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T-Mobile Needs Band 12 Phones to Also Support VoLTE, E911

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Aug 28, 2015, 3:52 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

T-Mobile has clarified its stance on Band 12 support in handsets that operate on its network. "We require phones using Band 12 on T-Mobile to support E911 and VoLTE in order to be certified on our network," said T-Mobile in a statement provided to Fierce Wireless. "We do this in the interest of our customers' overall experience and safety." T-Mobile does not, however, force phone makers to support Band 12. "Every OEM has the option to support VoLTE and E911 or not. It's their decision, though obviously, we hope that every OEM will choose to support these features and get certified on our network." The issue at hand is one of safety. Handsets that include Band 12 but don't also support VoLTE and E911 can run into roaming issues that may prevent 911 emergency calls from connecting properly. This would violate FCC regulations and might impact the outcome of emergency situations. The issue came to light when it was discovered the Moto E doesn't support VoLTE, E911, nor Band 12.

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Aug 29, 2015, 10:57 AM

Makes Perfect Sense

T-Mobile is taking the bull by the horns and trying to steer the industry where it needs to go. The old circuit switched networks are going to be shut off and VoLTE is where its going. T-Mobile just happens to be a carrier where parts of their network are VoLTE only. Since T-Mobile doesn't have any legacy phone connections in the 700 frequencies, the only other option is VoLTE.

That said, phones that have band 12 (700) need to have VoLTE capabilities. Otherwise, those phones will show signal but can't make calls. We all know what kind of ruckus that would cause. Getting certified for VoLTE and E911 is a draw out process and everyone involved is finding it easier for the time being (especially the manufacturers) to disable band 12...
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