International cell phone users will really benefit from using tri band cell phones. When you are purchasing this type of cell phone, you have to know what bands the phone uses to give you the best access. GSM cell phones use frequencies within four different frequency bands.
Originally the tri band cell phones in the United States operated on the 1900mhz band, but now the 850mhz band is also available. Unfortunately the newer band is not yet available in many rural areas. The advantages of using the 850mhz band include that it has better range and voice quality.
Which band you get when you purchase a tri band cell phone depends on the company that you deal with. AT&T owns most of the 850mhz bands, but the Cingular company has several as well. If you deal with other companies, then you only have access to the 1900mhz band. If you spend most of your time in major cities, you probably don’t even need to have this newer band.
The GSM band has been used in Europe for quite some time. If you do a lot of international travelling, you will benefit from using this band. At first, most of the countries in Europe used 900mhz band, but 1800mhz has been added because of the congestion experienced with 900mhz. These are the bands used in all countries outside of North America, but 1800mhz is not used as much.
The tri band cell phones include the international frequencies as well as the one of the local frequencies. However, many of these cell phones advertised in the US as having three frequency bands actually use the 1800mhz international frequency, which is the one used the least.
When you are buying a cell phone, you should ask for the unlocked feature. This lets you use any service provider wherever you are. You have to change the SIM cards, but you can only do this if your phone has this feature added.
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