Nexus 6, Xperia Z3, and more will receive updates to enable 700MHz support


T-Mobile announced in mid-2014 that it had begun equipping some of its cell sites with precious low-band 700MHz spectrum, and since then we’ve seen it pop up in towns in Texas and Ohio. The number of T-Mo devices that can access that coverage is somewhat small right now, but T-Mobile is planning to up that figure in the coming months.

A T-Mobile coverage page has revealed that several devices will be updated with 700MHz support in early 2015. The Google Nexus 6 is slated to receive an update in “early 2015,” while the Samsung Galaxy Avant and Sony Xperia Z3 will be updated in May 2015. The ZTE ZMax will get a 700MHz update as well, but its update timeframe is a vague “2015”.

We may not know when T-Mobile will launch its 700MHz coverage in your neck of the woods, but thanks to this T-Mobile support page, at least you can buy one of these smartphones with the knowledge that you’ll be ready whenever the 700MHz airwaves go live in your neck of the woods.

Thanks, Nate!

Source: T-Mobile

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  • dontsh00tmesanta

    Might as well got a z3 if i knew the n6 needed an update to enable b12. Maybr itll invlude widi callinh

    • questioning

      My nexus 6 has WiFi calling?

      • des

        Not yet, when the update goes to the n6 will have the wifi calling feature on it.

      • UMA_Fan

        T-Mobie has promised an update for WiFi Calling and VoLTE for the Nexus this quarter.

    • des

      They all need an update for the 700 to work, not just the n6.

      • dontsh00tmesanta

        Thats my point dude, I got the n6 thinking band 12 was activated. If I knew I’d have to wait I’d get the z3

        • Romdude

          It doesn’t really matter does it since band 12 isn’t available widely yet. If you have it in your area, then yeah, bummer.

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          It does matter lol

        • Romdude

          Ouch, hopefully you won’t have much longer to wait.

        • dontsh00tmesanta


    • monkeybutts

      Should have gotten a note 4 while they were giving $200 for trade ins. A big phone that currently has features made for the bigger screen right out of the box.

      • dontsh00tmesanta

        Nice phone but no Samsung for me

    • D Griffin

      Band 12 *is* active on the N6. The statement is misleading.

      • dontsh00tmesanta

        Many articles disprove your claim, such as one you quoted me from lol

        • D Griffin

          It’s not really disproving it if their information is flat out wrong (at least in my area). If I could upload screenshots, I’d be more than happy to “show and prove”.

        • thepanttherlady

          Upload to an image hosting website then post the link here. I’ll approve it when I see it come through.

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          using lte discovery? its inaccurate with band 12 sightings

  • D Griffin

    This doesn’t make much sense unless they’re referring to specific Band 12 frequencies. My Nexus 6 locks onto Band 12 here in Detroit without a problem or any updates.

    • CPPCrispy

      Did you get your Nexus 6 from Google (Play store) or from T-Mobile? I wonder if there is a difference between the Nexus 6 that T-Mobile sells and the one the Play Store sells.

      • D Griffin

        I got mine from T-Mo. I actually got mine ordered over the phone before it even showed up as fully being available in their system. A little before one in the morning on release day.

      • JamesG

        Its exactly the same, only AT&t puts there greedy hands in the phone

    • Medion

      What are you using to confirm Band 12 access?

    • Aaron C

      Yeah, I didn’t know the Nexus 6 needed an update to enable that radio??

    • Chimphappyhour

      Yeah, I was wondering how the heck does T-mo know which N6’s to even send such an update out to?!? I would assume it’s already there.

      • eAbyss

        Nexus updates are handled by Google, not the manufacturer or carrier. Google will apply this update to all Nexus 6s.

  • Pitahson

    Wish every phone were built unlocked gsm and CDMA. Put in a sim card, it picks up all the right bands needed for the carrier. For more advanced users, have a hidden menu and be able to manually select all the bands needed from insanely large list the modem has. Simple, and open

    • besweeet

      Looks like the iPhone would be it (minus the simple and open and advanced parts).

