AT&T Caves On 700 Band Interoperability
AT&T today announced its commitment to supporting band 12 with its LTE network and devices in the 700 MHz range. The move will make it much easier for smaller carriers such as U.S. Cellular and Cricket to move forward with their LTE networks in the Lower 700 MHz band. AT&T has previously only supported band 17 and offered band 17 devices, which do not support the lower-frequency blocks of the 700 MHz band licensed by the smaller carriers. Band 12 is a superset of band 17, covering both the lower frequencies used by the smaller carriers and the higher frequencies used by AT&T. Manufacturers have tended to focus more effort toward phones for larger carriers such as AT&T (with band 17), leaving smaller carriers with few band 12 phones that work with their LTE networks. Now that AT&T has committed to offering band 12 devices, more devices should be available to the smaller carriers. AT&T previously objected to supporting band 12, citing interference concerns. The FCC has been re-examining the issue of 700 MHz band interoperability recently, putting pressure on AT&T.
Samsung Makes the Galaxy J7 and Galaxy J3 Available Unlocked
Samsung today added the Galaxy J7 and Galaxy J3 to its list of unlocked smartphones. The two inexpensive handsets will be available to purchase directly from Samsung's web site as well as select retailers starting July 28.
Alcatel Announces the Idol 5S with Stereo Speakers
Alcatel today marked the debut of the Idol 5S, the latest in its flagship series. Like its predecessors, the 5S features an aluminum frame, curved glass front and rear surfaces, powerful stereo speakers, and a rear-mounted fingerprint reader.
Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom Goes On Sale for $329
Asus today made the ZenFone 3 Zoom available from its web site for $329. The phone was first announced in January.
AT&T Trudges Forward with 700MHz Interoperability
AT&T recently told the FCC where it stands with respect to interoperability in the 700MHz band and said it is making good progress. At issue is phones' abilities to roam between several different bands within the 700MHz A Block slice of airwaves, specifically Band 17 and Band 12.