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  1. tpd15's Avatar
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       #1  
    Hi,

    My girlfriend recently got a Pixi in Germany (so GSM), and it is constantly sending out a staccato interference that gets picked up by (presumably badly shielded) nearby radios & their telephone (not sure if that's a corded or cordless landline).

    I have an AT&T Pre+ here in the US & it doesn't cause any such problems.

    I know what she means; I used to have an older LG phone that would occasionally cause certain radios to shout out a "buzz-bzz-zz-buzzz-zz-zz" kinda static when it polled the network.

    Unfortunately her Pixi is doing it constantly, she can't take it near the landline.

    Any ideas? Is her device faulty or typical of Pixis? Any cures?
    thanks,
    Toby.
  2. #2  
    GSM is the kicker. It's not a Pixi-specific issue but a GSM 2G issue. Whenever something comes in (sms or call), any nearby speakers will pick up that interference, as you said.

    But again - GSM is what does it. If your girlfriend forces 3G (i.e. UMTS), the interference issue should go away.

    <edit> then again... You say her phone does it constantly. Do you mean literally constantly? Because that would be weird. It should only do it when receiving/sending TXTs and phonecalls and such.
  3. #3  
    its a symptom of a weak signal from the base station. The phone has to transmit at full power to get heard and often has to re-transmit lost data. I bet her battery takes a kicking too.
  4. #4  
    i would add that the same thing happens for cdma but there signal is less impulsive in nature and doesn't break through on other equipment so much so you don't notice.
  5. #5  
    Weak signal? Really?

    I used to get that all the time (and still do whenever I'm using 2G - for example when I'm in my home WiFi network) but I literally live across the street from a tower, with direct and unbroken line-of-sight, and have flawless reception.
  6. #6  
    Hi there,

    I live in Israel and using AT&T Pixi+ and because it doesn't support the
    European 3G frequency i use 2G and this is what causing those interference,
    the only thing you can do to make it less annoying is to turn of the DATA USAGE.
  7. tpd15's Avatar
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       #7  
    Hi All,

    Thanks for the replies. She reports that the phone is causing interference maybe every minute or so. She has set her email to only check every hour, and it's still doing it. I'll have her try to shut off data usage next, per bero's suggestion.

    She doesn't get UMTS coverage where she lives, but gets EDGE / 2G (?), so perhaps that's why it's being so annoying. None of her previous (dumb, GSM) phones have done this, so it is either simply a smartphone thing, or specifically a Pixi thing.

    She can still send the phone back, but I think she really likes the Pixi, and does want a smartphone. It would be a pity to send it back, get some other brand of smartphone and then discover that the same problem was there...
    thanks,
    Toby.
  8. TimmyB's Avatar
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    #8  
    I have no idea what causes it, so I am assuming those above are correct. I am just posting this so you have another piece of data to work with. My Pixi (ATT, also) does the same thing when I set it within a foot of the speakers on my desk, but it is NOT constant. It just seems to be (as others suggested) when it is trying to make contact with the network. The only time I really have the phone on my desk is to sync music with iTunes, so it doesn't bug me that much, but it definitely happens.

    Good luck with finding your solution.
    tim
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by tpd15 View Post
    Hi,

    My girlfriend recently got a Pixi in Germany (so GSM), and it is constantly sending out a staccato interference that gets picked up by (presumably badly shielded) nearby radios & their telephone (not sure if that's a corded or cordless landline).

    I have an AT&T Pre+ here in the US & it doesn't cause any such problems.

    I know what she means; I used to have an older LG phone that would occasionally cause certain radios to shout out a "buzz-bzz-zz-buzzz-zz-zz" kinda static when it polled the network.

    Unfortunately her Pixi is doing it constantly, she can't take it near the landline.

    Any ideas? Is her device faulty or typical of Pixis? Any cures?
    I see that from every AT&T Smartphone. Is this any different? I believe that if you turn off the 3g radio it should stop doing that...
  10. TimmyB's Avatar
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    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Cantaffordit View Post
    I see that from every AT&T Smartphone. Is this any different? I believe that if you turn off the 3g radio it should stop doing that...
    But, our Centro's also did this. Those didn't have 3g radios, did they?
    tim
  11. ieko's Avatar
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    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by tpd15 View Post
    ...
    She doesn't get UMTS coverage where she lives, but gets EDGE / 2G (?), so perhaps that's why...
    3G won't make these sounds, only 2G. So the reason she is getting these noises s because she is out of the 3G coverage area. She is noticing it with the Pixi because it's her first smartphone, all smartphones will do this unless she has 3G coverage. Smartphones pull down lots of data, iPhone or Pixi, the noise level will be the same.

    By the way, Verizon and Sprint won't ever give you this noise (or any noise) because they use a different technology. So that may be an option.
  12. tpd15's Avatar
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       #12  
    OK, so the consensus is that it's the 2G that is causing it, and she does have poor reception in general, so the phone is probably trying hard to stay in contact with the network.

