T-Mobile's Samsung Galaxy S III will not run on LTE network

T-Mobile's Samsung Galaxy S III will not run on LTE network
If you were planning on buying the Samsung Galaxy S III on T-Mobile with the idea that you would be eventually running data over the carrier's upcoming LTE network, better think again. A T-Mobile spokesman says that the Samsung Galaxy S III will not run on the carrier's LTE network, but the carrier promises to continue to operate its fast HSPA+ 42Mbps network in 2013, even when the nation's fourth largest carrier flicks the switch and turns on its LTE service.

The reason for this has to do with T-Mobile's AWS spectrum. While Verizon and AT&T use bands in the 700MHz spectrum for their respective LTE service, T-Mobile's LTE service will use the carrier's AWS spectrum. For the Samsung Galaxy S III to support T-Mobile's LTE service, it would require adding another band to the LTE radio on the phone. A Samsung spokesman confirmed via email that all U.S. units of the Samsaung Galaxy S III are the same across the carriers although the phones are optimized to work on each carrier's own network.

However, just because T-Mobile's version of the Samsung Galaxy S III will be running on the carrier's HSPA+ 42Mbps pipeline doesn't mean it's slow. A member of CNET's crew took off for a drive in San Francisco with the T-Mobile version of the Samsung Galaxy S III in tow and installed Speedtest.net. She was able to get download speeds as high as 16.58Mbps. While not as high as the peak 33Mbps speed she attained with AT&T''s LTE on that carrier's version of the phone, she said that the AT&T service had some dead zones.

Besides data speeds, another issue with T-Mobile's version of the phone is price. The 16GB version of the Samsung Galaxy S III is $279.99 with a 2-year contract or $229.99 for the value plan for which you pay interest. The 32GB version is $50 more for each plan. AT&T is charging $199.99 for the 16GB model, with a signed 2-year contract. AT&T is not offering the 32GB unit although Verizon and Sprint plan on asking $249.99 on contract.

source: CNET

Related phones

Galaxy S III T-Mobile
  • Display 4.8" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.9 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, Dual-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2100 mAh(10.00h talk time)

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52 Comments

1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Well that was obvious. HSPA 42 competes in Chicago pulling 20-25mbps constantly. But I seriously don't know why T-Mobile keeps shooting itself in the foot by pricing the phone more than all three carriers...

12. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

because you save 30- 50 bux a month on the plan. You can pay 50 less for the phone once every 2 years.. I'll pay 30-50 bux less a month... see who comes out ahead :)

23. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

T-Mobile is way cheaper than Sprint, like about $50 cheaper. I love T-Mobile. If they would price the phone at $199, they would have more people upgrading. I know a lot of people not getting it because its above the $200 price tag. I've tried explaining its worth it in he long run, but they never listen. -_-

26. Forsaken77

Posts: 553; Member since: Jun 09, 2011

You're paying less monthly because you're getting worse coverage, overall, than the other carriers. Tmobile is the budget carrier for people that need cheaper prices. So why have the highest price, by $80, of all the other carriers? Doesn't make sense and isn't what their brand represents.

29. disneydad

Posts: 114; Member since: Mar 26, 2012

No, metroPCS and Cricket are the budget carriers for cheap phones. I've had T-Mobile since 2003 and I've never had any major issues with coverage living in NJ and FL. T-Mobile has reiterated time and again that they are not interested in subsidizing phones.

35. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

you have the taco mentality of "its better because you pay more". It was just proven AGAIN to have the same speeds as VZW LTE. Tmobile covers 94-95% of Americans where VZW covers 97%. Yet the plans are nearly double on VZW. It also has more "4g" network than VZW does. Your paying for the name and tons of advertising. A friend of mine switched from Tmo to VZW in atlanta, and even with LTE he says he drops more calls than Tmo and has constant voice quality issues. He's mad because he wants to go back to Tmo but doesnt want to pay the tons of contract cancellation fees.

51. phoenixpr

Posts: 167; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

Amen to that. You get for what you pay for. Fisher price service...

2. mas11

Posts: 1034; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

The sad thing is that they will still call it a "4G" phone even though HSPA+ is more like 3.75G. Now I know Lte isn't true 4G according to the original definition of a 4G network, but it's the closest thing to it. It just annoys me when they market both Lte and HSPA+ as "4G."

6. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

WiMAX is nowhere near 4G and Sprint advertised it as 4G. T-Mobile's 3G as faster than it and that's sad. HSPA+ 42 dishes out speeds near or sometimes better than LTE. When T-Mobile deploys LTE Advanced next year, its going to be the carrier with the fastest speeds. LTE with HSPA 42 back haul? Hell yeah.

27. Forsaken77

Posts: 553; Member since: Jun 09, 2011

LTE Advance next year? That's overly optimistic. They haven't even put up the regular LTE yet and that takes more than a year.

