supports LTE B7 band used by most of the Canadian operators, will there be an option to choose another modem or global version?


#2

http://simcomm2m.com/En/module/detail.aspx?id=86

This (the 7100E) has B7 in the list :thinking: unless I’m not understanding…


#3

For NA, 7100A is the only choice, 7100E doesn’t cover all the bands required.


#4

I thought it was the recommended. Also, you said neither supported it. Which is not true.


#5

Canadian here. My question for myself now is: Will this be a device I can survive on using Wi-Fi only with (if LTE support won’t be all that compatible for us northern neighbours)?


#6

But… back to the matter:
Combining SIM7100A with Bands and Canadian Networks results in

             Bell Eastlink Freedom Ice Rogers SaskTel Telus Vidéotron
B2  1900 MHz  x                     x
B4  1700 MHz  x     x        x           x      x       x       x
B5   850 MHz                        x
B17  700 MHz  x     x        x           x              x

No match with: ABC, Tbaytel, Xplornet. (and B7 would only add Tbaytel).
Overall, doesn’t look too bad to me :sunglasses:
Admittedly, I have no clue how popular each provider is, and how good the coverage of each frequency is. But I would also assume that theses providers also have peering agreements? (So, if no Bell tower can be found, Eastlink is used or something like that)


#7

Bell, Rogers, and Telus are the 3 major providers here. My provider, Koodo, is a subsidiary of Telus so I think I will give them a call and see where that B4 coverage is since it looks like the common band for most of the above. That does bode well.

I used to work for Xplornet in fact, doing T1 tech support. They are an ISP only, and focused on rural area. They use LTE as their flagship service. A neat experience working for them.


#8

It seems we will have very little choice, if we choose to buy Librem 5. The following LTE bands are required to use cellphone in Canada without issues.(unless we decide to stick with one, which supports more Librem 5 band coverage).
B2 (1900 PCS)
B4 (1700/2100 AWS 1)
B5 (850)
B7 (2600)
B12 (700 ac)
B13 (700 c)
B17 (700 bc)
B29 (700 de)
B66 (1700/2100)

SIM7100A supports only four LTE bands from the list:
B2 (1900 PCS)
B4 (1700/2100 AWS 1)
B5 (850)
B17 (700 bc)

All the 3 major providers use B7 as one of the primary LTE band, in fact Bell is using just 2 bands B4 and B7, so Bell wouldn’t be a choice of network for Librem 5. Moreover, Bell had already switched to VoLTE so that’s another story, considering gray area around supporting VoLTE on Librem 5.


#9

I just noticed, Purism announced the possibility of other modems, back in October.
Just one tiny sentence, easily overlooked :wink:
I don’t think it changes much, the “worst” thing that could happen, is that PureOS has built-in support for four different modems :wink:
And one could try all of them…

Check my link above, it clearly lists B2 also, with sources.
But the real question is not how many bands are supported, but rather, do the three supported bands provide a good coverage. And that is likely the case.

@rmccarville, but what makes you think two (or three for Bell) supported bands ar not sufficient? There was a time when dual-band phones were state of the art. One reason why providers use more different frequencies is to support more devices.

I just had a look at some of the references in above mentioned Wikipedia article. In 2014 both Bell and Telus obtained the right to use B17 in most areas, covering 34 of 36 million people. It looks like all three (Bell, Rogers, Telus) have similar coverage in the B4 spectrum (50 to 60 areas each).


Modem for phone AU NZ South America
#10

Looking at my comment, I don’t think I implied they weren’t sufficient.

As you put, it would be responsible for me to do so:

I haven’t given them a shout yet, I’ll follow up when I make that happen. I came a bit late to the party in regards to the Librem 5, and am not a developer. I won’t have a phone in hand for a couple years, I’m guessing, so the urgency hasn’t been all that pressing.