T-Mo Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 is 700MHz compatible

galaxy tab 4

Yesterday we discovered that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Avant is compatible with T-Mobile’s 700MHz airwaves. The device’s FCC filing reveals compatibility with band 12 LTE, as does the filing for an unreleased Sony device, which most expect will be the Xperia Z3. However, there is one device already on sale through T-Mo which is compatible with the A-block spectrum purchased from Verizon earlier in the year.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 launched recently on T-Mobile and has already been built to work on the network that’s designed to penetrate buildings better than the current, higher frequencies. A dig down in to the Galaxy Tab 4 support pages reveals the networks it’s compatible with.

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 10.22.13

What’s more, it also supports carrier aggregation between AWS (band 4) and 700 MHz (band 12) as revealed in the FCC filing. Furthermore, it also supports a connection to AT&T’s 700MHz (band 17) airwaves, potentially allowing the tablet to roam domestically on AT&T’s low-band LTE network.

We’re expecting the 700MHz network to go live towards the very end of this year, or beginning of 2015. But, it’s encouraging to see hardware manufacturers getting behind it before the network is even live. The big question for me is whether or not the iPhone 6 will have compatibility built in, or whether we’ll have to wait until 2015’s model before we see an A-block compatible iPhone. Apple, historically, has been slow about adopting newer network technologies. It didn’t even have LTE until the iPhone 5 was released in 2012.

What do you guys think? Will we see an influx of band 12 compatible devices being released in the second half of this year?

Thanks, Neal.

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  • Bryck

    Hopefully the g3 is as well.

    • taron19119

      The g3 is not compatible with band 12

      • Bryck

        I know my friend. Just wishful thinking.

  • Yes, get those devices ready Early!! We’ll be prepared for when they switch that low band spectrum on.

  • Tom

    I hope the next Nexus phone can use this band.

  • monkeybutts

    Nice too bad galaxy tablets are pretty crap though

    • Jesse James

      the new Tab S is pretty nice, but for the most part i agree

      • superg05

        its very nice walmart has this Samsung rep he was showing me it today the screen and device is beautiful

    • superg05

      not after 2012 there not

  • kev2684

    i guess it’s safe to say all unannounced t-mo branded phones/tablets here on out are band 12 compatible.

  • GreatNews

    If not Band 12 on the G3 I hope VoLTE is coming to it

    • superg05

      trust me when i say let them iron it out first or you’ll have audio distortions ect during calls but maybe that’s only with low signal strength

  • TMOguy

    Cam, in the article above you say it’s compatible with AT&T’s Band 17 700mhz, but in the specs it actually doesn’t say that it is band 17 compatible.
    Can you double check that fact?

    • Band 17 is a subset of band 12. The difference is that band 12 contains all channels in the lower 700MHz band, while band 17 subtracts the one closest to the TV channel 51.

      • TMOguy

        Yeah, I’m just not sure they operate the same way though. That’s been the issue with getting band 12 added to devices that already had band 17. You can google ‘700mhz interoperability’
        If that limitation has been overcome, that would be worthy of a seperate news announcement on it’s own.

        • Alex Zapata

          This is where it starts to get a little confusing. Technically speaking any band 12 (lower a+b+c) device can access band 17 (lower b+c). The filters, duplexers, etc are perfectly capable of tuning to band 17, but not vice-versa. I wouldn’t go so far as to claim that any device with band 12 WILL work on a carrier using band 17, but in theory it’s possible. Theory and practice though……

        • That’s a very clear answer to understand, thank you @Alex Zapata:disqus.

        • greg5green

          Band 17 is a subset of Band 12. So any Band 12 device WILL work on 17.

        • Alex Zapata

          The reason I said should is because we have to take into account any carrier shenanigans, especially here in the states.

        • greg5green

          Touché on that one I guess

  • HeatFan786

    Wasn’t spectrum exchange between AT&T and T-Mobile a report from a few weeks ago?

    • enkay1

      It didn’t have anything to do with 700 MHz. All of that was mostly AT&T divesting Cricket/Leap’s AWS spectrum as a concession for the FCC allowing the deal. T-Mobile exchanged some extra PCS spectrum with AT&T as well.

  • FILA

    more importantly will the Nexus 6 have Band 12???? Screw apple

    • Guest

      what nexus 6?

    • Maximus

      I’m pretty sure the Nexus 6 will have it. Since the Nexus phones only work on ATT and TMO, I’m sure they are aware of Band 12. At that last Google conference, the phones they were using for demonstrations were running on the TMO network. I can’t imagine they would leave out Band 12 when so many Google people would benefit from it.

  • Stefan Naumowicz

    And so it begins!

  • Philip

    What about the Note 4 coming in Sept?

    • Macano

      What about it?

      • Jay Holm

        Obviously he is inquiring what the likeliness is it will have 700 Band 12, that’s “what about it”.

    • Serge

      We won’t know until the specs are published.

    • superg05

      very likely but

  • CalicoKJ

    Please forgive my naivete…is this something that’s hardware fixed or is it a possibility that a software update would allow this on a particular phone in the future? I’m inclined from the readings to think it’s hardware based, but that’s far from my area of knowledge.

    • enkay1

      While many phones have radios in them that could support the new band, the frequencies the phone can use are hardware-based because phones must be certified for each specific frequency by the FCC before they can be used.

      Phones also need filters and duplexers (new hardware) installed for proper compatibility with each frequency.

