Nokia Lumia 820 and 920 to feature pentaband chips compatible with every major Canadian network

Daniel Bader

October 16, 2012 8:12 pm


One of the revelations from Nokia’s FCC entries for the Lumia 820 and 920 made me very happy. According to the testing, both models, which feature a 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, will have pentaband-capable basebands inside, and have been tested on both 850/1900Mhz and AWS frequencies.

While many of the latest devices, including the North American Galaxy S III, are theoretically capable of being pentaband, they are hardware-locked to 850/1900; even when carrier unlocked, they are incapable of working on the new entrants’ AWS spectrum. The Lumia 820 and 920, if things stay as they appear, will be compatible with Rogers, Bell, TELUS, WIND Mobile and Mobilicity out of the box, not to mention other subsidiary brands.

This is a huge boon to those users who want the flexibility a pentaband phone can afford. For example, the Galaxy Nexus is pentaband (five bands: 850/900/1700/1900/2100Mhz) in the 3G spectrum, which means that even though I use it on one of the three major carriers in Canada, it can be used on the vastly more affordable T-Mobile when I travel to the United States. For Canadians, the Lumia 920 will also have the added benefit of being LTE-capable in the AWS spectrum, so when you’re using it on Rogers, TELUS or Bell it will connect at speeds up to 100Mbps; when used on Mobilicity, WIND or Videotron, it will connect at HSPA+ speeds of up to 21Mbps.

While it’s still possible that carriers may request that Nokia disables one or more of the frequencies within the baseband itself, we’d imagine that the company’s Symbian roots would encourage a more open stance on the matter. For example, the Rogers-sold Nokia N8 was locked to the carrier, but when unlocked worked across all available networks in Canada. Should the same be true of the Lumia 820 and 920 it will make these devices some of the most coveted for travellers and enthusiasts.

Source: FCC, Twitter

  • astudent

    Bravo Nokia, Bravo. Flexibility = choice = down with the big 3 although Telus has recently moved up in my rankings.

    • kUdosNokia

      Kudos to Nokia for making all their phones Pentaband. I’m sure that simply the packaging and distribution charges will offset extra $3 for the Pentaband radio.

      At the same time this will avoid “Exclusives” ( or chances for TELUS to Kill the phone like they did with the Lumia 800!)

      The job of Nokia is to sell as many phones as possible; giving exclusives in North America was ALWAYS a BAD idea!

      Now people that want a Nokia will simply buy it at the CHEAPEST PRICE ( Virgin Kudo?)

      1-Pentaband phones- First Great idea!
      2.Nokia to see themselves as new entrants- SECOND GREAT idea
      ( If they stop thinking that their phone are greatly desires in North America and they price them around $50 less than the equivalent Adnroid, they will sell well, which is a higher possibility with ALL the operators selling the phone -potentially)

    • kUdosNokia

      The next SMART decision will be the pricing:
      The Lumia 820 sits between the Galaxy S2 and S2x selling now at $300 from Virgin and Koodo/ Add to that the CURRENT NEXUS selling at $350 ( that will drop in price by the end of the month when the NEW NEXUS arrives)

      So they can’t sell the 820 at more than $300-$350!
      Specially considering that the 820 will take your skirt/pants DOWN, good phone but the thing weights a ton!

      Lumia 920:
      Almost the same specs as the Nexus: NO SDCARD SLOT!
      a bit more battery and 32GB instead of 16 for the Nexus; albeit Smaller screen and lower reselling value. The current Nexus is selling at $350 (To drop soon?) so the 920 can’t be more than $400 (The rumoured price of the next Nexus)

      Which basically would put the:
      Lumia 820 $299
      Lumia 920 $399 TOPS!

      But of course doing a MARKET RESEARCH and checking competition would be SIMPLY CRAZY!! wouldn’t it??
      Look at the Microsoft Surface: $720 for a tablet with keyboard?? Epic Fail LOL!!

    • TechTaurus

      I don’t think Nokia has the power, or the time to choose which carrier/s would be preferable to its business interests.
      Nokia can only wait, and hope for the best.

  • Alex

    As a N8 Owner, I’m so pleased to see the return of Pentaband to Nokia’s phones. It just makes more sense to make one phone that works in more places than regional variants. It’s even great to see that it’s not just flagship phones that get Pentaband, the Asha 311 has it too!

