Fido gsm/gprs network

Fido gsm/gprs network

Fido gsm/gprs network

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Af4987
I'm a Participant Level 1

Fido gsm/gprs network

Since Rogers is decomissioning their entire GSM/GPRS network by December 31, 2020, will Fido do the same as they're on the same network?

 

I really don't want to upgrade my phone.

Accepted Solution

Re: Fido gsm/gprs network

Solved by Senior MVP Senior MVP

Hello Jkparent,

 

  Welcome to the community!

 

  Unfortunately, once the 2G GSM network is officially decommissioned, all devices which are GSM-only will not work for calls and/or messages anymore. As mentioned above, it appeared that the GSM network was to be decommissioned in 2018. I suspect they delayed the shut-down because there were many devices which still needed that network. However, with more and more smartdevices requiring access to the internet, they need to refarm those bands/frequencies to the LTE network (Bell and Telus have already refarmed their 2G (CDMA) bands/frequencies).

 

  I understand not wanting to purchase a smartphone for a young child. There should be other child safety devices which operate on the '3G' or UMTS (WCDMA) available. You should note that LTE-only devices won't likely work for calling as they probably won't have access to voLTE.

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers

 

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11 REPLIES 11
n-sauve
I'm a Participant Level 3

Hello Cawtau,

 

I was about to buy a  LG V50 ThinQ 5G 128GB LM-V450PM GSM Unlocked 6.4" 6GB RAM Triple Camera Phone on Ebay to replace my 5+ year old Samsung smart phone, using my current Fido $30 a month cell plan (200 min tel, unlimited text mess, used mainly with Wifi for Web).   The ebay U.S. seller has two warnings:

 
1. This phone works withSprint and GSM network carriers around the world. Original carrier is Sprint but GSM unlocked for T-mobile, At&t and other carriers. (It does NOT work with CDMA carriers like Verizon, Boost..) 
 
2. This device will require APN and MMS Settings to be updated to any GSM carrier.  it is being used with other than Sprint. We will send you Instruction note on how to perform this task it is easy and takes 15 seconds to perform. This phone will not support Wi-Fi Calling with carriers such as T-Mobile. 

 

So I did a search on GSM network and found your comment:   

 

 ''once the 2G GSM network is officially decommissioned, all devices which are GSM-only will not work for calls and/or messages anymore''  

 

I understand the decommissioning is postponed til next year, but I don't want to buy a phone for 1 yr only.  So I called my local Fido booth rep who assures me there is absolutely no problem buying this ''GSM only'' phone, that the network will work fine... 

 

And I have no clue about the APN MMS warning...

 

What do YOU think?

 

Many thanks,

Nicole

 

Hello N-sauve,

 

  Welcome to the community!

 

  I don't think there is a satisfactory straightforward answer so I apologise if my reply is lengthy. Firstly, it should be noted that Rogers intends to decommission the 2G GSM network by the end of this year (see here). Now, it should also be mentioned that the decommissioning of the 2G network won't likely affect many of the newer smartphones. The GSM sunset really only affects legacy devices which only utilised that network. Most modern devices are capable of using the '3G' (WCDMA/UMTS) and LTE networks, providing they have compatible bands/frequencies. As far as I can tell, that version should have all of the compatible bands/frequencies (see here and here).

 


@n-sauve wrote:
 
1. This phone works withSprint and GSM network carriers around the world. Original carrier is Sprint but GSM unlocked for T-mobile, At&t and other carriers. (It does NOT work with CDMA carriers like Verizon, Boost..) ...

  With most modern devices, the GSM vs CDMA distinction isn't as relevant as with older devices -- with one notable exception. Both GSM and CDMA are really 2G technologies. The biggest difference between the two is that GSM phones use SIM cards to link a particular phone with its network, while CDMA phones don’t require a SIM card because the phone itself is linked to the network. That said, CDMA phones do require SIM cards to utilise '3G' and LTE networks. There are no longer any Canadian CDMA providers.

 

  For factory-unlocked devices (no branding), there isn't really that much difference between a GSM version or a CDMA version except for the additional CDMA frequencies. I understand that may be an oversimplification as different versions can also have slight hardware differences, however, for this purpose factory-unlocked GSM and CDMA versions can often be used interchangeably on different providers' '3G' and LTE networks with corresponding SIMs.

 

  However, there may be issues using branded CDMA phone versions on other providers' '3G' and LTE networks. As mentioned above, CDMA phones are directly linked to the network without the need for SIM cards. Many branded CDMA phones often have limitations placed on the devices for certain service or functions. For example, a Sprint device needs to be on their network for more than 50 days before it can be unlocked (see here). Even if a branded phone might be technically unlocked, some of those limitations can be troublesome. For example, you might not be able to update the phone's OS unless connected to the Sprint network or know the original owner's account number (see here).

