Still only Nokia with pentaband phones...why?

Discussion in 'Mobile Devices and SoCs' started by Mize, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
    Moderator Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    5,048
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
    All these uber-cool Android phones and still only Nokia has both quadband gsm and pentaband umts.
    Why is this? Pentaband allows me to never check if the country I'm bound for will have coverage for my radio. Sure, with a couple unlocked phones I can cover it all, but that mean duplicating data.

    I see th Galaxy S 2 will have quad umts, but why not pentaband?
     
  2. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
    Moderator Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,023
    Likes Received:
    299
    Location:
    UK
    It's probably not economically viable to have five individual PAs (I'm not even 100% sure whether RF chips can output to that many individual PAs), and I'm only aware of two pentaband PA modules in the market:
    1) The Renesas one in the Nokia N8 & Friends
    2) The RFRD6460 PowerSmart from RFMD: http://www.rfmd.com/CS/Documents/BR_RFRD6460.pdf

    The first one is probably a custom product for Nokia, and while RFMD doesn't talk about it I wouldn't be surprised if the second one probably requires a specific RF architecture to work - or maybe it just doesn't work as advertised. Either way, if you're looking for pentaband phones, your best bet is anything based on the Infineon XMM6260 platform with the 40nm X-GOLD 626 baseband and, more importantly, the 65nm UE2 RF chip.

    UE2 is polar, so it can drive a true wideband PA (likely a two-chip module but those things are always multi-chip and often a lot more than two) with good efficiency. I'm pretty sure no other currently announced RF chips can do this though (they're not 100% polar) - I talked with people from another baseband company, and apparently most RF designers aren't convinced polar RF is the right long-term solution anyway (of course, since it's harder to design that might be a clever indirect way of saying they can't get it to work or don't want to risk it - or maybe it would just be higher cost RF-wise).

    There are other interesting solutions to drive a true wideband PA in the mid/long-term such as Nujira's (had a good chat with them at MWC11, gah @ the number of cool tidbits I have that I haven't talked about anywhere!) but for now, it's not too surprising (even if unfortunate) that most phones are 3 or more rarely 4 bands only.
     
  3. ToTTenTranz

    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,960
    Likes Received:
    4,553
    Because Nokia rules :)


    And\or because all the other manufacturers don't see the added cost of a pentaband phone as a benefit.

    But I just checked, both my Nokia N8 and my Motorola Defy have pentaband, so Nokia isn't the only one doing it.
     
  4. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
    Moderator Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    5,048
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
    Gsm arena is wrong then? Moto Defy? I will investigate! Is it Android?
     
  5. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
    Moderator Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    5,048
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
  6. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
    Moderator Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,023
    Likes Received:
    299
    Location:
    UK
    Motorola Defy doesn't have pentaband AFAIK, I'm very skeptical here but I suppose it's not strictly impossible that there is one SKU with it. Motorola is both a Renesas and RFMD customer (and other PA manufacturers could sell multiple separate PAs to get to five-band), but I've never seen any indication they had any pentaband phones available.
     
  7. ToTTenTranz

    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,960
    Likes Received:
    4,553
    Source.

    It's a very nice smartphone. It's quite small (same size as Wildfire, Optimus One, etc), has a big 3.7" WVGA IPS screen, an OMAP3630 that can be clocked up to 1200MHz even with undervolting, 512MB RAM, 1.3GB available storage for application, 1500mAh battery, it's water-resistant (I've won a bunch of coffees making bets with friends by putting it inside a glass of water while making a call), dust\shock proof..
    CyanogenMod 7 is being almost finalized right now for the model.
    Plus, the recently-manufactured phones have a new camera sensor (same as Droid 2) that allows 720p recording and higher quality photos.

    And it can be found quite cheap (~230€ unlocked).
    Out-of-the-box (with Motoblur, 800MHz, Android 2.1 on most models) it's not that good, but a little modding\tweaking and it turns into a real beast.
    It's the perfect sidewing for my N8 :D
     
  8. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
    Moderator Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,023
    Likes Received:
    299
    Location:
    UK
    Errr, okay, so the problem is you don't realise pentaband means five (5!) 3G bands, or you just had a small brainfart... :) Nokia is the only company shipping smartphones with five 3G bands today (850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100) AFAIK. I didn't know the DEFY could be found for only 230€ unlocked though, that's very nice.
     
  9. Lazy8s

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,100
    Likes Received:
    18
    In my daily job troubleshooting phones, I don't encounter malfunctioning software much on the Defy either, in addition to the hardware being built to be rugged.
     
  10. ToTTenTranz

    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,960
    Likes Received:
    4,553
    I thought he meant pentaband GSM, and the UMTS 1700MHz allowed automatic "downgrade" to GSM..
    Nonetheless, the phone can take and make calls pretty much anywhere in the world.

    But yeah, the N8 is cooler in that aspect (if I'm willing to blow my bank account to pieces with roaming data\video calls when I'm abroad).
     
  11. Arun

    Arun Unknown.
    Moderator Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,023
    Likes Received:
    299
    Location:
    UK
    I assume most people caring about extra 3G bands want to use local prepaid SIMs (see e.g. http://prepaid-wireless-internet-access.wetpaint.com/ and http://paygsimwithdata.wikia.com/wiki/Pay_as_you_go_sim_with_data_Wiki)

    If you do plenty of voice calls then it's probably well worth the bother to use a local prepaid voice+data SIM on your smartphone and your normal SIM on a basic 2G phone. Personally I'd be more inclined to have a local prepaid data-only SIM (since those are cheaper) on a dedicated data router (ala MiFi) and use Skype for local calls when the connection is good enough, or just have a data SIM on a 3G tablet if I had one. Unfortunately no data router or tablet is pentaband 3G afaik.
     
  12. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
    Moderator Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    5,048
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
    I use local prepaid wherever possible. That's why I only buy unlocked phones.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...