What actual frequency is my mobile phone service in the UK?

  • #1
sophiecentaur
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It's easy to get information about the channels that the various 2G, 3G, 4G services use but I want to find out the actual frequency my service uses in my home. I was hoping to try a 'passive relay' arrangement to bring the (totally rubbish) signal from upstairs to downstairs by my computer. I was hoping to try a length of low loss coax with dipoles each end. It can work with UHF TV reception so I thought it worth a try for my 4G service.
If they are using 800MHz, I may be in with a chance but I don't want to bother if I would need my cable to work at 2.6GHz.
The site is semi-rural, in Essex, with the houses well spaced out and lots of fields, which could possibly govern BT's choice of service frequency. There is wall to wall information about 'coverage' in the UK but I can't find anything specific to help me. I guess 'they' would rather be cagey about that sort of thing.
Is there any PF member who knows about these things?
 
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  • #2
f95toli
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I suspect your best bet is to call BT and ask if they can tell you which frequency your nearest tower is using; they have the right to use four different bands and which ones they use will vary.

Another option is to simply ask around a bit and see what your neighbors are using; I'm on O2 simply because I get decent signal at work with them; presumably because there is a tower nearby and they use 800 MHz for their 4G and 900MHz for 2G/3G (I used to be on Three and when I lost 4G I got no signal at all, probably since they use 2100 MHz for their 3G)
.
 
  • #3
sophiecentaur
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Thanks. I will try to negotiate their information wall and see if someone can help me.
 
  • #5
CWatters
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EE is owned by BT
Sorry for poor formatting..

Code:
                  800 MHz                1800 MHz
EE               2 x 5 MHz               2 x 45 MHz
Three,          2 x 5 MHz              2 x 15 MHz
O2                2 x 10 MHz
Vodafone          2 x 10 MHz
 
  • #7
sophiecentaur
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Better table down here..
http://www.4g.co.uk/4g-frequencies-uk-need-know/

For mast location data try this site..
https://www.mastdata.com/

Global mast data some tech info (inc frequencies)
https://www.cellmapper.net
Thanks for looking. I had already found the first two links. The top one is generic (possible frequency bands for 3G and 4G etc for my provider). The second one has location and other data but no frequency info. It has terrain data and an elevation plot of the Tx to my house; all very interesting but no actual frequency info, afaics. I cannot make the third one acknowledge the existence of my local tower, probably because it is a US site and relies on enthusiasts to input data . There is no point in my registering as I have no info to offer them.

@berkeman Haha I think I'll pass on that one!!
@CWatters I have found that there is frequency info for some masts - depends on data input from interested parties I guess. I don't think it actually helps me though. Rats!!!!
 
  • #8
CWatters
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Yes sorry. I thought there used to be more public info on the mastdata site but it seems to have gone. The cellmapper site had frequency info for the mast nearest my house (Near Huntingdon, Cambs).
 
  • #9
sophiecentaur
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Yes sorry. I thought there used to be more public info on the mastdata site but it seems to have gone. The cellmapper site had frequency info for the mast nearest my house (Near Huntingdon, Cambs).
Funny that one of the users of the nearby BT mast actually tells the frequency it uses but BT don't, on their own mast. The reason that it's not kept up to date is that no one can be bothered, probably.
Let's face it, none of us can ever do anything with those cellphone signals without our mobile phone. We have to look elsewhere for our fun.
 
  • #11
sophiecentaur
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My phone tells me what generation it is using at any time. It clearly knows what frequency it is using, too. I can't find an App to tell me tat info though. This is surprising because Apps have been written for pretty well anything you could think of. I have read the first link several times (found it a couple of days ago) and it doesn't actually tell me what I want to know. The only clue I have found about likely frequency is that the 800MHz works better at distances and we are in a semi rural situation. If BT have any sense, they should be using as low a frequency as they can. But it would be nice actually to know.
Edit: I like the reflector idea. I guess a yagi would be even better but I don't want anything too big up there.
 
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  • #12
davenn
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but I want to find out the actual frequency my service uses in my home.
there isn't a specific freq as in 1855.234 MHz
there are bands and within those bands they are generally using various multi freq multiplexing methods
3G uses spread spectrum techniques
4G uses OFDMA multi-carrier transmission and other frequency-domain equalization (FDE) schemes,
 
  • #13
sophiecentaur
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there isn't a specific freq as in 1855.234 MHz
there are bands and within those bands they are generally using various multi freq multiplexing methods
3G uses spread spectrum techniques
4G uses OFDMA multi-carrier transmission and other frequency-domain equalization (FDE) schemes,
Yes, I know that there are frequency bands and I know that any passive system I use will cover the whole of the particular band. The relevant thing I need to know is the band and not the system - I already know that because I see 4G on my display so that limits the choice of possible bands. It's the particular band that interests me.
800MHz seems most likely because of the rural situation but 4G uses a number of other bands too.
I am surprised that no one seems to have produced an App to show that information. Apple do bury things quite deep that they don't want people to experiment with, though.
 
  • #14
rbelli1
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try dialing on android:
*#0011#

for iphone:
*#3001#12345#*
then press call

The android one worked for me. The apple one I have no way of testing.

The information will probably be as channel information that will then need to be cross referenced to frequency.

BoB
 
  • #15
sophiecentaur
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for iphone:
*#3001#12345#*
then press call
I tried this and got a spoken reply "I'm sorry, the system is busy. Please try later"
Interesting - the system certainly knows about me.
EDIT: I realised that WiFi needs to be turned off. Then it worked fine and put the phone into the Field Test App and there was a deluge of information about the Cell and the Sim etc. It tells me that I am using 1600GHz download and 1900 upload.
Many thanks for that. Another party trick to impress ones friends with.
I Googled that number and there are many hits.
 
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