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Can A Foreign Phone Do Local LTE?

Listener Michael in San Jose, California bought a foreign Lenovo smartphone and has questions about using it in the US

Michael said: I got a smartphone. The model is A320T – Lenovo. I was wondering which US carrier would provide service for this type of Smartphone. When I power it up it says 4G LTE. That’s all I know.

Michael, assuming your phone is unlocked it should be able to run just fine on any GSM network since the Lenovo A320T is a quad-band GSM phone. That means that it should work with AT&T, T-Mobile and many smaller local companies. However there is a big caveat.

The Lenovo A320T may say 4G LTE phone, but that means very little, there are different bands used for LTE, the A320T can use bands 38, 39, and 40, those are known as TDD-LTE bands and they are not used by any provider in the US. So basically, if you take the phone to Colombia, or Nigeria, or Brazil, you’re all set! but in the US, you’re not likely to get LTE service.

Major US carriers are using bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 13, 17, 25, 26, and 41, and most minor carriers are just renting the big guys networks, so that’s what you’ll most likely have available to you in your area. You can also check, they should be able to show you networks that support your phone.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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  1. INTERESTING!! My boss purchased a bunch of tablets from south america. They are the Tab 3 model tablets. In the USA they are only a tablet, however, in South America they are a phone! It seemed like a great idea at the time but it will only get 3g signal and every hour or so it loses signal and resets itself but your without signal for about a minute. That is extremely annoying because we use a walkie talkie App to communicate with dispatch and to write reports so both programs are constantly failing due to the temporary drop of service. Completely unreliable phone. Reading this article explains a lot on why it doesn’t work correctly. Thank you Mr. Graveline for the lesson!