Why Phones with US 4G don’t work in Saudi Arabia
SUSTG | Lucien Zeigler | 2.5.13
In a very interesting reveal, the Saudi Gazette discusses why 4G phones bought abroad over holiday trips to the United States and elsewhere do not currently work in Saudi Arabia. As discussed in an interview with John Strand, the CEO of Denmark-headquartered Strand Consult, the issue is simple compatibility.
“The LTE spectrum bands allocated in Saudi Arabia are 1800, 2300 and 2600 Mhz. The LTE spectrum bands in the USA are 700, 1700, 1900 and 2100 Mhz. If a smartphone or tablet works on 4G in the USA, it won’t work in Saudi Arabia and vice versa. If a phone or tablet can’t detect a suitable LTE 4G connection, it automatically drops to HSPA+ 3G. There isn’t any smartphone that consumers can buy right now that can promise to work on all 4G networks on Earth…”
The article then adds that, essentially, if any mobile phone company is promising to be a “global 4g phone” it will only “try“ to work in every country and not necessarily work with every global telecom operator.
Fees to use US phones in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are high, especially for US telecom giant Verizon, which can charge as much as $20+ per mb of data and soaring fees for mobile and text use, even for globally-enabled devices.