After many leaks, the new Nokia 3310 was unveiled at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, and the feature phone was met with instant adulation. Even though the new Nokia 3310 comes with a large colour display and tweaked keyboard, it still held its roots to keep the sturdiness and long lasting battery features alive. Unfortunately, one more feature that HMD Global kept alive was its old band frequencies, which inevitably makes the phone useless in many countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, and Singapore.
The original Nokia 3310 supported for two bands – 900MHZ and 1800MHz – on the GSM network, something that was fine for 2G connections back then. However, with the advent of mobile Internet, these frequencies are not active in many parts of the world, including the US and Canada. But, HMD Global didn’t think that these were important markets, and decided to support the old frequencies only.
While Nokia 3310 (2017) will be headed to Asia Pacific, it won’t work in Australia either. According to Yahoo Finance, the feature phone will not work on Australia’s biggest telco Telstra as it does not operate on 2G bands anymore. Vodafone and Optus are switching off 2G this year too.
Similarly, the new Nokia 3310 will not work in Singapore, as the 2G networks will become inoperable starting April 2017 in the country. Singapore telco StarHub said to The Straits Times that “all 2G-only phones will not support calls, SMS and data services” after 2G services end, which includes Nokia 3310 (2017).
For today’s phone to be operable worldwide, they needs to support at least four bands – 850MHZ, 900MHz, 1800MHz, and 1900MHz. Furthermore, with newly formed operators like Reliance Jio, which managed to attract a record number of subscribers, don’t support 2G or 3G at all, and you will need 4G support on your phone for this carrier to work.
However, HMD Global’s new and improved Nokia 3310 (2017) only supports 900MHz and 1800MHz frequencies for now, which means it won’t be able to connect to any network in the US and Canada. Most networks are shutting down 2G frequencies gradually, which means the new Nokia 3310 won’t work for a large audience in its targeted markets as well in the future.
Therefore, if you buy the new Nokia 3310 and travel to any of the countries that do not support the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands anymore, you would essentially be left with a device to play Snake on or take low-resolution photos with. The long lasting battery won’t help Nokia 3310 users remain connected to family and friends in these regions.
The new Nokia 3310 will be launched in India in Q2 2017, HMD Global has confirmed. Other markets that the feature phone is heading to are Middle East, Asia Pacific, Africa, and Europe. All of these countries support the old frequencies for now, but the phone won’t connect to Reliance Jio network in India. Nokia hasn’t said anything about a launch in the US, and it should introduce frequency support for the region, if it does launch it there.