T1 Modem Variant Works in Librem 5

The blog post talks about two plus one BM modems. That first one is apparently not an option.
I updated the Promise Delivery Chart like this and hope it’s correct :slight_smile:

(5 baseband modems available:
3xBroadMobi (North America, Europe, AsiaPacific)
2x Gemalto Thales PLS-8 (US / EU))

Does anyone have the link to Thales modem bands handy? Could add them to the same list for comparison.

A separate idea: an automated web form, where you can input the bands used by your carrier and the output would be a modem recommendation! Or, a list of all the possible networks and countries to do the same. Or both, it there are several types inside a country (like border areas, where the neighbor might have better service.). Anyone know if such already exists or wants to make one?

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Found this (via Chronology --> Community Wiki, Modems)


Why would I chose PLS8-E over BM818-E1?
According to those brief specs this supports less bands and Kyle described, that default modem is best for selected region. So why would I do that?
As said before: I am non-techie.

I’ll refer you to @amosbatto’s FAQ answer on that topic. To put it bluntly: One has better coverage while the other is not made in China. Each may put value on those as they see fit (conversations on this should be made into it’s own topic thread, preferably - see: Chosing the right modem PLS8 vs BM818).


Thanks for the link and the brief explanation. No (I thought) I got it … and stumbled upon this.
So coverage of T1 is way more higher than E1. Except B20. So why not chosing T1 also for Europe?

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It may be because of the couple of bands difference or personal preference. I have no good answer. [edit to ephasize: that B20 is pretty central to EU users]
Btw. that list is good, had forgotten about it (it’s been only two years) - will add that link as the table is more readable.

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Not sure if it’s that simple since BroadMobi does not officially support VoLTE while Gemalto does (and some regions are planning to drop support for non-VoLTE calls). See the following thread.


I guess someone will need to get to the bottom of that. Without that info, the decision regarding modem would only be partially informed - but then I suppose that is the real world. :wink:


It’s not that simple though - because the bands used by your carrier vary by location within the country - so you would need to input the bands used by your carrier in the locations within your country that are relevant to you - and it is a fair bit of research to get to that point.

There maybe a bit of uncertainty about that still, unless you have found a definitive source (didn’t see one in the thread)? Their site does not give very detailed information, although omitting that seems a bit dubious (as VolTE is listed in other product). If memory servers, there was some talk that it was possibly an yet uncertified feature, maybe.

Why yes, it does indeed. Hence the automated lookup part of such a webpage. Although, I’m sure there are databases somewhere that could do this with just an address or coordinates (knowing which towers use which bands in what the locations). But as long as we don’t have access to those (do we?), we’d have to do this part manually.

@mladen Any idea if Gemalto and Broadmobi have been tested by any of you side by side? Any difference in usability, voice, data…? Or is that just not available yet (and when would it be)? Any idea about the ballpark what the price difference would be?

Exactly, it’s still uncertain which is why I brought it up.

But it makes more sense to think of it in the opposite way, unless it’s officially stated from BroadMobi/Purism that it IS supported I’ll assume that it’s not.

It’s still uncertain but the talk may have been at: Chosing the right modem PLS8 vs BM818 and follow the links.

Depends on which country - and whether the database (web site) is kept up to date.

Depends on which country - but if the data is there, I would expect it to be public i.e. where this is licensed spectrum, and a matter of public record.

The T1 have all band of the E1 except B20.
In France, providers use a lot the B20 band but also more and more the B28 one.
It’s a shame that no model is supporting the 2 bands…


Thank you very much for making this available! This is really great news! And congrats on the shipping announcement! :partying_face:


This is basically completely outside the control of Purism - but I would like to think that if and when a compatible global / world (all bands) module is released by either of the two suppliers, or any other supplier, then it too would be an available option - even if it were at a modest premium.

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Did you already check cellmapper.net? With this map you get more granularity in which areas (exactly: station) which bands are supported. This helped me a lot to figure out, that B20 is very important to me and therefore T1 is out of scope in my case even with higher overall band coverage.
It can potentially help you decide whether to go for T1 or E1, because you know that one band is more important to you than the otther (B20, B28).

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It’s clear that E1 is better than T1 in my case but there are more and more B28 antenna. I don’t know if it will be problematic or not in 2 or 3 years.

in 2 or 3 years if this ‘show’ keeps up there might be something better and because the modems are modular (basically a modem slapped onto an m2 card) they can be donated/sold to someone else without much fuss …