Modem for phone AU NZ South America


#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:

… 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?


#21

As I understand it, yes.


#22

Nice! Thank you very much!


#23

Just in case Purism monitors this thread I will also +1 for Australian concerns about the modems.

Taking the information from the modem frequencies section of the FAQ (puri.sm/faq/) and local carrier information from frequencycheck.com, it looks like the PLS8-E modem will work in Australia but have no coverage in the USA (assuming I am interpreting the documents correctly) and vice versa for the PLS8-US.

I do a reasonable amount of travel, sometimes to the USA, and even though the modems are swappable I don’t really like the idea of having to look after a spare modem while I travel and swapping a modem on my knee in an airport shuttle.

The lack of one modem with some chance of working in Australia, Europe, and the USA is a major disincentive for me.


#24

It seems like the more up-to-date thread on this would be

I would contact support@puri.sm and ask if they can offer to ship two modems. After all, they put a lot of effort into making the modem exchangeable.


#25

I posted the same question a little while back and did a good deal of research which the kind people here helped me with.

You can make your own mind up of course, but I’m in the wait and see crowd. There are a a couple of open source type phones about to hit such as e foundation and the pinephone who are now counting down. I am tempering my enthusiasm and will wait to see how all of these stack up. Like you, I am very keen for a Librem phone but the modem choices, from what we have now, may be problematic for people like me in the regions.

Just my two cents worth.


#26

I’m in the exactly same situation, and I am waiting for some news for a while now… I hope they’ll announce something soon about a modem that is compatible with the Australian frequencies


#27

Thanks, Dani @Caliga. That pointer was very helpful.


#28

Thanks @Brad. I followed the link from @Caliga to the other thread, and am grateful for the work you did and the responses you elicited. I will follow Caliga’s suggestion and contact Purism support to see what they have to say about selling/shipping multiple modems, and report results back to this thread.


#29

Wow! That was a quick response from Purism (5 - 10 minutes).
@Caliga @Brad @deedend

My question:

If I wanted to order one Librem 5 phone with both swappable modems
(PLS8-E and PLS8-US) is that something you would ship and roughly how
much more would that cost than the phone with one modem?

Purism’s answer (more or less what I was expecting)

We do intend to offer the possibility for a user to purchase several
modems, but at this moment we do not have any details about their cost.

My interpretation is that it shows intent to make it possible to buy multiple modems, but they haven’t worked out the details yet, so can’t publicly commit to anything concrete.

For anyone who has/will pre-order - my guess is that if both modem variants are available when pre-orders start to ship and you let them know that want a second modem, they will give you a mechanism to order the second modem and ship it in the same parcel as the handset (Purism ship internationally for free, so it’s to their advantage to combine both into one parcel).

Personally, like some of the other folks here, I will probably wait and see. This is about twice the price of my current phone. I support the philosophy behind Librem 5, but I would be pretty aggravated to pay twice the price and get less satisfactory performance than my current phone on my most common use cases.