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I have got this Huawei wifi device, which has been unlocked for other networks. Works fine in UK on Vodafone (as well as 3).

We are trying to get it to work with the Claro network in Jamaica.

It connects and stays connected, but fails to get a 3g connection, just the slow EDGE one.

Claro support say its because

Claro currently does not support the 2100MHz frequency for 3G, which is what the device uses

Does that sound correct? They say I need one that:

Ensure however that these devices can use the 850MHz frequency.

My understanding was that the device supports up to 2100, including their 850mhz...

Admittedly, this is based on specs defined on an ebay auction :(

I am thinking that maybe the APN is incorrect, but I have set it to the only value I can find on the net, namely: internet.ideasclaro.com.jm

Thanks in advance, Chris

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Super User is intended for computer hardware and software related questions only. Question concerning cell-phones and cell-networks are considered off-topic. Please see the FAQ (superuser.com/faq) –  heavyd Apr 19 '10 at 17:49
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as far as i can tell, the device is a mobile modem, so that aspect is ontopic here. questions that center around an individual service provider are generally too localized, but i think for this question the service provider is context, not primary content. since my reading suggests this question boils down to a capabilities-of-computer-peripheral question, i think it should stay open. –  quack quixote Apr 19 '10 at 18:17
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I live in the Dominican Republic (another country that Claro has networks in) and I can confirm that they only have 3G on the 850MHz band. Since your modem is a European version it does not support the american bands. The reason you can get EDGE is because Claro supports the European bands for EDGE/GRPS/noData.

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Thanks for the reply, however some of the sites are listing the device as supporting the 850Mhz band - could there be a difference in how it supports that band? Just noticed it says GSM850, but only HSDPA 2100, I guess that is the issue... –  Chris Kimpton Apr 20 '10 at 11:52
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GSM, EDGE, UMTS and HSDPA do not necessarily use the same band or protocol. Some aspects of the protocol are backwards compatible (iirc, UMTS modems have GSM modems in them for backwards compatibility) or can happily co-exist but support of one doesn't mean support of all. –  Broam Apr 20 '10 at 13:48
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These devices, like mobile phones, support frequency bands rather than every frequency up to the specified frequency.

I'd suspect, but could not guarantee, that this device might work better as it supports a wider set of mobile phone bands.

Generally this is why you buy a dongle in the country you are in, from the supplier that is dominant so that you can guarantee you'll get something that works with their network.

-EDIT- As Claro themselves are selling the Huawei E226 I would suspect that their 3G infrastructure is in the 850 or 1900 bands as your 2100 band 3g dongle does not work.

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Thanks for the reply and suggestions, although we are looking for a wifi/mifi device so that the net can be shared by mac/desktop/ipod touch :) –  Chris Kimpton Apr 20 '10 at 11:39
    
I see the ericsson W21 also supports the 850Mhz band - but not confident it will work: ericssonw21.com/specifications.html –  Chris Kimpton Apr 20 '10 at 11:54
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