 


@n-sauve wrote:..

 

2. This device will require APN and MMS Settings to be updated to any GSM carrier.  it is being used with other than Sprint. We will send you Instruction note on how to perform this task it is easy and takes 15 seconds to perform. This phone will not support Wi-Fi Calling with carriers such as T-Mobile...

  The Acess Point Name (APN) is the gateway between the provider and the internet. It often includes the MMS settings. Generally, those settings are included on the SIM card and automatically update the phone when the card is inserted into a phone. In some cases, the settings do need to be entered manually. If required, it is usually relatively simple to enter with GSM phones (see here). However, with branded CDMA phones, they might require a service code before the APN can be set-up.

LGV50.jpg

~taken from review section, here.

 

  I understand that the phone you found was on eBay and the seller said they would send instructions. However, you do risk the possibility they don't actually have the service code required to enter those settings.

 

  So, what do I think about that phone? The phone model itself seems to get good reviews. However, I personally would not opt for a branded CDMA device (ie Sprint, US Cellular, or Verizon) even if they are unlocked. They can be more trouble than they are worth. Another example of the hassle of branded CDMA devices can be found here. While that message is more nuisance than actually affecting functionality of the device, it illustrates the measures those providers are willing to use in order to prevent their devices to be used off their networks.

 

  In general, you should note that since the device is not from Fido, it's unlikely certain features (ie Wifi-calling and/or voLTE) will work. In addition, you should also note that Fido does not currently offer 5G service. Furthermore, I don't believe that version has compatible 5G bands/frequencies for Rogers' 5G service.

 

Hope this helps (and is not too confusing) 😀

 

Cheers

 


n-sauve
I'm a Participant Level 3

Hello Cawtau,

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer in such details.  I really appreciate your input and decided to stay away from that phone because of the APN code comment you found on Amazon.  I also decided I will pick a phone from Fido, just to make sure all features work...

 

Fido has pretty good deals right now on:

 

Google Pixel 4a 

Google Pixel 3a XL

Samsung Galaxy A51 (single SIM, not the dual SIM)

 

Which do you think would be best?

 

I don't want a dual SIM because I read ''Dual SIM phone have a significant double radiation effect''.

 

Thank you again for your precious help.

 

Kind regards,

Nicole

Hello again,

 

  Unfortunately, I might not be the best person to ask which of those devices are the best. I haven't really been keeping up with the differences between the phone models and I would hate to steer you wrong. In addition, I find smartphones can be such a personal choice. For myself, I like my Samsung devices, but my nephews won't go near them (they're iPhone fans). Even within the same android realm, people can have rather strong feelings toward or against certain device manufacturers. For some, it's less about a phone and more about other features a device may offer. My sister, for example, chose her phone based on the phone's camera specifications.

 

  I do think most newer phones would be able to do the basic functions well. At least, well enough. The choice between those devices would be personal preference. I would suggest searching online reviews to get a feel of what others might think after using those devices. I would also suggest trying to verify with Fido which of those devices are supported for Wifi-calling and voLTE (if you're interested) as I haven't found an updated list.

 

  With regards to the dual-SIM issue, I'm not quite sure I believe there is a double radiation effect. The science seems to suggest that the radiation produced from cellular phones is non-ionising and that "there is currently no consistent evidence that non-ionizing radiation increases cancer risk in humans. The only consistently recognized biological effect of radiofrequency radiation in humans is heating." as per National Cancer Institute (see here and here).

 

  Even if you do believe that non-ionising radiation is an issue, there wouldn't be a double effect because of dual SIMs. The radiation would be due to the phone's antennae. Most, if not all, dual-SIM phones available these days are dual-SIM dual-standby devices. That is, only one SIM is active at a time because those devices share the same mobile antenna. One could argue that dual-SIM dual-active devices could potentially double radiation because they had two separate mobile antennae. However, that argument would be moot since they are mostly legacy devices. I can't think of any manufacturer who is making them anymore due to cost and hardware real estate (need more space for additional antenna).

 

  That said, I don't think the Canadian version of the Samsung A51 is available as dual-SIM.

 

Sorry I couldn't provide you with an answer, but hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers

 


n-sauve
I'm a Participant Level 3

Hello Cawtau,

 

Thank you very much for your reply.  I really appreciate all of your input.  

