Would a Koodo Samsung S4 work on an European carrier SIM?

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Hi, everyone.

I’m a Koodo customer that spends long periods in Spain and have a Spanish SIM (with Orange) that I put in my current unlock phone when I’m there and works perfectly.
Now I’m thinking about getting a new phone with Koodo: a Samsung S4. Looking at the specs of the different versions in here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samsung_Galaxy_S4#Model_variants I notice that the only differences between the version I would get with Koodo (SGH-I337M) and the version that I would get in Spain (GT-I9505) regarding the frequencies are two.

The first one is the band 1700 Mhz (Spanish) for 4G instead the 1800 Mhz (Spanish) and I assume that it means that voice, 3G, etc. will work ok but in some situations 4G won’t work. Am I right? If that is the case, it’s good enough for me.

The second difference, I don’t have any idea of how relevant it is. In the Spanish model (GT-I9505), regarding the 3G specs it indicates “UMTS / HSPA+” but in the Koodo version (SGH-I337M) says just “HSPA+” under the list of frequencies. Is this important? Does it mean I wouldn’t be able to use 3G with the Spanish carrier?

Thank you in advance for your help.
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Roberto Martin

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Posted 4 years ago

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rikkster, Mobile Master

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The only frequency that is missing on both the GT-I9505 (international version) and SGH-I337M (Koodo) is the 1700 MHz band. The only S4 I could find that includes the 1700 MHz band is the SGH-M919V, but it's not sold by Koodo. Both devices should be compatible. To be certain, call or write Orange to verify which S4 will work best on their network.

http://www.orange.es/

List of UMTS networks ( see Europe, Spain)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...

UMTS frequency bands

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UMTS_fre...
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Roberto Martin

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First of all. Thank you for your answer.
So I guess that the info in Wikipedia was wrong. I should have investigated more/better...
I went in Samsung’s web pages for each model (SGH-I337M - GT-I9505) and compared the tech specs. They are practically identical! Then, why are there two different models? Also, that means that the Koodo version is likely to work fine in Spain since is pretty much the same model that the Spanish carriers sell, right?
One more question, if it’s not too much to ask (and forgive me for my lack of knowledge in this field): Is the same UMTS and HSPA? Or HSPA includes UMTS but not the other way? I’ve been looking at other cell phones’ specs that I’ve considered (for example:
BlackBerry_Z10
) and the term “UMTS” appears in there, but it’s not mentioned in the Samsung S4 specs. Is this something relevant or it’s just a way to present information.
Thank you again.
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rikkster, Mobile Master

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You're welcome, Roberto. The only difference I can think of, is that the SGH-I337 (AT&T version) and the SGH-I337M are provisioned for North America only. The GT-I9505 being the international variant, can be used 'globally' or at least in Europe. Samsung Spain shows only the I9505 4G variant available, the I337 and I337M are nowhere to be found.

http://www.samsung.com/es/consumer/mo...

http://www.samsung.com/es/function/se...

http://www.samsung.com/es/function/se...

My money is on the I9505, I've read articles saying that both the SGH-I337M and SGH-I337 are not compatible with some 3G networks/carriers in Spain. Orange may be the exception to the rule. Orange España offers; GSM 900/1800 MHz (2G), UMTS 2.1Ghz (3G) HSDPA (3.5G) and LTE (4G) services.

Without getting too technical, UMTS which utilizes W-CDMA technology, is the most widely used standard for 3G mobile. In its infancy, limited bandwidth and the need for faster data transfer rates prompted mobile providers to upgrade the UMTS system. Telephony protocols were implemented to allow for greater speed, bandwidth and backward compatibility.

The mobile telephony protocol HSDPA, transmits data to the phone (downlink), while the mobile telephony protocol HSUPA, transmits data from the phone (uplink). Mobile service providers that support both protocols, (HSDPA/HSUPA) are considered to be an HSPA network. Basically, any HSPA capable phone will work with UMTS, but not the other way around.

Some manufacturers put a little more time and effort into explaining their devices' transmit and receive frequencies. Blackberry is one of them. I'm using the RFF91LW variant of the BB Z10 and there are a couple of differences from my device to the RFK121LW.

The first is that two UMTS frequency ranges are missing; UMTS/AWS 1710 to 1755 MHz and UMTS 2110 to 2155 MHz. The second is that the RFK121LW offers quad-band HSPA+ support, the RFF91LW offers tri-band HSPA+ support. If looking at the BB Z10 as an option, you're best to go with the RFK121LW, as this is a true pentaband (five band) device. Unfortunately that model isn't sold by Koodo.

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