Modem for phone AU NZ South America


#1

The proposed 7100A or E modems for the dev-kit are ok for USA and EU, but not for the rest of the world.

I have ordered the dev-kit and I live in Australia. These are our LTE frequencies:

http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/mobile_phone_frequencies

It looks like these modems would be suitable for Australia, New Zealand and South America, though only the 7500 states 3G support:

SIM7600SA-H:
http://simcomm2m.com/En/module/detail.aspx?id=181

SIM7600SA:
http://simcomm2m.com/En/module/detail.aspx?id=178

SIM7500SA:
http://simcomm2m.com/En/module/detail.aspx?id=163

I do very much hope that these bands will be offered in the final phone. There must be lots of backers, or potential backers, from these countries. I am with Telstra, and for me, the LTE B3 (1800MHz) and B28 (700MHz) bands are the most important.


#2

I don’t know anything about the choices on the market, the Purism hardware guys would know a lot more. Just doing a quick google, there are modems that are advertised as “global”, covering the frequencies in most countries. For example, Sierra Wireless:

https://www.sierrawireless.com/products-and-solutions/embedded-solutions/iot-modules/

https://www.sierrawireless.com/products-and-solutions/embedded-solutions/networking-modules/


#3

I am also Australian, and would like to ensure that the modem works here. The SIM7100E (European model) would come very close, but it looks like it would not support Vodaphone. 3G and 4G are both important - 4G is faster, but 3G covers more area in this huge country, but we no longer have 2G.

It would also be good to consider a global modem for users who travel overseas alot, and would like to use their librem 5 everwhere.


#4

I wonder if the Purism Librem 5 hardware developers monitor this forum? Perhaps I should have posted to the developer mail list?

As I have ordered the dev-kit, I can test an alternative “global” modem, with Aussie frequencies. I am an electronic engineer, retired, with considerable experience with embedded systems design, mostly coding in assembly language. Don’t know much in the communications area though, but would be interested in tackling any issues with getting an alternative modem working.

I would also be prepared to pay a bit more for a phone with suitable modem, as a “global” modem might be more expensive than the 7100 modems.


#5

At least part of the team is quite active here. If i’m not mistaken @nicole.faerber is involved in hardware decisions like the modem and quite active in the forum.
For more direct contact you could try the developer matrix room. Contact and contribution advise can be found in the documentation .


#6

I don’t really know much about mobile networks, but before I found this post I did some research to find out if either of the modems would work okay in Australia. If I understand correctly, it looks like the European modem would cover all of Vodafone and Optus UMTS and most of both their LTE bands but unfortunately missing the most common low LTE band, though I assume 4G will work fine in most places with these networks. Both the SIM7100A and SIM7100E modems are missing important bands for Telstra. The SIM7100A supports only the mandatory 850MHz B5 for UMTS and nothing else. The SIM7100E supports most of the other bands except the mandatory one. I decided to search the forums here to see if anyone had mentioned about compatibility with Telstra and found this post.

I personally would really like a phone that can also be used on other networks and overseas.

Same for me, I would be willing to pay a bit more and/or wait a bit longer if necessary for that to happen. I understand that it may not be possible within the constraints. For anyone who is wondering about it, there is a development post that talks about the limited choice of modems here.

https://puri.sm/posts/librem5-progress-report-5/

@BarryK, have you managed to get in contact with anyone from Purism?

Edit: I tried to make my post more clear. I was meaning that I assume Optus/Vodaphone will be fine, Telstra was my concern as with the OP.


#7

Same problem here in India too. E version doesn’t support all the needed frequency bands.

Needed in India 3G/4G:
B1 (2100), B8 (900 GSM), B3 (1800 +), B5 (850), B40 (TD 2300)

7100E provides these but except B5 (850).

7100A definitely not suitable for me either.

I suggest to include IN (INDIA) in post title too.


#8

Hi @lonewolf, I had a look at https://www.gsmarena.com/network-bands.php3?sCountry=India. According to that page the 850MHz Band 5 is only used for 4G, so you would have full coverage for 3G and all but the low band for 4G. That is the same situation as Optus/Vodaphone in Australia with the European modem. I don’t know about India but in Australia, 3G is the most common and important for coverage. It’s obviously not ideal to be missing any band, especially a low band (which apparently has greater range) but at least having all the other 4G bands and full 3G coverage it might be ok in your country?


#9

Thanks for responding. Even though 3G does work here but carriers are least concerned about 3G service. As they are increasing the availability and quality of 4G; 3G is being turned into shit. I have tried 3 carriers already, once i switch to 3G following things I notice:

  • Poor signal or no signal and less availability (It’s ironic to say that 4G may work in several certain areas where 3G won’t.)
  • High pings (over 25secs)
  • Takes noticeable time to reach dialtone on voicecall
  • Conjusted bandwidth (ping will be good like <100ms but as soon you open a website or download something it will go beyond 10ms)

3G used to work extremely well before the 4G race.

2G (2G works extremely well) and 4G (works extremely well than 3G) are only options I have.


#10

I finally had time to watch the interview with Nicole Faerber, which was really interesting. I didn’t realise that the modem will be removable. If that’s the case in the final phone, that would be amazing! Here’s a link to that part of the video.

https://youtu.be/KiItd6I3VHU?t=1074

So hopefully this issue can be resolved after the phone release if necessary. It also potentially extends the lifespan of the device which is great!


