iPhone7 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Australian Phone Bands

After the underwhelming iPhone 7 launch and the lack of dual SIM, I’m now well in the market for a dual SIM Android phone, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is currently in the lead – after the exploding battery recall is complete!

Before purchasing though, I thought I’d look at the mobile bands to make sure the dual SIM grey-market import is compatible with Australian carriers – particularly Vodafone and Telstra, which will be the carriers I’ll use (one SIM from each).

I googled “dual SIM Samsung Galaxy Note 7” and found a model ID #N930FD (“D” for “dual”), and found a great website that lists all the frequencies supported. Apple of course lists the details  for the iPhone 7 specs.

As for details of what’s used in Australia, the Mobile Network Guide was very handy in putting this together, as was the Whirlpool article on the Australian Mobile Networks.

Putting the Aussie frequencies in a table:

 Tech Band iPhone 7 Plus Galaxy Note 7 Carrier* Notes
2G 900 (E-GSM) Y Y (T), (O), (V) Telstra to shut down by end of 2016. Optus to shut down by April 2017. Optus and Vodafone have been refarming in regional and rural areas to 3G. Vodafone have as yet not announced shutdown plans.
Update – http://www.itnews.com.au/news/vodafone-to-kill-2g-network-438523 Vodaphone to exit 2G by 1st October 2017.
2G 1800 (DCS) Y Y retired Australian carriers have all refarmed to 4G on this band
3G B1 (2100) Y Y T, O, V Optus refarmed to 4G in some areas
3G B5 (850) Y Y T, (V) Telstra “NextG” rural coverage. Vodafone have deployed in predominantly metro areas but refarming to 4G
3G B8 (900 GSM) Y Y O, V Optus “YesG”. Predominantly used in rural areas, according to vodafone.
4G B1 (2100) Y Y T, O Telstra in a handful of sites. Optus in select areas such as Cairns, Darwin, Hobard and Sunshine Coast
4G B3 (1800 +) Y Y T, O, V All 3 carriers well established in this band. Ex-2G spectrum
4G B5 (850) Y Y V Vodafone in early stages of roll-out, as they phase out 3G 850MHz
4G B7 (2600) Y Y T, O Telstra and Optus in early stages of roll-out. TPG has spectrum. Oputs in selected regional centres and holiday towns, and busy areas in major cities
4G B8 (900) Y Y T Telstra in a handful of sites utilising spectrum previously used by 2G. They have since stopped extending the expansion of this band, instead focusing their efforts on the B28 700 APT band
4G B28 (700 APT) Y Y T, O Telstra and Optus in early stages of roll-out. Ex TV spectrum. Used in capital cities, and major regional and holiday destinations, with Telstra’s reach extending further in the bush. Good indoor use. Telstra call their rollout 4GX as they have twice the spectrum of optus
4G B40 (TD 2300) Y Y O Optus Plus (Vivid wireless spectrum). In big cities and select metro areas. Not in NBN fixed wireless areas
4G B42 N N O Optus, NBN (trials)

*Carrier: T = Telstra, O = Optus, V = Vodafone

The FrequencyCheck page on Australia is yet to list Telstra’s use of B8 (900).

Happy to see that the Samsung covers all the bands that I need. 🙂

Global Roaming

FrequencyCheck can do a comparison between the two phones. The only bands missing from the Samsung are as follows:
LTE B27 (800 SMR) – doesn’t seem to be used anywhere currently.
LTE B29 (700 de) –  doesn’t seem to be used anywhere currently.
LTE B30 (2300 WCS) – only used by a few carriers in the USA.

So in terms of global roaming – I don’t look to be at a disadvantage vs iPhone7.

Carrier Info

Telstra – with some extra info here

Optus

Vodafone – They say they only do 4G in metro, so for regional/rural areas you’d get 900 or 2100 MHz 3G or 900 MHz 2G only, although based on the coverage map, that info seems to be out of date. They do VoLTE which is nice.

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