28. gwhyte01

Posts: 44; Member since: Jul 09, 2008

They're not going to deploy regular lte. They're going straight to advanced on deployment.

34. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

They are installing LTE-10 which is the base for LTE Advance. It wont take them long to basically flip a switch from one to the other. The installs are already in the works.

7. Lboogey6

Posts: 281; Member since: Jan 31, 2012

Dude come on let it go it's marketing and has proof to be faster than regular 3g it's America we won't reach "true" 4g for a while lol the real liar is the 4s on Att now saying 4g lol.

14. Malique001

Posts: 58; Member since: Jun 08, 2012

All of these are just all marketing strategies IMO. HSPA+ is like you said 3.75G lmao. Technically there is so "real" 4G except for LTE Advanced i believe.

30. disneydad

Posts: 114; Member since: Mar 26, 2012

Still clinging to that? No one has 'true' 4G as you said. Why worry about which technology is being called 4G? HSPA+ gives users significantly increased data speeds over 3G technology.

40. SmartPhoneStream

Posts: 162; Member since: Jun 21, 2012

Well if Verizon's LTE is allowed to be advertised as 4G then so should T-Mobile's 4G HSPA+42, because even though on average Verizon's LTE is faster than T-Mobile's HSPA+42, in 11 cities nationwide T-Mobile's HSPA+42 is faster than Verizon's LTE. http://www.phonearena.com/news/T-Mobiles-HSPA-42Mbps-network-faster-than-Verizons-4G-LTE-in-11-cities_id31387

3. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

no surprise they are gonna release the gs3 with quad core and LTE as soon as there lte advanced network goes live .

4. Krishaun27 unregistered

No s**t! For a network that doesnt exist on a phone without the radio to connect to it, common ppl...

5. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

lol, Lets face it! It is not really surprising. But who cares!!!! My cousin's One S pulls thirty megs down and ten megs up!!! That beats any LTE anywhere. lol

8. rockstarlive

Posts: 307; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Really.....I never knew...Tmobile didn't have LTE

9. eDiesel

Posts: 142; Member since: Mar 17, 2012

That's the crappiest s3 so far. No exynos quad and no lte. Better off getting the tmo galaxy note.

11. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Tmo was just proven to be as fast/faster than VZW LTE, so I dont know where you get off thinking that. No SGS3 in america has exynos, and the Note uses the Older crapdragon S3 chip which is way less powerful than the S4 and worse on battery life by far. So no... your not better off getting the note.

17. eDiesel

Posts: 142; Member since: Mar 17, 2012

Don't get me wrong I dislike vzw but they trash tmo I'm most places. Tmo is slow. Vzw is not called the largest and fastest for no reason. Personally I own a note, I don't see much benefit from another dual core , 4.x screen phone that has no lte and is a little faster. Tmo s3 = trash.

21. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Thats your opinion, but studies shown otherwise.

25. eDiesel

Posts: 142; Member since: Mar 17, 2012

What are these studies you speak of?

45. SmartPhoneStream

Posts: 162; Member since: Jun 21, 2012

PapaSmurf is correct, studies show that T-Mobile's 4G network is faster then Verizon's LTE in 11 cities. Overall though LTE is faster then HSPA+ but in some areas LTE is slower http://www.phonearena.com/news/T-Mobiles-HSPA-42Mbps-network-faster-than-Verizons-4G-LTE-in-11-cities_id31387

33. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

yet Tmo has a much wider 4g network thats proven to be just as fast as VZW's LTE. They cover exactly 3% more population than Tmo. And they cost 50% more.

10. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Alan, your dead wrong You DO NOT pay interest on the value plan. You get a super cheap plan in exchange for full priced phones. When you bill the the phone to the account, it is a flat rate, which is the remaining balance after down payment, and nothing else. The phone is cheaper on Tmobile because the plans are so much cheaper. Even on regular non-value contract, its 80 a month for unl talk text and 2gig of web with no overages. Do the math. You pay a little more up front to save a ton in the end. One month's service pays the difference in the device, and then your saving for the next 23 months compared to every other major carrier. Cheaper plans mean less money for subsidies. 10 seconds worth of research.

22. cfprelude

Posts: 140; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Hey man. What part of Jax are u in? I've been trying to reach out to u but email me when u have a chance (cfansher@gmail.com) .... Very interested in ur experience (speeds and coverage) with tmo in Jax. And which plans will be my best bet for cheaper than vzw. Thanks!

31. disneydad

Posts: 114; Member since: Mar 26, 2012

Thank you for your clarification of EIP and Value plans on T-Mobile remixfa. You'd think with the comments on this site that the concept was like trying to grasp the theory of General Relativity. Everyone needs to move on from the shiny temptress called 'Free Phone'. That 'free phone' makes up the difference in the monthly bill.

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