      • PK

        I bet the Qualcomm and Skyworks LTE hardware has support of this band, but Apple will not go out of its way to enable it.

        • Mike

          Don’t expect Apple to update this on the 6/6+ they rather force you to buy the 6s

        • skittle

          uh no. Who exactly is forcing anyone to buy anything?

        • JamesG

          Apple would be if you want band 12….

        • skittle

          The same would apply to to most every other phone made for use or able to use on Tmobile. Not just Apple. Very few people have capable phones for the band 12 and few people have live up and ready availability. Moot point.

        • skittle

          It can’t be updated on phones that were not built for it. It’s a hardware design thing. Apple did not make any of there phone ready for 12 yet just like most every other manufacturer. Only a few other branded phones have the capable hardware. If Apple is “forcing” upgrades then so is everyone else. ( exceptions: The Note 4 is ready, Nexus 6 is ready and maybe a few others.

        • UMA_Fan

          Being that Apple is an official T-Mobile partner now why WOULDN’T they enable it if band 12 was dormant? Is it just too much hassle for it to go through the FCC again? I don’t think its that simple.

      • Pitahson

        Yeah pretty much. IPhone is the closest thing to this. Specifically the Verizon 5c, 5s, 6 and 6+. Can use on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile with full lte and hspa+. Most versatile phone next to the nexus 6 and 5

    • UMA_Fan

      Nexus 6.

      iPhone when it finally supports 700mhz a block.

    • Alex Long

      The factory unlocked iPhone 6/6+ is like that (not the T-Mobile one but the one that doesn’t include a SIM card). It works on ALL US carriers, including Sprint, and includes all international LTE bands including TD-LTE for China. The only thing it’s missing is band 12. I suspect all iPhones next time around will be universally compatible internationally.

  • Philip

    I heard they cant do this in GA because of a TV station right?

    • ChristianMcC

      If you’ve an active channel 51 OTA, then yes that may hinder deployment.

    • Roger Sales

      depends on what part of the state it covers(if its in your area). If the station is in your area, could be as little as six months(if they’ve started moving already) til end of 2016(when they are required to start moving).

  • David R. Hedges

    Does anyone know if/how this applies to the Z3 Compact (purchased directly from Sony, since TMO doesn’t sell it themselves)?

    • Mr.Radar

      Probably not at all since the Z3 Compact was never slated to support band 12 in the first place. T-Mobile’s Z3 (regular) is a custom T-Mobile-specific model that drops most of the bands the unlocked international Z3 has to add band 12.

      • Romdude

        Yup, Mr. Radar is on the money. It has to be sold by t-mobile to have that band.

        • Mr.Radar

          In the future I’d expect band 12 to become a “standard” band for handsets to support (since it’s an extension of band 17 which is already “standard”), but yes for now generally only T-Mobile-specific models support it.

        • JamesG

          It doesnt have to be sold by Tmobile to have it. The moto x 2014 has band 12

        • Romdude

          Any other phones except Moto X 2014?

    • Mark McCoskey

      I’ve been contemplating a Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact and would love to see a mention of actual T-Mobile support.

  • Roger Sales

    Its the worst time to be an iPhone owner on T-Mobile, owning a 6 and knowing the next model that will support lowband LTE is at least 8 months away.

    • monkeybutts

      Depends where you live, some band 12 areas are still blocked out by TV stations. If you get coverage where you need to right now it’s not really a big issue at the moment. PCS LTE is coming to more places which is probably more important for now, the iPhone does support that.

      • Roger Sales

        I live in the NYC metro area which isn’t getting it yet, but sooner or later the fact remains that low band LTE(and subsequently voLTE) will be here….not to mention the fact that its being lit up in portions of New York state not too far from me.
        I don’t blame T-Mobile for Apple’s decision, but we’re still the ones who lose out in the end, especially given that its basically just a slightly wider band 17.

        • skittle

          Trade it, sell it when that time comes if it effects you. But you have a sweet phone right now. Enjoy it :)

        • Yes, in NYC, you’ll really benefit from Band 12 immensely.

