08/22/2011, 09:40 PM
Double posting this information I used as a response to information in another thread. They were trying to base their decision whether it's worthwhile to get an EU Pre 3 here in the USA on a 2004 Cingular Wireless coverage map. It's relevent information for this thread too.
Here's a link to the current AT&T Coverage Map - The difference between 2004 and 2011 is huge.
Cell Phones, Cell Phone Plans, & Wireless Accessories - from AT&T
I'll also try to explain how to differentiate between 850 and 1900 on it so you get a better idea
Almost everywhere there is 850, there is 1900, but the services offered on each band are different. For instance HSPA+ is not offered on 1900 band and the 1900 band does not work efficiently in the hills or in congested areas with lots of buildings. Even if 850 and 1900 are present, devices with only a single 1900 band available for 3G data will not always function very well except for voice and sms services. It's more dependent on the geography than anything else these days.
*** For the next few months, "4G" as referred to in this coverage viewer means HSPA+ ***
*** Soon the addition of LTE will change the data snapshot pictured by this coverage viewer ***
Anywhere you see the color for 4G there is 850 MHz AND 1900 MHz service presently, with HSPA+ on 850 MHz. 3G and Edge data services share the rest of the 850 MHz after any 850 MHz HSPA+ capable handset connections . 3G devices are given next priority for connections on the 850 MHz band after HSPA+ capable devices and also share the 1900 MHz band with Edge data device connections in these areas.
Anywhere you see either of the two colors representing Mobile Broadband, DataConnect Pass, and Edge data, there's also 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands available. 3G now gets 850 MHz priority over Edge (Since the Fruitphone dropped calls fiasco). In these two colored bands, there's no HSPA+ capability yet. Our EU Pre'3s can only utilize the less robust 1900 MHz band so so hopefully there's no hills or buildings in these regions where you happen to be. Additionally, Edge data services are gradually getting pushed further into just the 1900 MHz band. Since our EU Pre 3's don't have 850 MHz available for 3G use, they will always defauilt to 1900 MHz here in the USA and only grab a 3G signal if theres any 1900 MHz available.
If you put two and two together, you figure out that besides the geographical limitations hindering 1900 MHz signals, since our EU Pre 3's can't take advantage of the 3G priority they'd receive if they were able to utilize the 3G space at 850 MHz, they'll sometimes find themselves duking it out with 2G Edge devices fighting for available channels on the ever increasingly crowded 1900 MHz band of spectrum.