All around the world, the first generation smart safety devices operated on the 2G network. These included alarms, cell phones etc. However, from around December 2016 a number of network service providers all over the world began shutting down their 2G networks as result of the emerging technologies likes 3G, 4G and now 5G. In New Zealand and Australia, only Vodafone has committed to keep its network infrastructure.

However, not all countries around the world shut down their 2G networks. Manufacturers have continued to produce 2G enabled devices. As a result it has become important for consumers to understand the differences between this compatibility issue when buying network enabled gadgets.

So what does all this mean? Well, depending on where you are located geographically it is important to understand what to look for in the technical specifications of a watch. Primarily, it will help you determine what networks it will work with and whether it will work in your country or in case of New Zealand, with your favourite network provider.

2G –2nd generation compatible: GSM 850/900/1800/1900

3G – 3rd generation compatible and may be referred to as just bands: B1/B2/ B5 but can also be displayed as WCDMA or UMTS and the frequencies 2100/1900/850MHz

4G/LTE – 4th generation compatible/long term evolution: Bands B2/B3/B4/B5/B28

You may wonder why some frequencies are listed under both 3G and 2G, this is because the network service provider chooses what radio frequencies they offer their services on. For example Vodafone NZ currently assigns the 850Mhz to their 3G network. With this lower frequency offering coverage over a much greater distance and better penetration through buildings.

5G – The frequency bands for 5G networks come in two sets. Frequency range 1 (FR1) is from 450 MHz to 6 GHz, which includes the LTE frequency range. Frequency range 2 (FR2) is from 24.25 GHz to 52.6 GHz.

Single Band or Dual Band

As noted above frequencies on the 3G and above networks are often referred to as bands, and as such you may sometimes see a watch listed as a ‘dual band’ 3G model for example. What this means is the watch will work on more than one frequency/band providing greater options for coverage. If for example the watch only works on the 2100 MHz you may find that outside of major cities the watch struggles to connect to a cellular network. This does not necessarily mean an issue with the watch itself.

Awesome Gadgets NZ GPS Devices

So when you are considering which watch to buy from Awesome GadgetsNZ it is worth having a read over the technical specifications to double check which network the device is compatible with. Better still contact us with a query.

It is also important to note however, that 3G but to a greater extent 4G devices will drain the battery much faster and will generally be larger in size to the 2G models. Hence more so the reason, 3G/4G devices are pricier and come with more functionalities and access to internet