          Band 12 is especially beneficial for not requiring as many towers to cover a wider population area, being especially beneficial in areas with low population density. Oh, wait, did you mention you were in NYC?

          Anyhow, regardless, Apple is being really dumb here for not supporting Band 12, when so many competing products have already announced rolling out full support with their software updates as early as May, for sure in 2015, and Android updates are never delayed, we all know that, right? I mean, that’s true, right?

        • JLV90

          Why would apple be dumb? They can sell even more phones this way.

    • UMA_Fan

      By the time the next iPhone comes out will probably be the point T-Mobile has meaningful coverage of 700mhz anyway. Let’s also hope T-Mobile purchases more 700mhz by then as well covering the rest of their POPs.

      They are also expanding footprint in many areas using the 1900mhz band which is great for iPhone owners. Bad news for HTC owners. Don’t know why those phones were excluded from those bands.

      • Romdude

        All bands should be supported in the new phones for 2015 if it is sold on t-mobile is what they said so the S should get it.

    • Slybacon

      Also, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus support more LTE bands than most smartphones. They set industry record for number of bands at launch (20). Newer phones may have more now. But, they support a lot.

      Bottom line though, is that T-Mobile really doesn’t have 700 deployed hardly anywhere. It will be a while before it’s a major player for the network. I hope it will be everywhere by the end of this year though.
      iPhone 6S better support it. If not, I’ll be right there with you.

    • KingCobra

      Not a big deal at the moment and probably not this year anyway as T-Mobile doesn’t own 700mhz in most of the country and barely have much of it rolled out right now. It probably won’t be until early 2016 that they have a significant amount of 700 deployed by which time most of those paying EIP on an iPhone 6 should be able to sell them and get a 6S if they want to. In 8-9 months I’ll likely have a 6S but it won’t matter anyway since TMO doesn’t own any 700 in or within 200 miles of my market.

    • skittle

      I traded in a Note 4 after 2 months use for an iPhone 6 Plus fully knowing the 6 + didn’t have band 12 capability. But being on JUMP (legacy) I knew I would be eligible to get a new phone this Sept./Oct. when new phones would be released. Even if I did not have JUMP there is always sell or trade in. No real reason to worry or fret for a capability that is not yet working on T-Mobile everywhere. Beside I have Wi-Fi calling and I end up on Wi-Fi most everywhere I go.

      • Alrightythen

        No one cares

        • skittle

          I guess you did :) But anyways it doesn’t concern you and your flip phone crowd.

        • skittle

          I think the current market shows South Koreans following along.

    • Yes, really sucks, the worst time there’s ever been to be an iPhone owner, fully agreed!

      You’d have to wait at least 8 months, vs. at least 5 months for those owning an Android. You better switch to Android now! You won’t survive with an iPhone! I’d get rid of iPhone 6, if I were you, whilst it’s still hot!

      • superg05

        Samsung note 4/edge band 12 is active

    • notreally

      What you are missing is that many people have JUMP and do not have to wait for long, maybe till September or October.
      Oh, speaking of “Sales Roger” :
      “While Chinese smart phone vendors are quickly gaining ground internationally, Apple has turned the tables on them in their home market. The company is finally riding the large screen and LTE trends in China, which have been vital to its success, along with a well-timed launch and a clampdown on grey exports of its products out of Hong Kong. The top four vendors in Q4 in China by units shipped were Apple, Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei, respectively.”

  • Verizonthunder

    Really may 2015 for a firmware update to enable 700mhz on Sony Xperia Z3 ugh.

    • Roger Sales

      Un the plus side, it shows they expect their 700 mhz coverage to be fairly dense by May. They’ve inferred a timetable for rapid rollout.

  • steveb944

    The N6 just got a whole lot more interesting. I do hope that we get the Yota and it has support for all bands.

