UK vs. France and 3G not working

This is a discussion on UK vs. France and 3G not working within the Nexus One forums, part of the Google Phones category; Hello, I have a Google Nexus One which I got in the US. It is my first web-enabled phone and I'm confused about the relationship ...

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Thread: UK vs. France and 3G not working

  1. #1
    Junior Member bantjes's Avatar
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    Question UK vs. France and 3G not working

    Hello, I have a Google Nexus One which I got in the US. It is my first web-enabled phone and I'm confused about the relationship between the Sim card and 3G.

    With a US T-Mobile sim card, 3G works fine in the US, but only sometimes works in Canada.

    Then i went to the UK and put in a UK T-mobile sim, and the 3G works fine; maps etc. (I keep the data roaming turned off so it doesn't access the internet via data, to keep my costs down.)

    Now I'm in Paris, still with the UK sim, and of course I can call with roaming, but the 3G does not work at all.

    Do I need a local Sim card for the 3G to work? I would have thought not: the phone looks for the satellite connection, it shouldn't matter what carrier I'm with. But ... ??

    Does anyone know if i need to get a new sim card for each country i go to in order to access satellite maps etc.?

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  3. #2
    Member DaveC's Avatar
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    It should work with 3G as all of Europe uses the same standard.

    When you mean you can't access 3G do you mean a 3G signal as I'm thinking you may be confusing 3G with data. 3G is basically a transmission method that allows faster data. You can still download stuff over 2G but a lot slower

    You have turned data roaming off so you will not be able to access any downloadable maps etc.

    Data roaming is expensive so I would use a local sim or connect via a free wifi point - there are lots of them in Paris


    With T-Mobile UK you should be able to Roam on all 3 French networks, but SFR does not seem to offer 3G for some strange reason
    Orange and Bouygues are OK

  4. #3
    Junior Member bantjes's Avatar
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    Oh dear, I am a little confused. This was my understanding: with the Google phone, I can make a call (with a SIM/carrier) or access the web with wifi when availabe, or by satellite when no wifi is available (which I called 3G, because on my phone I see it use the little sattelite icon, followed by the 3G icon showing uploading/downloading). If I am foolish enough (or desperate enough) to access the web without wifi or satellite, I can turn data roaming on, and it will do so via the SIM/carrier costing me $ per minute.

    Also, I thought the live maps *needed* sattelite, because they need to locate me in the world.

    So in the UK, with data roaming turned OFF, I'd use google maps, and I'd see it send the satellite signal, then the 3G icon would appear, and there i would be magically located on the map. Similarly i could pick up my email while on a train (above ground). This all cost me nothing from T-Mobile, only my calls and texts did. All as I understand it should work ... because in theory i should be able to access the web without a SIM card at all, just like an iPod touch, right?

    So now in France, I can of course make a long distance call on my UK SIM, but when i click on Google maps, i see it send the satellite signal, and then ... nothing. No 3G icon, no map, (and no email), no matter where I am in Paris.

    I asked in an Orange store in Paris about this, if i bought a SIM from them, and they said I could use the 3G but it would cost me 50 cents per minute. But maybe they misunderstood me.

    So I'm very confused.

  5. #4
    Member DaveC's Avatar
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    OK. As I said 3G is just a method of transmission which allows for faster data transfer rates over the cellular network. You can make voice calls with it or without it.

    When in the UK having data roaming switched off will make no difference as that only comes into play when you are in another country and is there to stop you running up big bills

    The satellite symbol shows you are receiving a signal from the GPS navigation satellites from which your phone works out its position. It does not download any map data for which you need another source. In the UK this would have been your data signal on 3G

    Now you are in France and have data roaming switched off you will still make phone calls and send text messages. You will still be able to receive location data from the satellites, but you have no means of getting the maps.

    Be warned, if you allow data roaming then it will cost you £1.50 (around $2.25) per MB That is expensive when you think I pay £5.00 ($7.00) for 3GB in the UK

  6. #5
    Junior Member bantjes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC View Post
    When in the UK having data roaming switched off will make no difference as that only comes into play when you are in another country and is there to stop you running up big bills
    Oopsódoh!

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC View Post
    The satellite symbol shows you are receiving a signal from the GPS navigation satellites from which your phone works out its position. It does not download any map data for which you need another source. In the UK this would have been your data signal on 3G
    Okay, I am understanding it all better now, thanks! The only thing I don't understand is why, after wandering around london constantly checking the map, and picking up email, i didn't see data costs for doing so in my (pay-as-you-go) account. But ... thank you I do see much better how this works.

  7. #6
    Member DaveC's Avatar
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    You should have had data costs but on T-Mobile they are only £1 ($1/50) per day It may also be that the sim came with a certain amount of free data

  8. #7
    Junior Member bantjes's Avatar
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    Thanks for your help ... I understand it much better now.

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