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Frequency bands in China & India: Know about top operators and cellular technology

Frequency bands in China & India: Know about top operators and cellular technology

In any mobile phone, a key part is the specification of its operating frequency bands. The operating frequency bands determine if the mobile phone is compatible with certain network carriers. It is important for people to check the band and technology before buying the smartphones and the device to use.

Frequency bands in China, India
  • 2G – introduced in 1992, it is second-generation of cellular technology and the first to use digital encryption and to offer data services and SMS.
  • 3G – second-generation of cellular technology that offers faster data transfer rates and is the first to provide video call service.
  • 4G– the fourth generation of second-generation of cellular technology, provides ultra-broadband internet access for mobile devices.

Frequency bands for 2G, 3G and 4G mobile in China

China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom are popular telecommunication companies in china and All of these operators are state-owned and have their own specialty.


GSM and CDMA networks are available for 2G. China telecom has a CDMA network and GSM network is available for China Mobile and China Unicom. GSM 900 MHz (E-GSM band) and DCS 1800 MHz band are available for GSM whereas CDMA mobile network is available in 800 MHz bands. China Telecom also owns CDMA 2000 (3G).


For 3G, there are WCDMA and TD-SCDMA. The TD-SCDMA is the china developed 3G technology (TDD version of the UMTS technology). China Mobile uses TD-SCDMA for 3G in 1.9 GHz and 2 GHz Band. For 3G in the 2.1 GHz band, China Unicom uses WCDMA technology.


For 4G, China uses mainly TDD LTE. China Unicom uses 1800 MHz, 2.3 GHz, and 2.5 GHz (band 3, band 40, and band 41). Only band 3 (1800 MHz) is the FDD LTE among them. Similarly, 1800 MHz, 2.3 GHz, and 2.5 GHz are used by China Telecom. Also, China Telecom will add 2.1 GHz and 850 MHz frequency band to increase the speed significantly using Carrier aggregation. Similarly, three spectrum bands of 1.9 GHz, 2.3 GHz, and 2.5 GHz for 4G LTE service, which are respectively Band 39, 40, and 41 are used by China Mobile.

Frequency Bands in China

Cellular TechnologyFrequency bandsMajor Operators
GSM900 MHz, 1800 MHzChina Unicom, China Mobile
CDMA850 MHzChina Telecom (CDMA 2000)
WCDMA (3G)2100 MHzChina Unicom
TD-SCDMA (3G)1.9 GHz and 2 GHzChina Mobile
4G LTE1800MHzChina Unicom, China Telecom
850 MHzChina Telecom (Trial)
1.9 GHzChina Mobile
2.3 GHzChina Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom
2.5 GHzChina Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom

Good to Know: How to Connect Internet from mobile to Laptop?

Frequency bands in India for 2G, 3G and 4G mobile

The telecom subscribers in India is mainly dominated by mobile subscribers in 2G, 3G, and 4G.


For2G still GSM and CDMA technology are available. In GSM 2G technology which operates in 900 and 1800 MHz operators like Vodafone-Idea, BSNL, Airtel, Tata, Aircel have large subscribers. In CDMA Operators like Reliance Communication, MTS, BSNL, and Tata have very few subscribers. The frequency band used in India is 850 MHz for CDMA technology, as this frequency is also popular for 4G LTE technology, CDMA will extinct soon. Most operators have already phased out in order to use it for 4G LTE service.


All of the major operators started 3G Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service in the 2100 MHz band. Operators have also started re-farming their 900 MHz band to use it for UMTS. For some of the circles, Idea, and Airtel are also using 3G UMTS in 900 MHz.


For 4G, there are three frequency bands, 1800 MHz, 850 MHz, and 2300 MHz.1800 and 850 MHz are FDD technology and 2300 MHz band is TDD technology. Jio company operates 4G in all of the three 4G LTE bands (namely Band 3, Band 5 and Band 40). Idea Vodafone and Airtel provide 4G LTE in both 1800 MHz and 2300 MHz

Also, now Operators are looking for new spectrum bands to use for 4G LTE due to capacity and competition. Idea Vodafone will use the most popular band in China, LTE in TDD 2500 MHz band.

Frequency bands in India

Mobile TechnologyFrequency bandsMajor Operators
GSM (2G)900 MHz, 1800 MHzAirtel, Idea Vodafone, BSNL, Aircel
CDMA850 MHzReliance, BSNL, Tata
WCDMA (3G)2100 MHz, 900 MHzIdea Vodafone, Airtel
4G LTE (4G)1800MHzAirtel, Idea Vodafone, Jio
850 MHzJio
2300 MHzAirtel, Idea Vodafone, Jio
2500 MHzBSNL, Idea Vodafone
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Ayush Palikhe

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