Regarding Cell Phone Antenna Technologies

Not all cell phones are created equal!  I don’t just mean this with regards to the features that they have, and certainly not in the context of iPhone vs. Android.  Rather, the part of a cell phone which makes it a cell phone (instead of just a really small computer in your pocket) is the cell phone antenna, which communicates with the antennas in the cell phone towers of your provider.  Like other kinds of radios, the antennas in cell phone towers communicate only on certain frequencies, and if your phone can’t “tune” to the frequency that your cell provider uses, your phone won’t receive service.

These days, the story is slightly more complicated, because cell providers often use multiple frequencies, and so do many cell phones!  Ideally, your cell phone would be compatible with every frequency that your cell provider uses.  This way, if you’re out of the range of one signal, you can still fall back to another, and therefore still have service.  If your cell phone is compatible with only one of your provider’s frequencies, then even while you may normally have service, if you find yourself in an area with limited reception, you might find yourself without service.

This article (Hebrew) from ynet outlines which providers use which frequencies, and by extension, which phones are compatible with which providers.  I’ve integrated this information onto all of the carrier pages, because it is extremely important when choosing a cell phone provider if you plan to keep your existing phone.  This is especially true these days, when some carriers only support 3G, which effectively means that many older phones will not work with them.

For convenience, I’ve translated and included the summary table:

Provider Frequency Meaning
Cellcom 2G: 1800 MHz
3G: 850/2100 MHz HSDPA
Carrier supports 2G, 2.5G, and 3G and higher devices
Golan Telecom 3G: 2100 MHz
Roaming*:
2G: 1800 Mhz
3G: 850/2100 MHz HSDPA
Carrier supports 2G, 2.5G, and 3G and higher devices
HOT Mobile 3G: 2100 MHz
Roaming*:
3G: 850/2100 MHz HSDPA
Carrier supports 3G and higher devices
Orange 2G: 1800 MHz
3G: 900, 2100 MHz
Carrier supports 2G, 2.5G, and 3G and higher devices
Pelephone 3G: 850/2100 MHz HSDPA Carrier supports 3G and higher devices

*Golan Telecom and HOT Mobile will roam onto partner networks in areas where they don’t yet have their own towers. For Golan Telecom, the roaming will be on Cellcom’s network; for HOT Mobile, Pelephone’s network.

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3 Comments » for Regarding Cell Phone Antenna Technologies
  1. Michael Fisch says:

    Would an i phone 5 unlocked be the most compatible with any of these company’s and get the most range available? I am new to this teck stuff. Which company would have the most frequencies?

  2. Roberto says:

    Me interesaría cambiarme a Golan Telecom,yo estoy en Cellcom. Que debería hacer?.Ojala tenga respuesta en Español.

  3. Francis says:

    I want to know the internet speed of the cellular providers in Israel

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