Why is it relevant?
There are two main reasons why we should be interested in coverage bands in Spain. The first of these is 800 MHz 4G. The release of this frequency band will allow mobile operators to use it for 4G, which will offer us greater coverage, greater connection stability and higher speed. But of course, our smartphone must be compatible with 800 MHz networks. If my mobile is not, how does it affect me? Do not miss the post that we already dedicated to that. But the truth is that your mobile can still have 4G coverage even if it is not compatible with the 800 MH band. On the other hand, there are many users who buy mobile phones abroad. Will I have a mobile connection in Spain with those smartphones? Will I be able to have 4G? You just have to look for the technical characteristics of a mobile, to find that which we never gave importance to, the compatibility with the coverage bands. You can easily locate it because mobile phone bands are frequencies, and therefore are measured in MHz. By locating this unit, you will have already located the compatible coverage bands. But also, you can search for the words GSM (2G), HSPA (3G), or LTE (4G).
2G or GSM connection bands
In Spain, two connection bands are used for GSM or 2G networks. These are the 900 MHz and the 1800 MHz. We are not going to go into technical details, and the truth is that it does not make much sense to talk about 2G. It is very likely that any mobile is compatible with the 2G connection. But even so, the speed of this connection is so useless that having or not having a 2G connection is not too relevant. We say this because if a mobile has 2G in Spain but not 3G, it should never be bought, since it is almost like not having coverage to surf the Internet.
3G or HSPA connection bands
These are something more relevant. Why? Because a mobile without 4G, but with 3G, can already offer us a relatively high connection speed. We shouldn’t have a problem communicating with others, watching videos, or even making video calls. It is the one that most users use right now. The 3G mobile phone frequency bands used in Spain are 900 MHz and 2100 MHz. This means that if these two frequency bands appear on the technical sheet of a mobile phone, that mobile phone will be compatible with the 3G networks in our country.
4G or LTE connection bands
Finally, we should talk about 4G. The frequency bands that 4G has used in Spain until now are 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz. If you want 4G, and you are going to buy a mobile phone abroad, it is very likely that these two frequency bands are the two easiest to find when it comes to 4G. Now, since April 2015, the 800 MHz band has already started to be used, with all the advantages that that means. If a mobile is compatible with the other two, but not with the latter, will I have 4G coverage? Yes, where there are facilities for the 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands, almost all of those in Spain at this time. But in time there will be more problems. We explained it more in depth a few months ago.
What if the mobile is not compatible with these frequency bands?
If you are thinking of buying a mobile, and these frequency bands do not appear on the technical sheet as compatible frequencies, do not buy the smartphone. If you have already bought it, sadly we have to say that there is no solution. It is not a question of software, that through modifications you will be able to connect with these other frequencies. It is a matter of hardware. You will have to negotiate with the one who sold you the smartphone to return it.
If your mobile appears as compatible with these bands, but then you cannot connect, for example, with 3G or 4G, then it is possible that it is a software issue, although you will have to investigate your particular case. For example, that is a problem that affects the current Meizu MX5. There are two almost identical firmwares for mobile phones. One allows you to connect without problems in Spain, and the other does not. Changing it is very easy, but first you have to have found that this is the problem. If this is your case, don’t hesitate and look for information on firmware compatible with certain networks in certain countries. It should not be difficult to find.