 

Concerning the dual SIM card radiation, since I am scheduled for brain surgery in February, I won't take a chance... I'll go for a single card...  Would you know if some single cards radiate less than others? For example, nano cards (that's probably a stupid question...lol)?

 

If anyone else read this discussion and have an opinion or comments on those 3 choices, I would appreciate your input:

 

Fido has pretty good deals right now on:

 

Google Pixel 4a 

Google Pixel 3a XL

Samsung Galaxy A51 (single SIM, not the dual SIM)

 

Which do you think would be best?

 

Thank you,

Nicole

 

Hello again,

 

  Sorry to hear your condition requires brain surgery. I can understand the desire to minimise risks.

 


@n-sauve wrote:..  Would you know if some single cards radiate less than others? For example, nano cards (that's probably a stupid question...lol)?..

  There are no stupid questions! As alluded to previously, the radiation is not due to the SIM cards, so their size is not relevant. Cellular phones emit radiofrequency radiation (non-ionising) from the phone's antennae (see here). Different phone models would vary in the amount of radiation emitted due to placement of antenna, shielding around it, etc.

 

  The parameter used to measure the radiation emitted by cell phones is the specific absorption rate (SAR) given in units of Watts of power absorbed per kilogram of tissue (W/kg). The permissible upper limit for cell phones set by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is 1.6 W/kg of RF radiation (taken from here).

 

  Each phone model should list its specific absorption rate in their specifications. As far as I am aware, these are the SAR values for those models:

SAR.jpg

~taken from here.

 

  While some of the other specifications for those devices listed on that website might not correspond to Canadian versions of those devices, I think the SAR values should remain the same across the different variants.

 

@Community: Anyone have any recommendations on those devices?

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers

 

 


n-sauve
I'm a Participant Level 3

Hello again,

 

Thank you for your good words and for the additional info.

 

I settled for the Pixell.  Just got it now and so far, I love it.

 

Thank you again for all of your help.

 

Kind regards,

Nicole

Cawtau
Senior MVP

Hello Af4987,

 

  Welcome to the community!

 

  As mentioned above, Fido no longer operates a separate network. Since being acquired by Rogers (circa 2004), they now share their networks. Both Fido and Rogers customers can access and use all the towers of either network.

 

  So it's Fido/Rogers who's decommissioning the GSM network. I understand there are some customers who might still rely on that network. However, the majority of customers do not use GPRS anymore. It is simply too slow to be useful in today's high data society. To stay competitive with the other main providers, they need to re-farm the GSM frequencies to the LTE network as additional aggregation bands.

 

  Unfortunately, that means you will have to upgrade a GSM-only phone before they decommission the network entirely. Once the sunset occurs, there will no longer be any nationwide GSM provider. I recently upgraded my mother's phone because there were rumours the GSM sunset was to occur in 2018. If you are adverse to smartphones, there are some non-smartphones which would allow you to use the UMTS (WCDMA) network.

 

Hope this helps Smiley

 

Cheers


Jkparent
I'm a Participant Level 1

What will happen to child safety devices that use the GPRS service (ex Lil Tracker)? I don't want to buy my 4 year old a smartphone but was going to get her a gps watch with 2 way calling, for safety. Are they no longer functional after December?

Hello Jkparent,

 

  Welcome to the community!

 

  Unfortunately, once the 2G GSM network is officially decommissioned, all devices which are GSM-only will not work for calls and/or messages anymore. As mentioned above, it appeared that the GSM network was to be decommissioned in 2018. I suspect they delayed the shut-down because there were many devices which still needed that network. However, with more and more smartdevices requiring access to the internet, they need to refarm those bands/frequencies to the LTE network (Bell and Telus have already refarmed their 2G (CDMA) bands/frequencies).

 

  I understand not wanting to purchase a smartphone for a young child. There should be other child safety devices which operate on the '3G' or UMTS (WCDMA) available. You should note that LTE-only devices won't likely work for calling as they probably won't have access to voLTE.

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers

 


Paolo
I'm an Expert Level 2


@Af4987 wrote:

Since Rogers is decomissioning their entire GSM/GPRS network by December 31, 2020, will Fido do the same as they're on the same network?

 

I really don't want to upgrade my phone.


Hi Af4987,

 

Fido does not have their own Cellular network.  Fido is a cellphone brand that uses the Rogers Cellphone network which Rogers also happens to be Fido's parent company so what ever Rogers does, Fido is affected.  Since Rogers is decomissioning their GSM network, Fido will not be able to have access to this network once its decomissioned, but thats not a bad thing, they still have access to the 3G and 4G netoworks