T-Mobile to update certain devices to make them compatible with faster 700MHz band

T-Mobile to update certain devices to make them compatible with faster 700MHz band
T-Mobile is already known for having the fastest 4G LTE data speeds. Now, it turns out that several handsets and tablets that can connect to the 700MHz band, will achieve even faster speeds when using the carrier's 4G LTE pipeline. Certain models are compatible right now with the low frequency band including the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Samsung Galaxy Note Edge.

The Nexus 6 will receive an update allowing it to be compatible with the 700MHz band early this year. In May, the Samsung Galaxy Avant and the Sony Xperia Z3 will receive the update. And sometime this year, the ZTE ZMAX will follow suit.

Tablets that are compatible with T-Mobile's 700MHz LTE coverage include the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5. One other device, the T-Mobile 4G LTE HotSpot Z915, also supports the 700MHz band.

Last year, T-Mobile swapped cash and some AWS and PCS spectrum with Verizon, in exchange for 700MHz spectrum. The low-band signal travels farther and also has an easier time penetrating buildings.

source: T-Mobile via TmoNews



1. torr310

Posts: 1655; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

How can the software/firmware update can add the band support? I don't understand.... Shouldn't it be supported by the chip?

3. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

These are devices with band 12 supported from the get-go. They're just unlocking the capability with a software update. Think in terms of intel processors which you would then have to buy an update from intel to make them more capable. I forgot what the program was called, but it caused quite a stir since they were intentionally clocking down their chips. On the other hand, with keeping some bands under wraps, is perfectly fine. You wouldn't have been able to utilize band 12 up until now, so hence why they're doing a software update :)

2. GreatBigPhoney

Posts: 70; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

This is technically incorrect. Their 700mhz spectrum isn't being used for "faster speeds" it is being used for better coverage and better building penetration. They technically have less bandwidth on the 700mhz they're deploying than on the other bands they use, so technically the data speeds would be about the same if not slower depending on tower congestion. This would just provide more usable coverage in building and maybe in places where their signal didn't quite reach before.

5. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Yeah, I was wondering about how less bandwidth on less spectrum can possibly lead to faster speeds...maybe there are doing carrier aggregation with it? But that doesn't make sense to me, why would they want that spectrum to be used as the workhorse when they have so little of it. Pretty sure either phonearena or the source got it wrong with the "faster" part, certainly better building penetration and more coverage.

7. GreatBigPhoney

Posts: 70; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

It only makes sense, and I'm pretty sure every press release or announcement I've seen on the matter, (Not to mention the technical specifications of the spectrum they have) they've mentioned it is meant to be supplementary and to help with better propagation and building penetration. Lower band spectrum is not known for the best bandwidth capacity and they only have about 5mhz of it unless I've been misinformed. They are increasing speeds using wideband LTE where available to do so, and then will use carrier aggregation. Like you suggested, I think Phonearena got the wrong info or didn't do their research.

14. jerzyiroc

Posts: 36; Member since: Sep 16, 2014

Well, I guess technically speaking you would see faster speeds. You would see faster speeds indoors because of the penetration. If you only got 10Mbps indoors with the higher spectrum, but now 15Mbps indoors because of the lower spectrum, you're technically getting faster speeds.

8. nateatlarge

Posts: 30; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

When will the Iphone 6 get this update?

9. GreatBigPhoney

Posts: 70; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Iphone 6 and 6+ do not have the hardware compatible with this band (12) and will not work. You'll have to wait for the 6S/6S+

10. Federated

Posts: 263; Member since: Mar 06, 2010

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus lacks LTE band 12 700Mhz A-block. It's a HARDWARE problem. No amount of update can fix it.

11. joe1blue

Posts: 169; Member since: Jul 25, 2013

I just got the note 4 on t-mobile but for some reason I keep getting dropped calls when I enable the VOLTE I noticed whenever I switched from lte to 4g the call will drop, I didn't have that happen on my note 3 which is why I was hoping they would push an update to fix the problem.

13. TwerkLover84

Posts: 13; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

I got my Nexus 6 from google... Would I get their update? Or is this only for T-Mobile Nexus 6's?

19. djm63401

Posts: 19; Member since: Sep 17, 2012

T-Mobile uses a total unlocked nexus 6 they are the only carrier to do so so my bet it will update with T-Mobile sim

15. nateatlarge

Posts: 30; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

Apple’s iPhone 6 (Models A1549 and A1586) and iPhone 6 Plus (Models A1522 and A1524) both support four-band GSM, five-band CDMA2000, five-band UMTS (with HSPA+42 support), and sixteen LTE FDD bands (with support for up to 150Mbps of download speeds). The quad-band GSM and pent-band UMTS provide complete global coverage for GSM and UMTS/HSPA+ networks all over the world. The five CDMA2000 bands enable coverage on all CDMA carriers in the US (who use ESMR, Cellular 850MHz, AWS 1.7+2.1 GHz, and PCS 1.9GHz for CDMA), as well as KDDI in Japan (who use Cellular 850MHz and IMT 2.1GHz for CDMA) and China Telecom in China (who use Cellular 850MHz for CDMA). These bands are the same as the American Sprint model for the iPhone 5S and 5C. For LTE FDD, the iPhones support a full mix of bands for every region. LTE bands 1 (IMT 2.1GHz), 3 (DCS 1.8GHz), 5 (Cellular 850MHz), 7 (IMT-E 2.6GHz FDD), 8 (Cellular 900MHz), 20 (EU 800MHz), and 28 (APT 700MHz) are supported to provide the full range of access to LTE FDD networks throughout Europe, Asia, and Brazil. LTE bands 2 (PCS A-F blocks 1.9GHz), 4 (AWS-1 1.7+2.1GHz), 5 (Cellular 850MHz), 7 (IMT-E 2.6GHz FDD), 13 (US Upper 700MHz C block), 17 (US Lower 700MHz B+C blocks), 25 (PCS A-G blocks 1.9GHz), 26 (ESMR+Cellular 850MHz), 28 (APT 700MHz), and 29 (US Lower 700MHz Supplemental Downlink) offer nearly full access to LTE FDD networks throughout the Americas. Japanese LTE bands 18 (ESMR+Cellular 850MHz subset) and 19 (Cellular 850MHz subset) are intended to enable KDDI and NTT DoCoMo’s low-band networks, while band 28 sits in the wings for future 700MHz LTE network rollouts by KDDI, DoCoMo, and SoftBank. This came from the apple website. When I called apple they told me the Iphone 6 and 6+ does work on the 700 MHz block A so I am not sure what the truth is.

16. dcgore

Posts: 234; Member since: Feb 24, 2012

The iphone 6/6 plus does not support LTE band 12 in 700MHZ. It is not compatible with what T-Mobile is rolling out.

17. rdaex

Posts: 152; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

"A Full mix of bands for every region... ya know, except the ONE thats really important for one carrier in particular"

18. DrPockets

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 29, 2015

Actually made an account to ask this since I do not think it will get asked. I have a T-mobile note 4, but my service is through MetroPCS. Metro and TM are openly flamboyant about their relationship (ie. I didn't have to unlock my phone to add it to my current metro number.) So my question is will I be receiving this firmware/software update? I would love to have better service on my college campus. Since I work in an exaggerated cinder block I have 1-0 bars usually. This update would be the push I need to reach the coveted 3 bars! Edit to mention I am currently on GSM. (I don't know of if this matters.)

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