Using the Nokia E61 on a 3G network in the United States?
March 10, 2009 3:01 PM   Subscribe

Is a Nokia E61 able to take advantage of any carrier's 3G network in the United States?

I am trying to decide whether or not to get an E61. I know that the E61 works with UMTS 2100, which is deployed in Europe and Asia. But didn't T-Mobile buy the 2.1 gigahertz band in the US at auction a few years ago? The comments in this Engadget Mobile thread seem to suggest that E61s might work on T-Mobile, but I can't find anything conclusive.

Does anyone have a definitive answer? Will I be able to enjoy 3G in the US with an E61? I plan on using it primarily in the DC area, if that makes any difference.
posted by roomwithaview to Technology (2 answers total)
Are you buying the Finnish version or the "other" version? I can speak on this with authority because I went through this a few months ago...I got it, it was awesome...and then 2 days later I got a jailbroken iphone. With the swedish version, the answer is "YES".

MeMail me if you have any questions about the it might get kinda boring.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:17 PM on March 10, 2009

I have an E61i, and I use it with TMobile, and no it doesn't do 3G.

You are correct in your assessment of the band plans. The 3G spectrum allocated to T-Mobile in the U.S. is not the same as the spectrum in Europe, and the radio in the E61i — at least in mine — doesn't speak it.

I don't know whether I'd have any success if I tried using AT&T, since they have a different chunk of spectrum, but I've never looked into it because I hate AT&T more than I love the idea of 3G.

Personally, I really like the E61. It has some quirks, and mine occasionally crashes and needs to be rebooted (mostly when I'm in my car, so it might be the fault of my TomTom, which does BT handfree), but overall I'm enjoying it and find EDGE fast enough for email, IM, and web browsing. You're not going to watch YouTube or listen to streaming music or do a lot of other multimedia stuff over it, but it's just fine for pushing narrowband stuff. (And YouTube does load if you let it go long enough.)

I think the newest generation of phones have radios in them that work on T-Mobile's new 3G allocation, but they are substantially more expensive than the E61i. My thought process was that for the premium I'd pay for one of those, I could buy an E61 now, live with EDGE for a year or two, and then get one that does 3G once all the early adopters are selling them off for the latest shiny gadget. So far this is working out nicely ... but I'm moving up from GPRS data, so it may be an easier transition than it would be for someone used to 3G.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:22 PM on March 10, 2009

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