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Confusion Over Key 4G Capability In New Realme Smartphones

Chinese mobile brand Oppo recently launched a cheap new Realme smartphone brand in Australia however their appears to be some confusion over whether the new range has the essential 4G band 28.

One minute the Company is marketing on their website that there is no band 28, but after a ChannelNews query relating to the omission of the 4G band 28 the Oppo linked Company  suddenly changed the spec listing on the Realme online site but did not supply ChannelNews with any certification certificates that we had requested.

Band 28 is critical if you want to use them on the Optus, Telstra or Vodafone 700Hz 4G networks, the Company has chosen not to supply ChannelNews with a review model so that we can check whether any one of their devices are certified for the Australian market or if they do have band 28. Nor have they responded to our request for evidence of their certification certificates which most smartphone Companies are willing to supply.

B28 700 MHz FDD is used by all major network providers, including Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone to deliver 4G performance or call and data quality without calls drop out and data transfer is slow.

On Friday a senior telecommunication industry executive contacted me to point out that band 28 was missing from all of the three new Realme products according to the specifications outlined on their web site.

This key performance band was missing from the C2 models which retails for $199, as well as their realme 5 model which sells for $299 and the realme 5 Pro which will sell for $399.

On Friday night we contacted their PR Company to question why the key band 28 was missing from all of the Companies new models we also asked them for copies of the certification certificates for the Australian market.

The next day band 28 was mysteriously added to the network specifications for the new models on the Realme Australia web site.

Chinese Company Realme have not explained how a device can go from one minute not having band 28 to overnight suddenly having band 28.

If you need good 4G coverage, then you should buy a smartphone that is capable of operating on the 700MHz Band 28 such as the Alcatel, Samsung, LG and TCL Mobile as well as the value Aspera smartphones that start at $99. All these devices including the new cheap Samsung A20 which was last week selling for $196 at JB Hi Fi have band 28 capability.

Allan Robertson the CEO of Aspera Mobile who was a former senior network engineer at Optus said, “If Band 28 is missing this is really bad all smartphones sold in Australia need to operate on band 28 or the 700MhZ channel which consists of A & B channels”.

A former senior Telstra network engineer said, “The reason that many smartphones available online are not being sold by the carriers is that they don’t comply to Australian network specifications”.

The carriers will not let smartphones without band 28 be sold via their retail networks because customers who have bought devices without band 28 have ended up contacting call centres with complaints about “poor quality” performance of their handsets”.

“If you can live with 3G speeds from the existing 900 (Optus/Vodafone) and 850MHz (Telstra) 3G networks then a cheap Realme product is an option but there are better options such as handsets from Aspire and Alcatel as well as several other manufacturers who are selling high quality cheap phones that are certified for the Australian market” they said.

Sam Skontos the CEO of TCL Mobile who will shortly launch the new TCL Plex smartphone in Australia said, “All our handsets including Alcatel, TCL Mobile, Palm and Blackberry devices are compliant and certified for the Australian market, we also noticed that band 28 is not listed in their network specifications”.

In our email to Realme re band 28 we also asked Realme for evidence that the devices are SAR Value certified and that they have been issued with CE, FCC and GCF certification for the Australian market.
We did this because an investigation by ChannelNews has revealed that several popular brands in China and Asian markets are being marketed into Australia by online sites which in the past included Kogan and Amaysim without Australian certification.

Critical is the SAR certification certificate.

The SAR radiation output value of a mobile has to be mandatorily declared by a mobile company that has made the phone and we cannot find

The SAR limit in Australia for mobile phone handsets is 2W/kg of tissue averaged over 10 grams.

The limit includes a significant safety factor.

ACMA the Government body certifying devices claim that all mobiles must comply with the SAR limits before being supplied to the Australian market.

All mobile phones are tested for SAR value to meet national and international guidelines, which in the US is 1.6 W/kg and in Europe is 2.0 W/kg. India which is one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world, currently, abides by the US standard.

At this stage we have no evidence that the Realme products have compliance certificates for the Australian market.

We requested copies of these certificates along with certification re band 28.

As soon as we get copies of these certificates, we will update this story.

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