State of confusion: WP7 and carrier selection

Samsung Omnia 7On Monday (Tuesday here in Oz) Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer stood on a stage in New York to announce the arrival (almost) to consumers of Windows Phone 7. A few hours later in Sydney the Australian announcement was made.

One of the things that bugs me a little are carrier exclusives. This is one of the great thing about the iPhone here in Australia, it’s available from all the carriers. It’s not exclusive to one. I feel a little sorry for friends in the US who can only use their iPhone on AT&T’s over burdened network.

 

So on Tuesday in Sydney, Microsoft announced that six Windows Phone 7 phones will be available from three different carriers. Awesome! However the bummer is that each carrier has it’s exclusives, so if you want to get a Samsung Omnia 7 (pictured above), you can only get it from Optus. Furthermore, is the selection of phones to match each carriers’ slice of the 3G/UMTS spectrum. For instance: The Telstra Next-G network works at 2100 & 850MHz, but the first phone they’ll have out the gate is the HTC 7 Mozart which operates at 2100 & 900MHz.

For your assistance, after much trolling for details I have complied the table below to assist you in your selection of your new WP7 phone.

HTC 7 Mozart LG Optimus 7Q HTC HD7
(avail 2011)
LG Optimus 7 Samsung Omnia 7 HTC 7 Trophy
Carrier   Telstra Telstra Telstra Optus Optus Vodafone
  UMTS Freq (MHz) 2100
900
2100
1900
900
2100
900
2100
1900
850
2100
1900
900
2100
900
Telstra 2100
850

X

X

X

 

 

 
Optus 2100
900

 

 

 

X

XX

 
Vodafone 2100
900

 

 

 

 

 

XX

Firstly I would like to apologise for any errors I’ve made in the table above. If you’d like to correct me, point me in the right direction in the comments below.

What we learn from the table, is that Telstra and Optus should have swapped their LG products. We can also see clearly that the Samsung Omnia 7 and HTC 7 Trophy are probably going to give you the best carrier match.

What would be really nice is if the manufacturers released a true world-UMTS phone a with quad-band chipset to support 2100/1900/900/850MHz just like Apple have done with the iPhone 4.

So, what are your thoughts? Is WP7 enough to win you over? Comment below.

Update (17-Oct)

Since posting, I’ve become aware of a “official” Telstra postings that state that devices sold by Telstra will be Next-G dual-band compatible using 2100/850MHz radios (not 2100/900 as specified on the MS Australia or manufacturers websites).
Deets here:

Update (20-Oct)

Just one sleep to go until Telstra lift the covers off the HTC 7 Mozart and still there seems to be zero advertising or info on the Telstra Mobile website (the Optus and Vodafone sites are equally devoid of WP7 info, aside from press releases hidden in the media section). Couple that with the fact that MS Australia seem to be unaware that the specs on their site contradict what Telstra are saying and it only compounds the confusion. Of course what Microsoft should have done is specified that all WP7 phone be quad-band UMTS (along with all the other non-optional specs). This would mean that consumers would have real choice when it comes to handset and carriers selection.

On positive note mobiletechworld.com have published a very comprehensive table of all the WP7 phone due for release. It even indicates that the three phones that Telstra will be offering are fully Next-G compatible by being available as either 2100/900MHz or 2100/850MHz.

Check out the table here: http://www.mobiletechworld.com/2010/10/16/all-windows-phone-7-devices-hardware-specifications-in-one-place/


Resources:

 

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10 Responses to State of confusion: WP7 and carrier selection

  1. Scott Whitmore says:

    Richard Fink, Director Device Management & Operations for Telstra already confirmed Next G compatibility.

    “Hi everyone, there seems to be some uncertainty online about whether WP7 smartphones will run on Telstra’s Next G Network (probably due to the release of global spec sheets). Just to confirm that all Telstra Windows Phone 7 devices will run on the Telstra Next G network, on the 850Mhz band.”

    Windows Phone 7 – a new challenger arrives

    Like

    • Neil Nuttall says:

      Hi Scott,
      I think somebody’s fibbing (someone like Telstra I suspect).
      In relation to the HTC 7 Mozart both the Microsoft Australia website and HTC website state that it’s a 2100/900 device. Specs on the Telstra Business website (it doesn’t exist on the consumer site… yet) are very thin and don’t make any mention of what bands the phone uses. To further highlight my point that Telstra are not to be believed is that the Mozart comes with a xenon flash, where as Telstra say it has an LED flash.

      Like

      • Scott Whitmore says:

        Seems unlikely Telstra would release a phone that is unavailable on it’s own network. It’s far more likely that the spec sheets have been overlooked.

        I’d trust a source like Richard Fink to know what he is talking about. Wait and see on Thursday though.

        Like

      • Neil Nuttall says:

        Yes. All will be revealed on Thursday. Apparently staff started receiving internal training yesterday and I have someone trying to track down an official internal spec sheet. I’ll be front-and-centre at my local T[life] shop on Thursday to find out all the details first hand. Stay tuned.

        Like

    • Brental says:

      Hi Neil,
      The proof is there for you. 850mhz is not a common frequency (only other country is Canada I believe). It states 850mhz GSM – is that for regional areas? And the 2100 in Metro?

      Like

  2. […] has been a lot of confusion recently (see State of confusion: WP7 and carrier selection) about weather the HTC Mozart Windows Phone 7 coming to Telstra would support Next G frequencies. […]

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  3. James Boman says:

    Spot-On Neil – the carrier exclusive deals will prevent the majority of us getting the phone we want on the network we want.

    Lets face it – if you are going to really take advantage of WP7 you are a high data user, and if your a high data user then Telstra is the number one network NOT to use because of crazy pricing.

    (Coverage-wise its a different story if you live outside the metro area .. but to be honest if I go on holiday its better if 3g data on my phone doesn’t work 🙂

    Like

  4. […] has been some confusion (see here and here) recently as to weather the HTC Mozart was in fact going to support the NextG frequencies on the […]

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  5. […] And finally… 1. State of confusion: WP7 and carrier selection […]

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