Android devices, modems and Pakistan Telcos

Hey Android users, which Android radio modem works best for your devices to communicate with networks?

I have a Samsung Galaxy S series device and I’ve tested some of the modems out, and I end up figuring that each network has a slightly different configuration so you’ll end up with a different preferred modem for each. I’m going to stick with the Samsung Galaxy S series for elaboration here, not HTC or others, since I honestly have no clue about them as I don’t use them. What I can do is have a look at what my colleagues and friends have and how it works for them, and add that response later.

Just a quick note before we go ahead – if your network is crap just like Mobilink is when it comes to data, don’t blame your phone or the modem, it will still communicate like crap throughout 😛 Apparently I’m on this crappy network for some time and you just can’t make the best of it. One day it’ll work fine, the next you’ll feel oh that was probably a blue moon thingy. By the way, its not just Mobilink, in my experience, Ufone and Telenor are equally ridiculous in data connectivity. Warid has the best, followed by Zong which not only provides a decent service, but has a very reasonable price to it too.

Coming back to the modems, the more recent modem series that Samsung has released in 2011 are the:

  • KA5 Modem
  • KA6 Modem
  • KA7 Modem
  • KB1 Modem
  • KB5 Modem

Thing is that on XDA or any other forum you will find most developers leaning toward the KB5 modem more than any other, probably because it works for them better. However for Pakistan, I must say that it doesn’t always ring that way, though KB5 definitely works better for Warid and Zong. Mobilink on the other hand has an issue with just about every modem on the list, to be honest. However, the KA5 modem actually works better than the rest on the network, and it does retain a decent level of connectivity speed regardless. Then again, where the network itself fails, you can’t do much about anything, can you? Also, do remember, the harder the phone has to work to get a good connectivity, the higher your battery consumption, and of course the phone will heat up too similarly. You might want to save on that one.

The KA5 modem has been generally used by the developers of Lidroid, this ROM is primarily out of China, and since the networks here have Chinese suppliers too, that explains the more compatible nature of the modem. CM7 and MIUI (which actually is a UI upgrade to the core CM7) uses the KA7 modem by default, which is the latest modem released by Samsung around mid year. It does work great, but only if you go for Warid and Zong. Of course a more compatible modem will also help in better USB tethering, should you wish to use your phone as a modem for your laptop or PC.

This should help explain why some modems work better or not. Do remember, the above applies only to a Samsung Galaxy S series phone, which can be any variant. I have a Vibrant, and I know what works better. If you guys can suggest for other manufacturers, would be great to hear from you.

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