    • kUdosNokia

      Pentaband- Great!
      NO SD CARD???- Simply kills the best of the phones- FAIL!

      I wouldn’t get the Nexus because it doesn’t have SD CARD slot. Period!
      But the Nexus, with the fastest upgrades, great reselling value AND at $350, I will be getting one!!

      If Nokia thinks their phones still carry a premium as if this was Europe/Middle East in 2005 they are in for a surprise. The advantage is that we know that Telus will super-uber- over price it; then Rogers uber-over price it; Bell will over- price it and we will get it at the end from one of the other ones!

      It’s hard to believe that NOKIA, Microsoft, Samsung don’t sell their phones directly to consumer via their own websites, by the time they start Google Play will be KING.

      The Current bars in Canada are $350 for the Nexus, and $300 for the S2 S2x; then it jumps to $600 for the S3 and $800 for the iPhone, The Moto is a good phone but can’t compete with the S3 being prices at $600. If Manufacturers don’t see that their phones will be DOA.

  • Me

    Sweet! Now I can get the phone unlocked and even move to Mobilicity if I wanted to!

  • Edward Szklar

    Unlocked pentaband…the way it should be.

  • Dalex

    Nice. I’m interested in picking a 920 to use on Telus. My issue is that if I get a Rogers one and unlock it, it only comes in boring black. If I unlock an AT&T model, it comes with their disgusting logo on it… Sigh…

    • Matthew

      pretty sure I read somewhere that Nokia isnt allowing any companys to put their logo on the phone. Look into I am almost positive!

  • Borteeo

    Excellent news. I’m interested in the 920, but didn’t think it would be compatible with Wind. Just waiting to see how locked down WP8 turns out to be. I’m not interested in a “walled garden” unless there’s a gate, or at least a reasonably pain-free method of jumping the walls.

  • DBrown

    hardware-locked to 850/1900 the S3′s can’t work with these entrants …??? LOL WHAT? Are you kdding me The S3 is with Rogers, Bell, Virgin and Telus.. The only one that is not offered through is WInd Mobile. So making it seem like the S3 can’t run on these networks is a bit bias in favor ot M$ and a full blown lie when again this phone is fferend through the major networks on and off contract !!

  • Pete

    I’m mot sure what DBrown just said, but it hurts to try and figure it out. Regardless, here’s to a good future for Nokia!

  • jeff

    Great news! But now lets see if the tethering will be locked down a la 900. Oh and lets see if wp8 has manual apn settings or are we going to have those stupid connectivity apps that Nokia has never supported in Canada anyway. All the bands in the world are useless unless we get these issues addressed.

    • Jayed

      I am not sure what you mean by manual APN settings but on my HD7 you can actually change APN manually in the phone setting without using any apps. I believe this is an OS feature not HTC feature so it should be possible on your lumia 900

    • John

      you can not manually change the MMS APN on the rogers Lumia 900 as Rogers has bamboozled Nokia into not allowing the extra software “Network Setup” to be distributed to their Canadian phones. Its freely available everywhere else in the world, just Rogers won’t let unlocked 900′s use MMS or tethering.

  • bd

    Did I just see “Micro SD” on the diagram?

  • Aiden

    For sure i will be picking up a Nokia device. Glad it works on every carrier.

  • Richard

    I think they’ll hardware lock it. Why else would T-Mobile need its own unique version if the AT&T(probably the same as Rogers, Bell and Telus) version was pentaband?

  • mjolnir

    @bd the microsd is strictly for the 820 as per the diagram

  • 15ive

    OH CANADA

  • Big Ang

    This is great news. I was just thinking earlier today that Wind and Mobilicity will probably have to get the 810, while the almost identical 820 has a few design elements that make it considerably better. But, if it means that the 920 will work on Wind and Mobilicity – awesome!

    However, I’ve been burned by needless cellphone restrictions added by the manufacturers or carriers for over a decade, so I’ll wait and see if the final product is shipped with all bands available for anyone who uses the device.

    Nothing would make me happier if I’m wrong about this, but I’ll just wait and see before I celebrate.

  • GTP20

    Really good news. I hope it’s true. All new phones should be like this.

