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Don't know what cellular frequencies are used in your country?

Italy Spain France Australia

Italy



Mobile communications in Italy are rather advance and developing really fast. They even say that it is impossible to find an Italian without a cell phone, they seem to be born with them. There is one special thing you should know, if we are talking about mobile communications in Italy is that Italians often send each other so called telephone greetings - “squillo”. It is a call that lasts one dial tone signal. The one who receives such a call won't physically be able to answer the call, but he or she will know, that some of his or her relatives or friends thinks about them. In other occasions, such a squillo call may be use as the call back request.






Well, mobile communications in Italy are presented with three major standards, they are: GSM, 3G and 4G. GSM works with 900/1800 MHz frequency and that is universal frequency for all European countries. Also, that frequency may be used for cell tower triangulation, so if you are going to Italy and would like to block mobile phones – make sure that your GSM jammer supports 900/1800 MHz frequency, otherwise it won't simply work there.






3G is based on HSPA+ standard, uses 2100 MHz frequency and provides really good data transferring speeds, although, it may work slower in densely populated areas and big cities. 4G works with LTE standard, the frequencies here are the same as in USA, 785 MHz. But we have to mention that fourth generation is not so well developed in Italy, major providers have just recently started building 4G networks. Also we should mention that mobile Internet there is rather cheap, so it will be wise to get a local SIM card.



3G is available at all major cities and the data transferring speed is at least 7,2 Mbit/sec., which is quite well. In smaller cities speeds may drop as well, but the network quality is enough for comfortable web surfing and using various VoIP services, such as Skype. As, we've already said, the prices, are rather low, it may vary between 2 Euro per hour and 150 Euro for an unlimited access. The most convenient thing here that you do not pay for the traffic, just for the time you've spent on the web.






Now, Italy has a couple of big, standalone mobile carriers. The most popular are Vodafone, Wind, Tim and Tre. The prices are not really different, as well as the coverage. So people prefer to chose carriers with best service. There are also lots of virtual carriers, that simply use the networks and equipment of the bigger companies.






All the carriers are using standard mobile protocols, except Tre. That provider works better with VoIP services and an ordinary smartphone won't be able to work in their network. You will have to buy a special mobile device to work with them.






In order to connect any mobile carrier, you will have to get to one of their offices and sing up a contract. You'll need any paper, that is able to approve your identity, such as passport, driver's license, etc and a special “Codice Fiscale” that's your tax number and it is not required for tourists.






So, as you can see mobile communications in Italy are rather well advanced. So, if you'll be in Italy, your mobile phone jammer will work and you will be able to block communications and all those “squillos” you will surely receive!


Spain



Mobile communications in Spain was first presented in 1976 and began with the so called automobile radio phone, which was developed and supported by Telefónica company. We should admit that the market of mobile communications was created by that company and all its features are the result of Telefónica's activity. It was a monopolist until 1994 and the only telecommunications company on the market.





That company was founded in 1924 and still holds the top position on the market. Its share in the telecom market is 75%. If to consider mobile communications, its market share is 41%. Nowadays, Telefónica provides cell phone service and communications under the Movistar trademark. In 1995, a company named Airtel-Vodafone has entered Spanish mobile communications market and in 1998 Amena-Orange joined them too. And in 2006, when the market became really competitive – Yoigo. And since 2001 lots of virtual mobile carriers has appeared in Spain, which were using mobile networks of the existing carriers.






According to the statistical data, in December 2011 the quantity of active mobile users in Spain reached the point of 58 million people, 42% of the population use prepaid GSM services and 58% for the postpaid. Mobile carriers of Spain has built a decent GSM network, which covers 98% of the country. As for the mobile communications standards, Spain uses the widely spread European GSM standard on 900/1800 MHz frequency. Also, major mobile carriers provide 3G services with UMTS and WCDMA standards, which use 2100 MHz frequency.






Now, a couple of words about mobile carriers in Spain. At the moment, there are 4 major mobile carriers, which have their own GSM network and a decent coverage. They are Movistar, Vodafone, Orange and Yoigo.




Movistar


That company is a trademark of Telefónica. Now it has 22.8 millions of active users and its cell phone communications market share is 41.4%. That is the oldest company on the market.


Vodafone


That company is a representative of the world's biggest cell service carrier, British company Vodafone. It has 15.9 millions of active users and its market share is up to 29%.


Orange


The third among the major GSM and 3G carriers of Spain belongs to a French company named France Telecom. Now it has 11 millions of active users and 20.2% of market share.




Yoigo


Yoigo is the proterty of international Finns-Swedish telecommunications company TeliaSonera, which is the youngest among major mobile carriers of Spain. Now it has 2.4 millions of active users and its market share is 4.3%.



We've already mentioned virtual carriers. Their market share in Spain is 4.9% of the market, or 2.7 millions of users. There are nearly 40 of such carriers in Spain, they do not have their own network and they use the infrastructure of one of those major carriers. They sell their services under their own trademarks.






There are two kinds of mobile service in Spain: prepaid and postpaid. They are called Contract “Contrato” and Card “Tarjeta”. The Card option is in fact a prepaid option. You will have to pay fro the service before you use it and the payment can be made with special terminals or various e-payments.






A Contract for mobile service is being signed for 12-18 months, it depends on the carrier and the option, you've chosen. In that case, client is obliged to provide the carrier with the data on his bank account, for which mobile carrier will send invoices monthly. You should know that Contract option os available to residents only, and only in case you have a bank account in the local Spanish bank.