      In short, while a software update could technically activate new frequencies, there needs to be FCC certification and certain pieces of hardware in place before they new frequencies can be activated.

      • MastarPete

        heh, beat me to it.

      • H Nathan Harper

        Every phone has a special filter that blocks the radio signals that are not wanted. This helps to prevent unwanted interference and increase signal and speeds.

    • MastarPete

      I’ve been trying to figure out that as well.

      The tech is kind of available in that there are software defined radios that combine the transceivers and antenna tuning and basic filtering into one chip that can handle all announced Bands for the release category. The Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 are known to have one capable of all Cat 10 Bands, but I’m not sure about the LG G3.
      However there are still cases where additional filtering still needs to be built onto the board to prevent interference on other bands to meet the demands of each countries requirements.

      That’s as near to what’s going on as I can figure out without being an electronics engineer in the industry.

      If it really is as simple as just patching the modem software then it’s possible to re-submit to the FCC for certification, and then push the patch with a later software update. However if that’s the case then it makes me wonder why the hell they didn’t make an announcement at launch like they did when the Note 2 came out LTE capable prior to T-Mobile’s LTE launch. That’s a pretty big upsell opportunity they missed out on.

      • nycplayboy78

        Cat 10 Band is 1700MHz and yes the GN3 is compatible with that….

        • MastarPete

          I guess I mixed up the terminology a bit but I was referring to the LTE release that the transceiver chipset was designed for, not the individual bands. The chip used by the Galaxy S5 is a Qualcom WTR1625L, searching online a bit shows it is a release 10 chip and supports all bands that were ratified for LTE release 10 which includes band 12. I also had the LG G3 in mind, but I guess I should have gone back and edited that in sooner.

          Or did you think I was replying to your question about the Galaxy Note 3 supporting band 12? I’m pretty sure the Note 3 came out way before T-mobile was even considering the Band 12 deal with Verizon so I doubt it would support it or receive an update to add support.

  • nycplayboy78

    Guys is the Galaxy Note 3 700MHz compatible?

    • Serge

      No, it does not support band 12.

      • nycplayboy78

        Serge check out my post I just uploaded…Maybe the GN3 is compatible…..Hmmmmm…..

  • cwarocks

    By the time that T-Mobile has 700Mhz anywhere the Galaxy Tab 19.1 will be out.

  • Kenny C.

    Since all Verizon phones are all unlocked by default would it be safe to say that all Verizon phones will work on the magenta network?
    I know my iPhone 5 s is like that. The galaxy s5 does work but no volte. That is the only limitation I can see for now. The iPhone even gets all the t-mobile carrier updates.

    • Wilfredo Martinez

      That would not be a safe assumption to make… The devices from Verizon must have the proper frequency bands in order to work on T-Mobile’s network, that being said, the iPhone 5S supports all frequencies used by T-Mobile and that is why it works, I don’t know about the galaxy… The frequencies are 1900, and AWS band 4 for 4G LTE… The Verizon iPhone 5S also works on AT&T and even Sprint, however Sprint won’t activate it!

  • ChitChatCat

    Aren’t all of Sprint’s LTE bands on there too (specifically Band 7/2600 and Band 5/850)?

    • Jeremiah McCurry

      Sprint LTE bands are 25/26/41.

      • Wilfredo Martinez

        And band 2, 1900 MHz

        • No. Sprint’s PCS LTE network operates on PCS A-G, Band 25.

        • Wilfredo Martinez

          So there are two different bands for LTE on 1900 MHz? Band 2 and band 25? Why? Sprint is silly to not have interoperability with other carriers, in fact Sprint should allow users to bring their own devices even if they are CDMA!

  • nycplayboy78

    Well for everyone who has the Galaxy Note 3 it is NOT compatible with T-Mobile’s upcoming 700MHz (Band 12) rollout:

    LTE (4G)
    700 Lower 700 (AT&T) / band 17 USA
    850 Cellular / band 5 (V) Americas, Oceania, Brazil, Israel
    1700 AWS / band 4 (IV) Americas
    1900 PCS / band 2 (II) Americas
    2100 IMT / band 1 (I) Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, Brazil, India, Israel
    2600 IMT-E / band 7 (VII) Canada, South America, Europe, Asia

    WCDMA (3G / 4G)
    850 Cellular / band 5 (V) Americas, Oceania, Brazil, Israel
    1700 AWS / band 4 (IV) Americas
    1900 PCS / band 2 (II) Americas
    2100 IMT / band 1 (I) Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, Brazil, India, Israel

    GSM (2G)
    850 Cellular Americas, Oceania, Brazil, Israel
    900 Europe, Asia, Africa
    1800 DCS Europe, Asia, Africa
    1900 PCS Americas

    AT&T version does not support WCDMA 1700

    Hold up here is a definition of Lower 700 maybe the Galaxy Note 3 is compatible after all…Cam or other frequency gurus can help me out with this:

    Lower 700 band

    The radio frequency band spanning 698 – 746 MHz.

    The band is divided into five blocks. Blocks A, B, and C are designed for two-way cellular phone/data service. Blocks D and E are designed for one-way (broadcast) radio service.

    AT&T uses blocks B and C for its LTE network, which span a frequency range also known as band 17.

    Smaller regional carriers – such as U.S. Cellular – use blocks A, B, and C. That range is also known as band 12.

    Phones designed for band 12 will work on networks using blocks A, B, and C. Many phones designed for AT&T are designed for band 17, and therefore will not work on regional networks that use block A.