Our online glossary is here to help you make sense of the terminology used in the cell phone industry. It covers mobile technologies, such as 3G and 4G, and even includes a bit of information on smartphone operating systems and the companies that make the cell phones and other mobile technology devices we all use.
Frequency bands are groupings of radio frequencies that are used by mobile networks to communicate with mobile phones. The frequency bands that a phone supports determine to a large degree where and on which networks it can be used. For example, T-Mobile USA uses the 1900MHz band for its GSM network, while AT&T uses both 1900MHz and the newer 850MHz frequency bands. Europe and most of the rest of the world use the 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands for GSM. So for a device to work properly on T-Mobile USA as well as work in Europe, it would need to support the 1900MHz band and one or both of the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands used in Europe. A tri-band device supports 3 different bands, while a quad-band device supports 4.
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