As a conclusion we may say that Spain has built its mobile communications networks really fast and the big quantity of mobile carriers works for the benefits of consumers, because more competition means lower prices.






France



Wireless communications in France are well developped. The country is fully covered with a GSM service and 3G mobile internet. The fourth generation of mobile communications or 4G is spreading rather fast as well. Also Wi-Fi networks are pretty usual, you can find a free hotspot in most of public places, such as airports, hotels, libraries and restaurants. You can find a free Wi-Fi even in most of the parks of Paris. France uses GSM 900/1800, the so called European GSM standard and the most widely spread frequency for 3G is 2100 MHz.






There are four major mobile carriers in France: Orange France, Boyges Telecom, SFR GSM and Free Mobile. And now we will tell about each one of them in particular. The last one appeared recently and made a whole revolution in French mobile communications, because it provided subscription packages with 2 times lower prices. Also if you are traveling to France you should know that mobile service will be really cheaper if you have a credit card, which is bound to your phone number. In that case carrier will take money form there directly and will provide a decent discount.






Orange-Coverage




We will begin with Orange. The company started in 1999 and is was an English mobile carrier. Now it has 20.7 million of active users and still grows. It has the best coverage and a decent network quality. Despite the wide audience and pretty solid image, that company suffered a couple of critical technical issues in 2012, which resulted in poor reception of the majority of the users for a couple of hours. You can see their coverage map above that paragraph.






The next mobile carrier is SFR GSM. That service provider has the highest service quality and the highest prices as well. It is worth mentioning that all its users, except mini-package users are granted a free access to SFR Wi-Fi hotspots, which are widely spread, especially in big cities and provide huge data transmission speed. SFR GSM covers approximately 98% of French territory with its own GSM network, you can see their coverage map below.






SFR-Coverage




Boyges Telecom is the last of the old French GSM service operators. It has a decent coverage and netowork quality, but despite all this it has rather small amount of active users. It is 11.7 millions. They specialize in mobile coverage, wireless mobile Internet and IP Television. In 2009 that company was forced to remove a couple of its base stations due to court's decision. The company was sued due to the radiation of the 19-meters antenna.






And the last, but the most promising mobile carrier in France is Free. First of all they have the best prices, and that's why they've gathered a huge user's base, they've got more than 5 million users in a year the company appeared in the market. To be honest, they've cut the prices two times lower. That mobile carrier has no offices, you can order a Sim card only at their website and also, your phone number is not bound to a SIM card. Free's wireless coverage is still small, but it grows, you can see the map below.






Free-Coverage




As a conclusion we can say that France has built a decent mobile communications network and the prices revolution, started by a Free carrier will have the best results of French smartphone users.





Australia



Australian mobile communications is quite an interesting topic, because there are not quite a lot of populated areas within the country and it determines the special conditions of its development in Australia. As you know, Australia lies on the separate continent and the most densely populated areas are concentrated at the ocean shores.






We'll begin with the fact that only three mobile carriers in Australia use their own cellular network, others are the so called MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Provider), which means that they are using networks of other mobile carriers. So now we will describe those three major mobile carriers.






Probably the biggest and the oldest mobile service provider in Australia is Telestra. The company was started in 1975 and it was a state's property once. But between 1999-2006 it has been sold. That company has created the biggest part of the whole Australian cellular network and landlines system.





The headquarter of Telestra Mobile is situated in Melbourne and the company provides a wide variety of services. They provide mobile communications based on GSM 900/1800 MHz standard, 3G UMTS, which uses 850/2100 MHz is widely spread too. Also we should mention that Telestra Mobile started to build a 4G network, based on LTE standard, which uses 875 Mhz. They say that this mobile carrier has the best coverage and the best service, but it also has the highest prices. It is also popular because it was the first to provide a 4G LTE service, it is already available in the major cities.





Telestra Coverage






The second among the biggest mobile carriers of Australia is Optus. The company was created in 1981. Now that company belongs to Singapore Telecommunications. The company also provides 2G service based on GSM 900/1800 MHz, 900/2100 MHz for 3G and it also builds its 4G network, but it is still not as widely spread as Telestra's. The 4G service is available since April 2012.






They have a decent coverage quality. But here we should mention that main problem of all Australian carriers – poor indoor coverage, sometimes your mobile phone may appear to be out of service, when you enter a building. The reason for this is in the fact that many Australians don't want a cell tower to be built somewhere near their houses, but sometimes it may be necessary.






Optus Coverage





And the third place goes to pretty famous company – Vodafone. This company belongs to Vodafone and Hutchinson Telecom 50/50. And it is known in Australia as Vodafone Hutchinson or VHA. VHA has pretty poor coverage, a small quantity of clients but low prices as well. They provide GSM 900/1800 MHz service, as well as 3G, based on UMTS and HSDPA standards with 850/900/2100 MHz frequencies. They do not provide LTE services, but they plan to start that in the beginning of 2013.






In general, situation with mobile communications in Australia is pretty bright. They develop really fast, but lots of users complain that prices sometimes are really complicated and hard to understand for a user. But they major mobile carriers also have special bonuses for loyal clients. So we may say that there are various mobile providers in Australia, they compete with each other and that gives benefits for their users!







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