Candace66
Level 2: Rookie

Will this phone work on Telstra network?

Good day,

 

Below are the specs for a low-end Samsung phone that was intended for the US market.  Will this unlocked phone work on the Telstra network with a Telstra prepaid SIM?   Will some services be missing?  Thx in advance!

Capture.JPG

 

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17 REPLIES
Level 22: Superhuman

Re: Will this phone work on Telstra network?

Because you do not state the LTE (4G) frequencies in MHz, and I am unable to find an official translation of the reference numbers you provide eg 2,4,5,12, I'm sure you would have 3G on Telstra.
You can certainly receive Telstra 3G on 850MHz, which in fact I have my Samsung S8+ set to, as it gives a stronger signal than 4G.

I would be surprised if you could not receive Telstra 4G LTE voice and basic data, but you may not receive 4GX the fastest data (700MHz)
You will need to state the actual 4G LTE frequencies of the phone, as you do not state the precise  model. In the USA, unlike Australia, they still use legacy systems and networks, and in some ways many of the networks are not the very latest technology as with Australia, eg Telstra.

If you want the fastest possible data speeds from Telstra, please check this Telstra link
https://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/mobiles-on-a-plan#!/filter/brand//os//features/is4gx/plan/s...

Hope that assists you, as I am limited by you not stating all the required information

If my advice has helped you, I would be most appreciative if you can click on the "Like" button. If my advice is a solution, please mark it. I'm not a Telstra employee.
50 + years exp. in radio comms., eg mobile phones since 1963, two-way radios, base stations, antennas & pagers. My motto: "Doing the right thing is never wrong".
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Will this phone work on Telstra network?

The LTE bands are the wrong ones for the Telstra network, so you will not get a 4G service.

The 3G should work.
Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
Candace66
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Will this phone work on Telstra network?

The phone is a Samsung Galaxy Express Prime (Samsung J320A), which was sold for use with AT&T's prepaid service:

https://www.att.com/devicehowto/tutorial.html#!/interactive/id/interactive_1500015270?make=Samsung&m...

 

As for bands/frequencies, I was able to find this on AT&T's site...I found charts in other places on the internet and they all agreed with this:

Capture.JPG

 

 

Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Will this phone work on Telstra network?

Telstra use LTE bands 28, 8, 3, 1, 7
Bands 28 and 3 make up the majority of those used at the moment so would be the ones to make sure to have.
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Candace66
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Will this phone work on Telstra network?

OK, so I compared the reported specs for my phone, and the information on OzTowers:  https://oztowers.com.au/Bands

 

It appears the only 4G frequency Telstra uses that my phone has is 700 Mhz (Telstra band 28).    According to that site (which looks a bit outdated), band 28 is on 60% of the sites.  But apparently I'm more likely to find "low band" coverage in rural areas (which is where I'll be most of the time).

 

However, I'm wondering why the band numbers are different?  Maybe somehow, 700 Mhz band 12 on my phone is NOT compatible with 700 Mhz band 28 on Telstra?!  Is there an issue with FDD vs TDD?  I've heard of them, but I haven't figured out if my phone supports both for LTE.

 

BTW, some people think I am silly to be concerned, that I can just go to Oz, put in a local SIM, and my phone will work perfectly!

Level 22: Superhuman

Re: Will this phone work on Telstra network?

Hello Candace
You can buy an unlocked phone here very inexpensively. If you buy one with a prepaid sim it will be even cheaper. Most supermarkets sell prepaid phones and sims and often phones by themselves as well.
If you're using your US. Sim here...and buy an unlocked phone...do be sure it uses the same sim size
I now understand you're still in the U.S.
Best wishes
If my advice has helped you, I would be most appreciative if you can click on the "Like" button. If my advice is a solution, please mark it. I'm not a Telstra employee.
50 + years exp. in radio comms., eg mobile phones since 1963, two-way radios, base stations, antennas & pagers. My motto: "Doing the right thing is never wrong".
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Will this phone work on Telstra network?

My understanding is that in the US the 700Mhz band is different from all other 700Mhz bands around the world. At least I remember that being the case with AT&T devices st the very least.
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Candace66
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Will this phone work on Telstra network?

"My understanding is that in the US the 700Mhz band is different from all other 700Mhz bands around the world. At least I remember that being the case with AT&T devices st the very least. "

 

In my research, I came across similar statements. 

 

So, looks like no 4G if I try to use this phone with a Telstra SIM.   If my 3G 850 Mhz is compatible with Telstra's 3G 850 Mhz, then I would have 3G at least in many or most areas.

 

So I would have calling and text, but how well (if at all) would I be able to use data? 

 

I'll be there for nearly two months, and I would like to share things and stay in touch with people via social media.

