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Network/Connectivity Living in North America, travelling to Europe frequently, concerned about locked bands on OnePlus 3T

  1. jozilla
    Cupcake Dec 20, 2016

    jozilla , Dec 20, 2016 :
    I ordered two OnePlus 3T devices for myself and my partner. We currently live in Canada, but we travel very frequently to Europe. We just found out that the OnePlus 3T has different LTE bands depending on the regional model. We are concerned about this, since we travel back and forth so much. Not having access to all the European and North American GSM LTE bands would be a dealbreaker for us. We were disappointed to see this because we like OnePlus, and we like the OnePlus 3T phone and made a conscious decision to get these over other flagship Android phones.

    It essentially means that I either get LTE in North America if I buy a North American model, or LTE in Europe if I buy a European one?

    Support says this is a hardware issue, but I find it odd that it's a hardware limitation, since phones with a similar chipset (SnapDragon 821) and modem (X12) like the Pixel XL are able to support all bands: https://madeby.google.com/phone/specs/

    I have read here and there that people have tried to unlock and use other bands? I'm not sure how reliable that works or if it's even possible. Would that mean voiding the warranty? What happens when you get an OTA update, do you have to do it all over again? Is it even possible to have the European LTE bands unlocked on a North American OnePlus 3T?

    Thanks!
     

    #1
  2. Bartnl
    Lollipop Dec 20, 2016

    Bartnl , Dec 20, 2016 :
    You can check if your phone will work:
    http://willmyphonework.net/

    You will always be able to make a call with 2G, but 3G and/or 4G might not work
     

    #2
    nateec72 likes this.
  3. jozilla
    Cupcake Dec 20, 2016

    jozilla , Dec 20, 2016 :
    I checked: essentially no 4G in countries like France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the UK, ... with the North American model. Only Band 7 "may" work.

    The region-specific LTE bands actually also makes the Dual SIM slot much less usable. While the website mentions: "The OnePlus 3T is carrier-unlocked and features wide band support for service providers across the globe, so you’ll never be tied down.", it seems "wide band support for service providers across the globe" is not really the case.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016

    #3
  4. Bartnl
    Lollipop Dec 21, 2016

    Bartnl , Dec 21, 2016 :
    True, but if you look at the specs sheet you would have seen that it has 3 versions with different bands.
    But with your US version, you will still have 3G with a local Euro sim (or your own provider), so still have internet acces on the go. And besides that, most of the public wifi is free in Europe.
     

    #4
  5. lottmedia
    Cupcake Dec 21, 2016

    lottmedia , Dec 21, 2016 :
    I'm in the same boat as the original poster.

    What type of performance should I expect? Solid 3G performance w/ 1-2 Mbit/s? Or 2G speeds in reality?
     

    #5
    jozilla likes this.
  6. jozilla
    Cupcake Dec 21, 2016

    jozilla , Dec 21, 2016 :
    I know (I'm from Belgium originally), but having free public wifi, while great, does not really help. In that case we could use an iPod touch without a SIM card too :)

    Hmm, that makes me wonder about speeds like @lottmedia. Any idea on what speeds will be supported? E.g., will it still be HSPA+ (so say around ~20 Mbps, max. 42 Mbps)? Or are those bands not compatible either, and will it only be standard 3G (1-2 Mbps)?

    The OnePlus specs say it supports WCDMA bands 1/2/4/5/8. I assume these WCDMA bands are equivalent to the HSPA+ frequencies 2100 /1900 / 1700 / 850 / 900 MHz? Proximus/Mobistar in Belgium use 900/2100 MHz bands for HSPA+, so does KPN in the Netherlands, and Vodafone in the Netherlands only supports 2100.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016

    #6
  7. Bartnl
    Lollipop Dec 21, 2016

    Bartnl , Dec 21, 2016 :
    Too tell you the truth I have no idea regarding bands etc.... when I go abroad I always check through "willmyphonework" which local prepaid simcard I have to get that supports my phone. And I don't care that much about the speed. It is just for a quick check of mails once a day if no wifi is available.

    Looking at the "willmyphonework" website, all Dutch carriers are using the 900 + 2100 Mhz for 2G and 3G.
    Which speed that offers I have no clue... sorry....
    If you want 4G/LTE the providers that might work is KPN, T-Mobile and Vodafone. They have stores all over the country, so you could pop in and try if it works.
     

    #7