The Librem 5 in France, which modem?

Hi all,

Maybe another element differentiating between the 2 modems :
PSL8 : LTE Cat 3

  • Peak Rate Download : 102 Mbit/s
  • Peak Rate Upload : 51 Mbit/s

BM818 : LTE Cat 4

  • Peak Rate Download : 150 Mbit/s
  • Peak Rate Upload : 51 Mbit/s

~50% faster with BM818


Well, um, assuming that your mobile internet service can get anywhere near 100 Mbit/s in the first place.

Let’s assume that you want to own and use your Librem 5 for many years and in the course of those years your MNO is going to upgrade the 4G service to provider faster download speeds - and you are close enough to the tower to get those faster speeds.


also probably less-open and more energy consuming (i don’t know by how much though)
Orange is one of the leading carriers in my country. best lower-frequency coverage among all the competitors …

i’ve noticed that the cheapest plans often involve using the bigger competition frequencies together with some limitations … i always orient myself based on minimum and average coverage/speed not maximum since that is mostly metropolitan most of the time. if rural areas are not thoroughly supported then it’s crap …

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Thanks a lot for all this info, I first got aware of this when you wrote about it here and now my time has come to finally pick a modem, guess I’ll be picking E1 AND T1 as I’m on Free Mobile =)

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The date when I’ll receive the e-mail in not very closed for me.
As my mobile operator is Free too, I’m interrested in your feedback when you will have tested T1 on B28 (700MHz).

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that will depend on the carrier, orange for example requires band 28 which is in the T1 modem. Others work just fine with the E1 modem.

You can use this:

To check the bands your carrier in France uses. And then compare with this:

This thread is very useful, but it seems to contain contradicting information. Is the information on the Purism homepage up-to-date or not?

But honestly, I wasn’t expecting having to do this kind of research before buying a smartphone. My expectation is that such a device works with all the carriers in the country that it is sold to. I certainly don’t want to be limited in my choice of a carrier, which I will most probably not decide on before I have the phone in hand, and which I may also want to change in the course of time.

So is there a chance that we get an official recommendation which modem to use per country, or is it left to ourselves to take the risk not being able to use it anymore one day because we chose the wrong carrier?

They selected existing variants of modems that could work in the L5, and that could provide the most coverage for any given region (Europe, North America, Asia, etc.) and a wide assortment of carriers in those regions. (The T1 only became available fairly late in this process, by the way, so it now provides an additional option for those that need its set of frequencies.)

Not even “regular” smartphones come with every frequency that works on every carrier in a country.


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You can order a second modem separately, or order two modems at the time of getting the phone delivered, and change the modem when you need to.

It is apparently not recommended to change the modem routinely (e.g. every day or every month would be bad) however if you change carrier every few years, there should be no problem changing modem every few years.

I think everyone agrees that if you could just buy one modem that covered all 4G bands globally that would be simpler for everybody. The beauty of a user-replaceable modem is that if such a modem appears on the market in the future, you can buy it and install it.

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The E1 modem works well - including VoLTE :slight_smile: - with Réglo Mobile (a MVNO using SFR’s network).