The commonly used signal frequency band in North America is 2G\3G\4G. We will introduce these frequency bands in detail below:

Important frequencies bands

2G capabilities GSM 850, GSM 1900

3G capabilities UMTS 850, UMTS 1700, UMTS 1900

4G capabilities LTE 700 (12, 13, 17, 4, 29), LTE 1700 (4, 66), LTE 1900 (2), LTE 2100 (4), LTE 2300 (40), LTE 2500 (7), LTE 2600 (7, 38), LTE 3500 (42)

2G, first introduced in 1992, is the second-generation of cellular telephone technology and the first to use digital encryption of conversations. 2G networks were the first to offer data services and SMS text messaging, but their data transfer rates are lower than those of their successors.

3G networks succeed 2G ones, offering faster data transfer rates and are the first to enable video calls. This makes them especially suitable for use in modern smartphones, which require constant high-speed internet connection for many of their applications.

4G is the fourth generation of mobile phone communications standards. It is a successor of the 3G and provides ultra-broadband internet access for mobile devices. The high data transfer rates make 4G networks suitable for use in USB wireless modems for laptops and even home internet access.

Canada are 2 basic systems, CDMA and GSM (including AWS, UMTS, HSPA, LTE). GSM is used in most of the world but the North American system uses different frequencies. AWS / UMTS / HSDPA are regarding as 3G. LTE is 4G.

Canadian networks stopped supporting CDMA phones in May 2016. United States carriers who continue using CDMA after that date include Sprint and Verizon. United States carriers which use GSM include AT&T and T Mobile.

All networks in Canada cuurently support one or more of GSM / AWS / UMTS / HSDPA / LTE . North American GSM uses 850/1900 MHz , UMTS/HSDPA 850/1900Mhz, LTE 1700/2600, AWS 1700/2100 frequencies. Make sure your own phone is compatible with these frequencies.

You must have a tri-band or quad-band GSM phone, or 3G phone supporting 1900Mhz to be compatible. AWS phones (other than the Google Nexus) are not usually sold outside North America. LTE from outside North America are not compatible but these phones usually have GSM/3G frequencies that are still compatible.

With 4G LTE services you can be sure of rapid data browsing, crystal clear calls, speedily delivered text messages and reliable network wherever you are. Inquiring about frequency carriers within USA for LTE services is important. LTE frequency bands are diverse and represent various ranges of spectrums that vary in different ways.

While low spectrum services such as 700 MHz band 12 or 17 extend the range to reach far-flung areas and suburban regions of North America, other high spectrum ranges are perfect for those who need rapid deployment of data. Those carriers that blend between low and high frequency spectrums ensure they have netted as many users as they can.

North American LTE frequency band carriers range from large to small local cell service carriers. It is worth noting that LTE frequency bands are not the only ones in existence. 3G frequency bands exist as well and also diverse and expansive.

The 10 most commonly used frequencies in Canada

VHF (138-174 MHz)
One of the first frequencies to be widely used is still the go-to for marine, air-to-ground and land mobile radio (LMR) radio users. It provides great range with reasonable voice quality and some limited data applications. Licensed spectrum can be difficult to secure – especially in urban areas.

UHF (406-470MHz)
Another popular LMR frequency for push-to-talk voice, UHF offers better building penetration and tends to perform better in urban environments. UHF is also used for affordable SCADA applications. Licensed spectrum.

700 MHz
Industry Canada has made 700 MHz available only for public safety and related organizations. Initial uptake is for LMR, especially for wide area systems being shared by multiple agencies. New LTE systems are starting to be deployed which offer rich data capabilities for increasingly popular public safety applications like mobile video. Licensed only for public safety.

800 MHz
The 800MHz spectrum has been a workhorse for trunked two way radio systems for public safety and private systems. Public safety use is declining quickly in favor of 700MHz, but expect to see it continue for commercial applications like oil & gas plants. Licensed.

900 MHz
Widely used for everything from your cordless phone (if you still have one) to your rural wireless internet service provider. Easy to deploy, as no Industry Canada licensing is required. Also means possible interference and conflict with others and Industry Canada not likely to intervene to help resolve. Still great for certain applications, but not suitable for mission-critical. License-free.

2.4 GHz
Another license-free and busy piece of spectrum. Some 900MHz devices migrated to 2.4GHz to get to fresh spectrum but the now-dominant use is for the ubiquitous WiFi. Even WiFi is finding this spectrum a bit congested and with 802.11ac is moving up to also use 5GHz. License-free.

3.65 GHz
Remember when WiMax was announced as the “WiFi on steroids’ that would be the new standard because of its range and bandwidth? Not likely to happen at this point. Still municipalities and wireless internet providers (WISPs) typically deploying point-to-multipoint with some comfort of more controlled spectrum. Lightly licensed.

4.9 GHz
Another set-aside protected for public safety and associate users. Ideal for point-to-point links for public safety applications like backhauling video surveillance and linking public safety towers and sites. Licensed.

5.7/5.8 GHz
Similar performance and uses to 4.9 GHz but open to all. Excellent for both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint applications that need bandwidth and now also WiFi. It’s license-free which means spectrum cannot be protected, but good RF planning and design can deliver high-reliability bandwidth for a wide range of public and private sector uses. License-free.

6–30 GHz
Used for high-performance point-to-point links when big bandwidth and/or high availability is critical. This is licensed spectrum which provides confidence that your deployment will have dedicated frequencies, although comes with the associated licensing and equipment costs. Licensed.