#11

Good work. +1 potential Aussie backer! (unsure what to make of anti-encryption laws… still, better than alternatives, obviously)


#12

Pretty sure about that. They’ll make use of it to custom-taylor the phones before shipping.
Also, note that there will likely be 4 different modems with driver support initially.


#13

Sorry, I saw your posts but I haven’t had much time to get on here lately.

Awesome :wink:

Thanks for mentioning that, I had no idea that was a thing.

Oh, that’s a good point.

I wasn’t aware of that, so thanks for pointing it out. Although, after checking out the specs sheet, unfortunately it looks like the PLS8-US and PLS8-E don’t offer any better compatibility in Australia than the SIMCom 7100A or 7100E. It’s good to know that they were still looking at other options so that they choose the best available modems for security, freedom and compatibility at the time of purchase.


#14

from the email they just sent out regarding the CPU and the delay, it seems like the PLS8 is finalised.

looks like @zero is right, none of the PLS8 configurations are any good for Australia.

It’s worth pointing out that the most important telco here is Telstra, and the vast majority of users are on their network or an MVNO that uses their network - I’m on Optus and the coverage just isn’t as good as friends on Telstra. Vodafone can effectively be ignored as they have almost no marketshare.


#15

The PLS8-E should be ok for Optus/Vodafone though right? I mean it’s not ideal missing the 4G low band but I think it’ll be fine for me.

Well I’m really hoping there will be a modem available in the future that will support all the needed bands. I still think it’s awesome that the modem can be swapped out though!


#16

Will it work in Brazil?


#17

I think it really depends on who you are with. And it is also more about coverage than whether it will work at all or not, as long as you have any mandatory bands covered.

You can check something like frequencycheck or have a look on your carrier’s website and maybe contact them about any mandatory frequencies/bands that are needed. It might be worth trying to find some coverage maps too if you can.

PLS8-E:
LTE (20,8,3,7,1); 3G (8,3,1); 2G Dual Band

PLS8-US:
LTE (17,5,4,2); 3G (5,4,2); 2G Quad Band

Those are the bands covered for the European and US modems. If I understand correctly, the dual band 2G for the PLS8-E would cover 900MHz and 1800MHz and the quad band for the PLS8-US would cover all the needed GSM frequencies. Sorry that’s not a yes or no, but I hope that helps a bit.


#18

Hello @zero ! Thanks for the tips.
I looked for more information about frequencies used in Brazil and pasted ahead. Would you please take a look and help me to find out if the L5 modem is able to work with these configurations?

Identfied UIT frequencies

  • Use in Brazil

450-470 MHz

  • 451-458 MHz / 461-468 MHz used along with 2,5GHz during 2012, not used anymore.

698-960 MHz

  • 700 MHz used for 4G
  • 850 MHz, old bands A e B used for GSM;
  • 900 MHz, extension bands used for GSM and 3G;

1.710-2.025 MHz and 2.110-2.200 MHz

  • 1700 e 1800 MHz, bands D, E and extension subfrequencies used for GSM, 3G and more recently 4G;
  • 1900 e 2100 MHZ generally used for 3G;

2.300-2.400 MHz

  • Regulator plans to use for 5G.

2.500-2.690 MHz

  • 2500 MHz used for 4G (LTE).

3.400-3.600 MHz

  • Regulator plans to use for 5G.

Information extracted from: http://www.teleco.com.br/areasc.asp


#19

Here you have the list of used frequencies in Brazil with their name, you can compare it with modems’ datasheet:

https://www.frequencycheck.com/countries/brazil?c_id=1114389


#20

Thank you @Torrone . Reading a bit further about the subject I found out that 4G frequencies used in BR are:

  • Band 7 (2600 MHz) – Carriers: Vivo, Claro, Tim and Oi
  • Band 3 (1800 MHz) – Carriers: Vivo, Claro, Tim and Oi
  • Band 28 (700 APT MHz) – Carriers: Vivo, Claro and Tim
    I also found out that “As well as in Brazil, the 700 MHz band is used for LTE in US. But Brazilian carriers use Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT), which makes US phones (bands 13) not compatible with Brazilian frequencies (band 28)” ( https://olhardigital.com.br/noticia/4g-entenda-quais-sao-as-bandas-usadas-no-brasil-e-as-diferencas-entre-elas/78802 )
    Now, comparing with datasheet above mentioned …

… these are the modem’s bands:

PLS8-E: LTE (20,8,3,7,1); 3G (8,3,1); 2G Dual Band
PLS8-US: LTE (17,5,4,2); 3G (5,4,2); 2G Quad Band
PLS8-J: LTE (1,3,19); 3G (1,19)
PLS8-X: LTE (13,17,5,4,2); 3G (5,4,2); 2G Quad Band
PLS8-V: LTE (13,4,2)
LTE (FDD 3GPP Release 9; 2x2 DL-MIMO
UMTS/HSPA (FDD) 3GPP Release 8; Rx diversity
GSM/GPRS/EDGE 3GPP Release 6; DARP/SAIC

My carrier is Oi, which works with bans 7 and 3 for 4G, so is it correct to conclude that PLS8-E would work for me?