Yesterday, we published an article asking an open question: what is up with T-Mobile band 12 support being removed from some unlocked smartphones?
Today, T-Mobile contacted us to speak about said article. Unfortunately, T-Mobile was unwilling to provide any official on-record responses to our questions. But after a short discussion, I can provide you some information I have learned on background (journalist speak for "cannot be directly quoted or attributed to anyone"). First:
- On T-Mobile, any device on its network with band 12 LTE data support must also support T-Mobile Voice over LTE services and E911.
The E911 part isn't particularly important in terms of the certification requirement - all phones sold in America are technically E911 compliant, because by law they have to be. Read More
If you're the happy owner of a 2015 Moto E, a pretty solid phone, you may also be a T-Mobile subscriber. You may have also bought the phone relying on the fact that it had a key forward-looking feature for the network - support for LTE on band 12. T-Mobile is the only national network here in America currently utilizing band 12 LTE (regional operator US Cellular being the next largest), and support for that band is key in congested metro regions, where its low 700MHz frequency provides superior building penetration and increased capacity for the network.
Well, in the latest update to the Moto E (Android 5.1) way back when, Motorola removed support for band 12 LTE from the device completely - and they're pointing the finger at T-Mobile. Read More
If you are a GSM user thinking about picking up an LG G4, then listen up. The international variant of the 32GB LG G4 is currently available on eBay for the crazy good price of just $419. That's a couple hundred bucks off the original retail price and $80 less than the last time we wrote about it.
The model being sold is the H815 international version. It's compatible with HSPA and most of the LTE bands on both T-Mobile and AT&T. Be sure to check the product listing for the full list of bands if you are concerned with compatibility. Read More
Way back in April Samsung officially announced the Galaxy Tab A, a new tablet line with a 4:3 screen and metal body that screams "iPad alternative" in every language. So far we haven't heard of any carriers taking a bite, but Samsung's tablets are so ubiquitous that it was more or less inevitable. T-Mobile hasn't officially announced a Galaxy Tab A for the "Uncarrier," but the company's support site now has a listing for a branded version. Read More
If you've been watching today's coverage of the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ with bated breath, you won't have to wait too long to pick one up from an American carrier. All five major US networks have confirmed that they'll be carrying Samsung's new flagships, with varying degrees of availability and pre-order status. The official release date from Samsung is August 21st, and AT&T is already selling phones. Here's the breakdown for the other carriers:
Big Red is already taking pre-orders for the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and the Galaxy Note 5. The S6E+ can be had for a whopping $768 in its standard 32GB model or $864 for the 64GB model (ouch) at unlocked prices. Read More
If you're looking for a Samsung flagship with an enormous amount of storage and a relatively low price, then look no further than B&H Photo today. The online retailer is selling a GSM unlocked, off-contract version of the Galaxy S6 in the top-tier 128GB capacity for $599.99. This is a brand new phone in black or white, and the SM-G920I model includes LTE radio bands for AT&T, T-Mobile, and most of the GSM-based MVNOs in the United States. It's a hell of a deal - and it's only available today.
At the moment the going rate for the 128GB model seems to be about $800, which means you're saving a cool 25% at this price. Read More
Well this is a pleasant surprise. The mid-range LG G Stylo and LG Leon both appeared on T-Mobile's lineup just a couple of months ago, and now they're getting their first significant updates. Significant in fact because they're coming to the very latest public build of Android. T-Mobile's support pages for both phones were updated this morning telling users to expect an over-the-air update to Android 5.1.1. Both phones (also somewhat surprisingly) ran Lollipop 5.0 when they first launched on the US carrier.
Both phones are getting additional fixes on top of the extra Android features in 5.1, namely "improved battery life (for Wi-Fi Calling) and display." Exactly what improving the display entails isn't mentioned. Read More
T-Mobile has been responsible for seriously shaking up the American cellular carrier for the last couple of years, disrupting nearly every area from contracts to phone subsidies to data sales models. So hearing that T-Mo's parent company Deutsche Telekom may be interested in selling it off is somewhat alarming. Hearing that they may be interested in selling to Comcast, quantifiably one of the most despised companies in the entire country, is like watching that head-crushing scene from Game of Thrones all over again.
Reuters reports that Deutsche Telekom is in active talks to sell T-Mobile USA to cable giant Comcast, according to business magazine Manager, which cites anonymous sources. Read More
Most over-the-air updates include a few bug fixes, maybe a new bloatware app or two, and are thus not really worth getting excited over. Not so for the latest addition to T-Mobile's customized version of the Sony Xperia Z3. In addition to the long-awaited upgrade to Android 5.0, today's update flips a software switch that enables access to band 12, the 700MHz spectrum that T-Mobile began using for LTE earlier this year. If the prospect of wider, faster LTE for your phone doesn't make you excited for an update, I don't know what will.
Beginning June 3, the Sony Xperia Z3 will have a mandatory software update to Android version 5.0.2/ Build 23.1.C.0.385 available via OTA push or Sony PC Companion over Wi-Fi only.