    So it would be true to say that she would experience this with any GSM smartphone in her location; it's not specifically a Pixi thing. (She lives in Germany so only has access to GSM.)
    thanks,
    Toby.
  13. TimmyB's Avatar
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    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by tpd15 View Post
    ...So it would be true to say that she would experience this with any GSM smartphone in her location; it's not specifically a Pixi thing.
    Come to think of it, we have seen this behavior in our cars, where my wife had to move her purse away from the speakers in the door of the car to get it to stop, and this was WAAAAAAAAAAY before we had smartphones! Definitely had GSM, though.
    tim
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by tpd15 View Post
    OK, so the consensus is that it's the 2G that is causing it, and she does have poor reception in general, so the phone is probably trying hard to stay in contact with the network.

    So it would be true to say that she would experience this with any GSM smartphone in her location; it's not specifically a Pixi thing. (She lives in Germany so only has access to GSM.)
    The consensus is that it's GSM, but I don't know about 2G/3G. I've never seen it with a non-smartphone, but that only means I haven't noticed it... that's over my head.

    But in the US, it's always associated with AT&T phones.
  15. ieko's Avatar
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    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by tpd15 View Post
    OK, so the consensus is that it's the 2G that is causing it, and she does have poor reception in general, so the phone is probably trying hard to stay in contact with the network.

    So it would be true to say that she would experience this with any GSM smartphone in her location; it's not specifically a Pixi thing. (She lives in Germany so only has access to GSM.)
    Yes as long as she does not have 3G coverage.

    Was the Pixi purchased in Europe? If it was purchased in North America then this can be an issue too.. By that I mean a North American Pixi will never pick up 3G in Europe, even if she had coverage due to the different frequencies in use.
  16. tpd15's Avatar
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       #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyB View Post
    Come to think of it, we have seen this behavior in our cars, where my wife had to move her purse away from the speakers in the door of the car to get it to stop, and this was WAAAAAAAAAAY before we had smartphones! Definitely had GSM, though.
    Sure, I had this with previous GSM dumb phones as well, but it would only do it "occasionally". That's the noise she's getting, just that she's noticing it much more often now.
    thanks,
    Toby.
  17. tpd15's Avatar
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       #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by ieko View Post
    Yes as long as she does not have 3G coverage.

    Was the Pixi purchased in Europe? If it was purchased in North America then this can be an issue too.. By that I mean a North American Pixi will never pick up 3G in Europe, even if she had coverage due to the different frequencies in use.
    Gotcha. Yeah, she bought it in Germany & has so far only used it there.

    So I guess a good test would be to have her shut off data usage in the phone preferences and see if it then just goes back to making interference just once in a while...

    Of course, she might also be able to go somewhere that has 3G coverage & see what happens then.
    thanks,
    Toby.
  18. #18  
    fyi, that noise is when the radio is polling for messags or being pinged by a server. When I carried a blackberry, that noise was usually followed by an incoming email.
  19. #19  
    living in germany and using gsm phones since ever i can tell you:

    i think the buzzing staccato is not an "interference" but its the raw signal of the phone itself (or its pulsing). it is normal that you hear those sometimes. but most of the times its due to the device that is catching and "playing" them being badly shielded. like a pc speaker pair or car audio systems especially when the wires are in loops somewhere under the seat etc. in my experience the effect is easily mutable when the phone is moved a few centimeters.

    i think if it is a so called d band (used to be t mobile / vodafone) it is on 900mhz which sends by about 2watts the effect can be really extreme. if it is using a so called e band (used to be eplus and o2) its sending on 1800mhz and by about 1watt which reduces the effect a lot.

    this is only 2g and the described bands might be different today and the carriers use them more mixed up. also you cannot really control which band the phone actually uses.

    3g does not apply to this particular effect.

    you can use the effect to see when the phone is actually sending data.

    so with an old gsm phone you would see it when it registers with the network or changes network cell or every here and then (like every 20 minutes sometimes?) when it sends a "still there" handshake. and when you do a phonecall. you would observe the effect 1 or 2 seconds before it rings when you receive a call.

    any new data enabled phone would produce it additionally whenever transferring data. a phone that holds a connection open without actually sending payload data will make a short buzz every here and then. this would be the case when doing push email or similar things.

    the worse is the network connection the more often the phone has to re negotiate things with the next station. and it becomes very very bad when it constantly switches stations because it is right in the middle.

    i think in the 1 1/2 years i own my pre i had the effect only ONE time putting it really close to a pc speaker. but i am on a carrier that mostly (historically) uses the e band. and i always only use 2g.

    so i your case i would suggest:

    a) your gilfriend is now on a network that uses d band mainly and before she was on e bands thats why she never heared it before AND there is a really bad condition (may be random or a broken shielding or a not-optimal wiring) of whatever catches the signal.

    or

    b) if she really hears it constantly and she hears that it is doing a lot (not only 2 little bzz sounds every here and then) all the time there really should be something wrong with the antenna or the chip that controls it. so if its disturbing her she should go and get a replacement phone and see if it gets better.

    i havent heared anything about that pres and or pixis are worse than other phones in this respect.
  20. #20  
    Has she got WiFi?

    That would largely solve her problem, save battery power and speed up her web browsing in one easy step.
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