  • David

    Great news, but I will probably buy a 920 at PMall or the MS store anyway.. cuz Rogers only offer BLACK for 920. What a pathetic decision

  • coxon

    When the 920 and 820 were announced the official Nokia page displayed quad band gsm with 5 bands for LTE which does nothing for Mobilicity, Wind, and Videotron customers because you can’t make voice calls over LTE in Canada. Now the official Nokia site is showing this: GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA Band V (850), WCDMABand VIII (900), WCDMA Band IV (1700) ,WCDMA Band II (1900), WCDMA Band I (2100), LTE 700, LTE 800, LTE 850, LTE 900, LTE 1700, LTE 1800, LTE 1900, LTE 2100 ,LTE 2600
    I am very pleased and excited.

  • alex

    Wow, bravo Nokia, used my N8 on wind and Rogers, I think I will get 920

  • watership

    So i should be able to go to the Microsoft store in Yorkdale and buy a Nokia Lumia 920 and then put that phone on Bell? It’s that easy? I’ve never bought an unlocked phone, so pardon my ignorance.

    • gwydionjhr

      We don’t know yet if MS will be selling Nokia phones in their stores, and if there will be an option for unlocked versions. Based on what happened with the first round of Nokia phones in the US, where the Lumia 800 was the only phone NOT picked up by a carrier there, and it was the only device sold in the MS stores, I suspect we won’t be able to buy them outright from MS.

      However, there should be nothing stopping you from buying the phone outright from Rogers and then having them unlock it.

      My fingers are crossed that there will be a 9XX variant coming to either Bell or Telus like is rumoured to be coming to Verizon in the states.

      If the only 9XX we’re going to see in Canada is the black one on Rogers, I may be going Bobby Probert on Stephen Elop’s a*s the next time he’s back in Canada.

  • Piff

    This changes my next phone options if this comes to pass.

  • STY

    Isn’t this old news? My year and a half old Nokia C7 , unlocked works on all carriers.

  • jattsober

    Kudos Nokia,,,hoping that this is true and Nokia will not wither down by some greedy Carrier’s insistence.

  • Garnet Ulrich

    Good idea. Too bad the phone has those big ugly icons and has such a crappy software selection. They really should build a variant running some other operating system.

    • caribouroader

      …and yet your avatar is the long defunct NHL California Golden Seals emblem!

  • Francis Thibault

    Great news if it proves to be true Lumia 920 Grey here I come

  • Rob B

    Faith in NOKIA has been restored!!!
    And this is one of the reason I have loved Nokia and will keep on loving it. I was thinking of ditching Nokia after being a loyal fan and customer for past 13 years. I support the Canadian small three (Pubwindlicity) and I would have ditched Nokia (I would not have been easy though)to show my support.

  • Manthan

    Kudos!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Finally something i was waiting for…. hope so it do come with petaband… vgonna go fo 920 A true masterpiece.

  • Chuck

    This news makes me so happy. I really wanted a 920 but I though it wasn’t going to happen because of this exclusive deal with Rogers and AT&T. I think my Black Friday trip is now happening for sure or I’ll just ship it.

  • Chuck

    Now how do you get the phone unlocked from AT&T 6 month stance? Too bad Rogers only sells it in black or I would buy it here.

  • GENERAL WONG

    Might sell my IPHone 5 for this. pantaband = freedom

  • Spike

    Well, if the 920 is locked down by Rogers like they did on the 900 for mms and tethering, I won’t be buying it at Rogers for use on Telus.

    I unlocked the 900 just fine and everything worked EXCEPT tethering and MMS, which Rogers locked down internally. Anyway, I had the phone given to me for free by my MS friend to try it. Without tethering and MMS , it didn’t last a month in my pocket.

  • COLONEL GUSTOV

    If Nokia wants to be back in the smart phone market then pentaband it has to be , then it will be a win win for consumers and Nokia

  • Gurnishan

    i want virgin to bring this phone after the rogers exclusive period is over.

  • KitsBeach

    No AWS on the 920 International (according to WP Central) kinda sucks for me as I was hoping to use it on Wind or Mobi. Might have to go 820 (as I am not really interested in the other guys offerings) then if I want to experience WP8.

  • Gerry

    There’s a video of a 920 running on Wind. Search Youtube.