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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What is T-Mobile's EDGE cellular network?


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I've received a few e-mails regarding the EDGE availability on T-Mobile's branded Samsung t809 cellular phone. EDGE is the faster replacement of T-Mobile's previous (and still used) GPRS network.

EDGE stands for Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution. It is a digital technology which works to replace the previous GPRS technology -- it is available on any network that has GPRS, if the network provider (T-Mobile in this case) provides the upgrades needed.

EDGE uses some new schemes to get more bandwidth out of basically the same area in the spectrum. EDGE can provide up to 3 times as much bandwidth as GPRS did -- meaning three times faster download speeds. EDGE also uses the bandwidth more efficiently, offering even faster speeds as GPRS was not the most efficient use of the spectrum.

EDGE competes with other spectrum uses too -- notably UMTS and EVDO, which are used by other network providers. Those may be faster than EDGE, but EDGE seems to have better coverage at the higher speeds.

EDGE's maximum speed is considered to be 236.8 kbit/s, which is called Class 10. The Samsung t809 cellular phone sold by T-Mobile can handle this Class 10 bandwidth.

At the most basic usage, EDGE will provide fast Internet access to your phone and any PC/PDA that can tether to your phone. Even at only 150 kbit/s, one would still see speeds 6-10 times faster than GPRS or even a dial up modem on a regular phone line.

Other uses of EDGE might be VoIP, real time security monitoring and other digital processes that can utilize a higher bandwidth.

As of this date, the current companies have EDGE in some or all of their network:

Austria - Mobilkom Austria
Azerbiajan - Azercell
Belarus - Velcom
Belgium - Orange
Canada - Rogers Wireless
Czech Republic - T-Mobile
India - AirTel
Finland - Sonera
Finland - Elisa Oyj
Finland - Dna Finland
France - Orange, Bouygues Telecom
Israel - Cellcom
Malaysia - DiGi
Mexico - Telcel, movistar
Moldova - Moldcell
Netherlands - Telfort
Poland - Orange
Slovakia - Orange
South Africa - Cell C, MTN
Thailand - DTAC
United States - Cingular, T-Mobile


  • **off topic**
    you get opera mini working on the t809 through t mobile yet?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:04 PM  

  • while we're offtopic.. can you tether your t809 with the $5.99 plan? if yes, can we surf sites other than wap sites.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:27 PM  

  • I've recently created another t809 blog that will hopefully go nicely along side yours. Here is the url:

    By Blogger BrewerFan, at 9:35 PM  

  • Got my T809 earlier this week, and love it. It's an upgrade from my previous Samsung E105, and it leaps and bounds better, for obvious reasons.

    I thought it might be useful for your readers who haven't yet purchased one to know that calling T-Mobile can get you a very good deal on this phone. The website lists the phone as a $250 upgrade, but just by calling T-Mobile and asking for it (and letting them know that Cingular had a similar phone (the Sony w600) for only $150), I was able to upgrade to the T809 for a mere $189, and thus, able to stay with T-Mobile, who I've been with for two years now.

    Anyways, great blog, and I'll be sure and continue reading!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:52 AM  

  • I have not gotten Opera working on the t809 -- it looks as though Opera won't support it directly (too much work for too few users). If you're a paying Opera user, please request that they update their software!

    Some users with the $5.99 plan HAVE been able to tether, but 99% have not. I am not sure why the rare few were able to.

    Thanks for the link brewerfan.

    Great info, SpyderMS, I received an amazing price too when I got mine (the first week they released it).

    By Blogger A. B. Dada, at 8:54 PM  

  • I'm one of the rare few that's been able to connect using the 5.99 plan. I just tested it out today and it worked out well. It took me a few tries, but i eventually got it. I had to enter a user name and password to get it to finally work. When i didn't have any user name and password it would disconnect.

    I tested my connection and it was about 20KB/s. I'm not sure if that's good as i've never done this before, but that's more than adequate enough for me especially when just wanting to browse the web or look up directions when in the car or something.

    Unfortunately, for me, after about 6 and a half minutes my phone rebooted itself while it was tethered to my laptop. Has this happened to anyone else?

    P.S. I finally received my new t809 and the buzzing problem seems to be gone. /yah

    By Anonymous Dyaus, at 10:52 AM  

  • Tmobile uses Nortel BTS and BSC configurations for EDGE. The MSC's vary by MFG but are a mixture of Nokia, Nortel, and Ericsson.

    By Blogger Kodack, at 12:07 PM  

  • Also, EDGE doesn't use the same amount of spectrum as GPRS.

    It is basicly GPRS with multiple timeslots so it consumes more spectrum per call. A typical radio has 24 timeslots with some dedicated to bearer channels and GPRS bearer which usually results in 20 or so channels per radio. EDGE can use multiple time slots.

    Of that 20 or so only a limited number are dedicated to GPRS and some are GPRS when TS are available but will give priority to voice traffic.

    UMTS is a different beast all together. EDGE is GSM based on the GSM spec which is a TDMA type of carrier.

    UMTS is based on CDMA which allowes frequency division multiple access. UMTS is more closely related to the sprint or verizon CDMA than it is to GSM.

    Because UMTS allows frequency hopping it allows a mobile to use an even larger chunk of spectrum for data, however this is dependant on how many other callers on the cell are using the services. The more mobiles on a cell and the smaller the cell will get and the slower the data.

    By Blogger Kodack, at 12:14 PM  

  • So Micheal ... it's basically the same idea as a cable modem ... lots of speed if you are seldom few, but with alot of users the bandwidth available decreases ... thus slower speeds???

    By Anonymous T-Amigo, at 11:26 PM  

  • what's so special about this phone? according to this it has a 1.3mp camera only?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:34 PM  

  • hey i read in some blog in some page this guy saying i changed my EDGE from a class 4 to a class 10 and i get better speeds what is this about and if it's true how is it done? thru phone or thru pc??

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:05 AM  

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