No HSPA service?

Hi there,

I am currently in Edmonton/Alberta/Canada trying to set up my phone on Telus mobile. According to this forum:

the HSPA frequencies available are 850/1900 and should be covered by the FP1. The check of the IMEI on the Telus website approves the compatibility of my phone, 3G mode is activated on the SIM, according to Telus the region is covered.
However, I can’t find any network but Rogers 2G.

Am I missing something?

Cheers, Polly

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Hi Polly,

I’m sorry I have to disappoint you, but you will not be able to get a HSPA (or UMTS) data connection anywhere in North America with your FP1.

It does support the 850/900/1800/1900 MHz bands, but only for GSM/Edge data traffic, which can be painfully slow, and of course for voice calls. A HSPA/UMTS data connection requires an operator using the 900/2100 MHz frequency bands.

This is due to the fact that the FP1 was designed for the European market only.

See also

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Thank you very much for your answer.

I was wondering: The fairphone has obviously a receiver for the frequency bands 850/1900Mhz. However, it can only handle GSM on it.
Why is that? Is there so much hardware coding involved or is that a driver issue? Sounds like I could in general recieve the frequency - just not process it the right way.
Does anyone know the details of GSM / HSDPA / hardware of the recievers?

Cheers, Polly

As far as I know, but I’m pretty ignorant, in your case (and many others that travel from Europe to the Americas), it’s not the frequency but the data transfer protocol used by the network providers/carriers that is the issue - and the fact that the FP’s hardware doesn’t handle this protocol. So it’s not just a question of updating drivers, unfortunately.
The next FP generation will be able to handle HSPA (WCDMA) on the 1900MHz band which will work with some (though not all) providers in the Americas. It will also support LTE (4G) on frequencies that at least some American providers use.

I’m glad I found my answer in this older thread. I have been using my Fairphone 1 in the United States (Michigan) for a year or two now. My carrier is AT&T, and I believe I am on the 2G GSM EDGE network.

A few weeks ago (Feb 2016), I received the following text message:

AT&T Free Msg: Thank you for choosing AT&T! We appreciate your business. Due to planned network upgrades your device will no longer work on the AT&T network after December 2016. To avoid service disruption upgrade to a 3G or 4G LTE device as soon as possible. For more information visit

The link indicates they are discontinuing 2G service. With a little digging, I discovered they are focusing on HSPA+, 3G and 4G LTE. I also found the AT&T Mobility page on Wikipedia which specifies the network’s supported bands and protocols.

Well, thanks for the info! It looks like I will soon have a Wi-Fi-only Fairphone.

You could check on this page if there is another provider that would work with your FP1 (it’s on the list :slight_smile: ):

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Wow! Thank you so much @Irina_Spitznagel. I am pleased to see such a cool tool, doubly so with Fairphone included!!

It looks like T-Mobile may support FP1! There are lots of other small carriers, but I believe they just piggy-back on top of the big players’ infrastructure (AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.). So I would be hesitant to pick up a SIM card from a smaller carrier, because as I reported above, AT&T is upgrading their network and discontinuing support for 2G.

Thank you so much! Unfortunately I have heard T-Mobile has somewhat poor coverage in my area. Nonetheless I will look into it. Thanks!