When You Go Shopping For A 3G Phone

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Everyone wants a 3G phone these days. Okay, not everyone. I know a number of people who do not give a chicken leg for such things as 3G, 3.5G, et al.

If and when you do go shopping for a 3G phone, please be sure to note that some 3G phones will not work with our 3G networks here in Nigeria.

It really is simple: the Americans have their own 3G frequency bands – HSDPA 850 / 1900, different from what Europe and the rest of the world generally uses – HSDPA 2100 MHz.

The sad (and outrageous) part is that some importers bring in American-type 3G phones, the ones specified as HSDPA 850 / 1900. These will NOT work with our 3G networks.

The bunch of rogues or ignoramuses (depending on which category the erring retailer may fall under) who sell these devices will attempt to convince you that these specs mean nothing. Do not give in to them, or else you will find yourself stuck with a 3G phone that cannot connect to a 3G network here.

If you are not into a lot of technical jargon, let me help break it down for you.

If you forget anything else, remember this one – if it does not say HSDPA 2100, UMTS 2100 or WCDMA 2100 on the sales box, it isn’t for use here.

HSDPA, UMTS and WCDMA all refer to 3G-based services, so don’t let those acronyms throw you. Simply look out for the figure 2100.

Again, if the phone is not specified as 2100, it isn’t for use here. Repeat after me, “2100 is the number“. Yes; I feel like a primary school teacher.


  1. The information on 3g is the best I have come across in recent times. Apart from Nokia series are there no Chinese made phones that can browse on a 3g network? Some guys told me Chinese phones are just not good where 3g phones are concerned. Is this a fact or fallacy? If those guys are wrong, then which Chinese phones are the best for 3g browsing? I know I have to pay special attention to 2100 like you said but is that all?

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