Afterword

ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Does the Samsung Galaxy Grand support 3G?

Following my last K2 column, I got a lot of queries regarding the highly-rated, relatively affordable Samsumg Galaxy Grand smartphone: Will it support 3G in Bhutan?

Well, if we look up the phone's specification on gsmarena.com, we'll find the following (the snapshot is from the Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos I9082 (dual-SIM) version; the I9080 (single SIM) 3G specs are identical):


Looking carefully, one sees two different specs for the 3G network bands: the first line shows 850/1900/2100, the second has 900/1900/2100.

From the research I've done, the reason is simple: Samsung has released two Galaxy Grand variants. One version is mainly for the Asian & European market (900/1900/2100) market, the other mainly for the US market (850/1900/2100).

The bands used for 3G in Bhutan are 850 and 2100. While all 3G phones sold in India support 2100, most of these phones do not support 850, as India uses 900 and 2100. If you got your Galaxy Grand in India, it will NOT support 850 3G in Bhutan.

The phone's packaging will show the exact bands supported, as you can see below. In this case, the phone supports 900, but not 850 - so it will NOT support 3G in Thimphu and and a few other locations in Bhutan.