 

Perhaps I should just resign myself to buying a Telstra smart phone with prepaid SIM.  I just wish I could order one from Telstra and have it shipped to me here.  Then I could download apps and set up browser bookmarks, etc. using the WiFi here at home.

Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Will this phone work on Telstra network?

Telstra 3G is actually pretty solid as far as speed goes.

In most areas, the speeds are in my experience 10-20Mbps, but theoretical for Telstra's 'NextG' network is up to 42Mbps in some areas. We are in an urban fringe area here and if I force 3G on my phone it is sitting at 11.45 download and 3.06Mbps upload, we used to live in a regional town and if forced to 3G there it would sit at about 15Mbps constantly... I don't know if it has changed recently but it was the case that the average 4G speed in the US was only about 10Mbps as it was so honestly the Telstra Network on 3G is likely to feel consistent with that anyway. Their 4G is faster but the 3G experience is honestly solid.

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Candace66
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Will this phone work on Telstra network?

Interesting, thanks.

 

I've never bothered to measure 4G speeds with my phone here.  But if I have a reasonable signal, it is fast enough for my uses.

 

According to OzTowers, Telstra has 850 Mhz 3G on 96% of their towers.  So maybe I could get away with using my phone?

 

OTOH, I did find an Australian seller on ebay that will ship a Telstra 4GX Premium to the US. 

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/322798107075?ViewItem=&item=322798107075

 

They say the phone will be unlocked, but I'm not sure how they can do that with a brand new prepaid?   The providers here generally require a prepaid phone stay on their network for awhile before it can be unlocked.  Maybe Telstra, or Oz providers in general, don't have that policy?

 

Thanks to everyone who has helped. Smiley Happy

Highlighted
Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Will this phone work on Telstra network?

@Candace66

Typically speaking, there is no time constraint on how long a phone needs to be activated on a Network before it can be unlocked.
The only affect this has on unlocking the phone, is the cost to do so.

For example, on this link it states:

  • Telstra Pre-Paid mobiles (including iPhone) and mobile broadband devices are locked for use only on Telstra's network. There is a fee to have your Pre-Paid mobile phone unlocked.

    -       $80 for devices activated for 6 months or less, or never activated; and

    -       $25 for devices activated for more than 6 months up to 2 years.

    There is no unlocking fee after that.

I can tell you that these phones are usually locked to our network as they are "branded prepaid phones".

 

If you are purchasing an "unlocked" phone, I'd suggest getting proof that these fees have been paid - otherwise, you'd be looking at an additional cost to arrange this from us per the above link.
In this case, I'd recommend contacting the seller for more information.

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Candace66
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Will this phone work on Telstra network?

!!! Oh wow, thank you for that information! I never considered there might be an extra cost. With AT&T you have to use it on the network awhile before unlocking, but there is no charge to unlock.

I wager the seller is not going to disclose that information in the listing, so I will ask and see what answer I get. Smiley Wink
Candace66
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Will this phone work on Telstra network?

So I asked who had to pay the unlock fee...they responded, but didn't exactly answer the question, LOL:

 

Capture.JPG

I plan to use a Telstra prepaid SIM in it, so really no point in them unlocking it anyway!  But they seem to only sell unlocked phones.  Anyway, this is looking a little shady to me.

Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: Will this phone work on Telstra network?

@Candace66

Seems a little strange to me, although, if you're intending to use a Telstra SIM anyway, there's no real risk involved with using the phone on our Network.

To clarify one of your previous points too: I'd imagine that AT&T get around charging for unlocks because of the need to use the phone for a set amount of time before it can be unlocked.

We have a similar rule, however early unlocks can be arranged for a fee.

i hope that helps.

Safe Travels Smiley Happy

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Candace66
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Will this phone work on Telstra network?

UPDATE: I've now been in Oz for a few days. My first stop was in Brisbane so I went to the Telstra shop in the CBD. They put in a SIM in my phone and set up a plan. And so far, it has been working much better than I ever hoped for!

Also, I do in fact have 4G LTE service, so maybe the 700 Mhz is the same after all?

My Wifi hotspot (AKA mobile tethering) still works too, which is great. I'm on my laptop typing this now, connected to the internet via my phone using Telstra in Alice Springs.
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Will this phone work on Telstra network?

That is interesting. Unless the phone had other capacity that they just don’t list as it isn’t relvent for their service it shouldn’t have work on LTE. Only 3G/NextG. But it is awesome that it is.
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Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Will this phone work on Telstra network?

Just had a bit deeper dig on the model after realising you had posted it earlier. It is listed as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12... the 2,4,5,12 being the bands they list are Indeed the ones of the full list that they themself use on their network. So chances are you are using 3 with 1 & 7 as backup.

At least that is the listing from Samsung and GSMAr for the device so generally it is pretty good if both match that.
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