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FIRST HAND: The PPCW.Net i-Mate Phone Edition and Smartphone in N.-America
Posted by Arne Hess - on Tuesday, 18.11.03 - 15:57:35 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 6877x
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Many of you who are interested in buying one of the devices above from me sent me E-Mails in the past if either the one or the other can be used in North America and for sure it's a good question. Who want to spend 700 US$ just to figure out it isn't working.
So I used the opportunity, when I was in Canada over the weekend to check if my personal devices really works and I completely trusted in them and left any other triband handsets at home since both are claimed as triband! ;-)

As you will see on the screenshots below, both devices worked in the US and Canada and - that's the even better news - both devices supports full triband now. Before, with the PPCW.Net i-Mate Smartphone (same as the Orange SPV E100) you had to select the band you've wanted to use. So this was a little bit annoying because you had to change from the European GSM 900/1800 MHz configuration to the North American 1900 MHz band. Now both devices (while you have to keep in mind that the previous HTC Phone Edition wasn't a triband device at all) supports GSM 900, 1800, 1900 without changing the bands which makes the international use much more convenient! :-)

Here the network selection menu on the PPCW.Net Phone Edition: left on the Niagara Falls where you get the Canadian and US networks, right on Philadelphia Airport.

As you can see below my German O2 SIM connected with both Canadian GSM networks without any problems:

Same for the Smartphone: First on the Niagara Falls:

And connected with both Canadian GSM networks:

As you can see above it wasn't a problem at all (as expected btw) to use the new Window Mobile 2003 devices in the US and Canada and they worked as they do in Europe.

Cheers ~ Arne


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Posted by Marc Boudreau on 18.11.03 - 16:34:40

I agree, especially after attending the Windows Mobile User Group Tour stop in Toronto.  Rogers AT&T had the MPx200 running off its network even though its not yet available here.  Dale Coffing from ppc passion also had an XDA II  up and running smile

Posted by DubWireless on 18.11.03 - 17:51:24

I had the i-Mate Smartphone work perfecty on a trip to the US. Was able to roam on AT&T and Cingular (by Operator's US roaming partners) with no problems at all. And, of course, it works great in Europe where I am located.

As an aside - I wonder when the device manufacturers / Windows Mobile will start to support quad-band, the first quad band phone we have seen is going for release on an operator here soon from Motorola (not an MS Smartphone though - just a regular Moto handset).

Posted by Steve Joseph on 21.11.03 - 02:21:02

Is there a serious problem with the XDA II?  Click on the link below for the PPC PE newsgroup discussion:

Posted by Steve Joseph on 21.11.03 - 02:23:57

Sorry, look like the URL didn't post in its full form.  Go to the following newsgroup:


Then look for message string named: "Phone Edition 2003 showstopper BUG!"


Posted by Owen Taylor on 22.11.03 - 08:02:31

I really like the XDA II but wish it were quad-band... Rogers AT&T in Canada has deployed an 800mhz GSM network over top of their existing 1900mhz network and it is incredible. I get reception in places that I never use to. I am currently using a Nokia 3600 and the reception is so good that I just can not imagine going back to a phone that does not support 800/850mhz. I can even use this phone in elevators and not drop calls!

Posted by Steve Foster on 03.12.03 - 20:40:10

Be aware that the i-Mate or XDA II works with GPRS on T-Mobile US - But MMS messaging is deader than a doornail.

I know,  bought the phone, and was very surprised to see that it does not work.

Posted by Eric Purcell on 16.12.03 - 17:01:19

So is that a big disadvantage, not to have 800/850mhtz support built in? A colleague of mine appears to think so. He said "Looks good but one major downside, it doesn't have the GSM 850 band and that is what we need for better voice coverage on AT&T." - Is this correct? Will 1900mhtz 'catch up' with the 800/850mhtz coverage, or is their something special that the 800/850 spectrum has over the 1900mhtz spectrum, which allows it better voice coverage?

I want the phone (badly) but do I really need  quad band 850/900/1800/1900? AND, do any quad band devices with Windows Mobile 2003 for Smartphone exist today?



Posted by Arne Hess on 16.12.03 - 17:16:52

@Eric Purcell: No, it shouldn't be that big disadvantage at all. The 850 MHz band isn't that widely used like the 1900 MHz band but yes, the devices doesn't includes it.

If only the US would use 900 MHz as the rest of the world, everything would be fine but it has to be 850 MHz...

For sure, 1900 MHz devices can't work in the 850 MHz band and there is one good reason for such a low band GSM network (like we have with 900 MHz in the rest of the world): it's easier to build up a network! The coverage range of low band networks is wider and you need around 1/3 less base stations /antennas) for low band GSM networks. However, density and quality is better on high band GSM networks!

If you want to go for a quad-band cell phone, today's WM 2003 Smartphones are out of the scope! Non of them (available today) supports quad-band. Also keep in mind it's such a niche market (US only, even not Canada) that I'm not sure if we will see it that fast.

Anyway - my experiences with GSM 1900 devices (only) are good enough. Don't know if I had coverage with 850 devices where I hadn't coverage but in these areas I was I had most of the time coverage anyway...

Posted by ian on 24.07.04 - 09:05:29

what models from rogers at&t canada are tri-band??   850/1900 etc????

Posted by ian on 24.07.04 - 09:06:29

what phones are triband gsm?? make and model??? for canada gsm rogers?

Posted by Hi HI. on 07.12.05 - 10:58:44

Eten m500 is a Quad Band PPC, hopeing that it will work in canada.

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