Taking Fairphone 2 to USA

It’s a system and awareness test message, to be used in case of earthquakes, tornadoes, public safety alerts, etc. You shouldn’t need to worry about it.


2 posts were merged into an existing topic: No U.S. Fairphone?

I am a mobile phone novice. I am in the UK and visiting the US. Will my phone work there and do I have to do anything?

You will have to be careful if you are buying a local SIM card, but if you use your UK SIM card it will just connect to any compatible network by itself as European operators tend to have a multitude of roaming contracts with local operators. If your operator has a roaming contract with AT&T you should be able to use their 3G service, otherwise you will likely end up on a 2G network.


Thank you Albert, I’ve been in touch with my provider and I should be able to use my phone.

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Is there any update on when FairPhone will come to the USA?

Love this podcast btw: https://teamhuman.fm/episodes/ep-30-bas-van-abel-fingerprints-on-the-touchscreen/

Hi there!

My name is Nicole and I have been doing a lot of research into Fairphone over the past few weeks. I wish to get rid of my iPhone and switch over to a more ethical smartphone, and Fairphone seems like the perfect match.

I was wondering how many American Users of the Fairphone are out there? How has it been working for you in the U.S. and with a U.S. service?

I know that if I get the Fairphone I will not have 4G/LTE service (which I am okay with), but I just wanted to see how the Fairphone has been holding up for any American users!

It would be even more helpful if anyone has any experience with using the Fairphone with AT&T (that is the service I use).

I hope someone out there can give me some input and perspective, seeing as the majority of Fairphone users are European.

Thanks so much!
Please feel free to respond with any type of help or comments!


You can also have a look at this topic

I use the AT&T network, and it works fine. I confirm I don’t have 4g, though I pay for it…

There is something confusing me related to the 4G functionality in the US with FP2.
Most users state by their personal experience not having had 4G data connectivity independent of the network provider.

But then again…

Now, how is this?

On https://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-4988, you can see that T-Mobile calls HSPA+ a ‘4G’ technology. While it may be fast, technically it actually just a newer version of 3G and the FP2 supports it on the same frequency bands as 3G, which includes 1900MHz.

Edit: whether 1900MHz HSPA+ is offered nationwide, I don’t know. Apparently it is available in Boston, but the coverage map of T-Mobile only shows LTE coverage…


T-Mobile USA should be compatible, yes.

Wikipedia FP2 [1]

2G (GSM/GPRS/EDGE): 850/900/1,800/1,900 MHz
3G (UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+): 900/1,900/2,100 MHz
LTE: 800/1,800/2,600 MHz

GSMArena US [2]

2G capabilities GSM 850, GSM 1900
3G capabilities UMTS 850, UMTS 1900, UMTS 1700, UMTS 2100
4G capabilities LTE 700, LTE 800, LTE 1700, LTE 1900, LTE 2100, LTE WCS 2300 (30), LTE 2500

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairphone_2

[2] https://www.gsmarena.com/network-bands.php3?sCountry=United+States

But the problem is that the frequencies differ per provider. So you need to check the USA providers specifically.


Good find, it really is kind of complicated, you always learn something new …



I just got a HSPA+ connection myself (not because I’m in the States but because I’m in a place not reached by LTE) and can confirm the FP2 displays “3G” at the network icon when this happens.

Hi friends
We have 2 Fairphones, my wife and I, Booth Fairphone 2. We are leaving Norway in 14 days and we will be staying in California for 11 mounts. Will ouer phones be workng ok there?
Thanks if we can Get an answer.
Regards Stein

Previous users have indicated in this topic, that you need to be careful when getting a local SIM but roaming is working (with at most 3G). For local SIMs it seems most people recommend AT&T.


Hi. I have been using my Fairphone 2 in the US from Oct 2016 - July 2018 on At&t without problems.

Starting in July, I have not been able to get mobile data. The phone and texting (just text, not photos) still work, but I can’t get any apps or data/the ‘3G’ sign does not show up next to At&t. No one at At&t can help since they don’t support this phone (their answer: why don’t you just buy this iPhone? Me: :-/ )

I am in Boston.

I am thinking of switching to T Mobile, but before I go and get one of their Sim cards, has anyone used T Mobile successfully on a Fairphone 2 lately (since September 2018)? Or, has anyone used At&t successfully near Boston? If yes what settings do you have it on?

Many thanks in advance,

Once you arrive in the US, just go into the next shop right on the airport. They may not have the cheapest options compared to shops downtown (which you have to find first), but they should be knowledgeable about the needs of international travellers. Also, you could contact your local ISP about their international plans…

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Hello! I’m an Irish Fairphone 2 user and possibly will go to the USA this summer. I would use a US SIM. I’ve been doing a bit of reading to try and figure out if my phone will work, and thought it might be helpful to share what I’ve found. This is my summary of the situation as I understand it, building on what various people have said above and adding some of my own research.

Of the big US phone companies, Verizon and Sprint are not compatible at all with the FP2. AT&T and T-Mobile are somewhat compatible, but both of them will only have partial service.


2G: AT&T no longer have a 2G network.

3G: Will work in some places. In some areas, AT&T uses the frequency of 1900 MHz (also known as Band 2), and in other places uses 850 MHz (Band 5). 1900 / Band 2 is compatible with the Fairphone 2, 850 / Band 5 is not. Frustratingly, I can’t find a map anywhere that outlines which areas are which. I phoned AT&T technical support and the person on the phone said that the map they have access to doesn’t say which areas are which. There is this crowdsourced map, but if any of towers have since been changed, some of the information may be out of date.

4G: AT&T’s 4G bands are not compatible with the FP2.


2G: Will work in places covered by their 2G network. T-Mobile uses 1900 MHz, which is compatible with the Fairphone 2. Seems like there is coverage for most big cities, but by no means the whole country. Also, it sounds like the quality of the service is not fantastic.

3G: Will work in some places. In some areas, T-Mobile uses 1900 MHz (Band 2), and in other places uses 1700 / 2100 (Band 4). Band 2 (1900) is compatible with the FP2, Band 4 is not (a phone needs to be compatible with both 1700 and 2100 to use the band). In some places T-Mobile has no 3G coverage at all. Here is a map that allows you to check what bands are used where.

4G: T-Mobile’s 4G bands are not compatible with the FP2.

Other networks
There are lots of smaller “virtual” phone networks (eg CREDO Mobile, Mint Mobile), but most (all?) of them use the physical infrastructure of the big ones. The ones that run on Verizon or Sprint infrastructure presumably won’t work at all, and the ones that use AT&T or T-Mobile will have the same compatibility restrictions as if you were a direct customer.

If you’re roaming, the same physical frequency restrictions would apply, so I presume that whether your phone will work would depend on whether your home network has a roaming agreement with a compatible US network.

I suppose all of this explains why willmyphonework.net says “Device is compatible with some of the network carriers frequencies. It may work.”

I’m not an expert in this stuff, and this is also my first post in the forums, so I’m open to correction on anything here! Hope it’s helpful!


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