  • Raiterio Patterson

    This is great news for Nexus 6 and Sony Z3 owners! There’s alot of people on Reddit that use the Z3 with T-Mobile that were wondering about 700Mhz support. T-Mobile is upgrading some markets in North Carolina with, I’m gonna say 5Mhz of LTE on 1900Mhz so that will hold me over for now. There’s a channel 51 somewhere in Greensboro that’s keeping NC from getting 700Mhz at the moment. Sucks.

    • JLV90

      Most of North Carolina’s 700 MHz spectrum is owned by Cavalier License Group and US Cellular, AT&T also owns a small part around Willmington. The spectrum T-mobile does have access to is in the south western corner of the state.

      • Raiterio Patterson

        How much money would Cavalier want for the 700Mhz spectrum? So cities like Asheville “could be” first to receive 700Mhz is what you’re saying? That’s cool with me. I live in the Piedmont region of NC, any upgrades at great to me

        • KingCobra

          No one knows as there hasn’t been any potential negotiations between T-Mobile and Cavalier that have been publicly made. I think the current 700 mhz only covers the areas near the GA border like Murphy. Asheville isn’t included in what T-Mobile acquired.

          The PCS 1900 LTE is doing well for now in most of the state but I think T-Mobile will need low band spectrum to fill in their ‘no service’ gaps that remain outside the existing footprint.

        • Raiterio Patterson

          Do you think that T-Mobile and Cavalier will negotiate a deal for some 700Mhz in North Carolina? I’ve reading Howard Forums and the T-Mobile sub Reddit religiously. You have a point though, 1900 LTE was great at a relatives house in Shelby, NC. HAIL COBRA!!!

  • randomnerd_number38

    So I have to wait months for my ZTE ZMAX to get an update? I was already thinking about porting out to Verizon after I lost my T-Mobile discount. No waiting for a strong low-band LTE network, and with the discount from my new job, pricing on the same level. The only thing holding me back is my belief in T-Mobile as a company and the fact that I’m in a band 12 city and have a band 12 phone. I did my part(got a new phone) to use the new network, the network is ready now, but the software isn’t? I think this is the final straw. I can even get $150 per line if I port to Verizon.

    Sorry, never thought I’d be making a post like this. No troll, just very disappointed in this. If the hardware is capable, unlock band 12 NOW.

    • Orlando Duran

      Zte zmax is not a tmobile flagship

      • randomnerd_number38

        I don’t care, the specs page lists B12 and right now I can’t connect to band 12.

    • Alrightythen

      Bye bye!

      • randomnerd_number38

        Bye :)

    • krfan1

      I just got a 15.2meg update on my ZMax. Guessing it could be the LTE update.

      • randomnerd_number38

        Thanks, but I’ve been keeping up on that and there’s no radio update in that package.

        • Nick Koecheler

          Yeah, after the update, it seems faster. Maybe it was a kernel upgrade. @tmohelp said “stability & user experience improvements”

    • eAbyss

      That’s a manufacturer problem not a carrier problem. Complain to ZTE.

      • randomnerd_number38

        Incorrect. The ONLY reason ZTE doesn’t have band 12 enabled on the device yet is because of T-Mobile’s instructions. It’s an artificial limit in the software, not something the manufacturer is still developing. The device has already been tested for consumer use on band 12 by the FCC.

  • D_Wall__

    Come on Nexus 6 for Orlando Florida!!!

  • Baxter DeBerry

    lmao I already enabled it on my avant, sadly band 12 isnt being used in the area yet but surely will be soon since they do have the spectrum here


      Hey there, how’d u enable it?!!!

  • CHRIS42060

    Hopefully the N6 enables Wifi calling with this update as well.

    • Ronstoppable20

      WiFi calling and VoLTE would be great..

      • Cruise Guy

        FYI I used VoLTE on a phone in a market when it first came out and it wasn’t exciting or sexy. You could not tell the difference except for it was going VoLTE. It will be nice when it gets everywhere but wasn’t a big game changer.

  • Geo

    When is the Avant gonna get an update that fixes all the crashing and freezing??????

    • superg05

      wrong person edit

  • FILA

    What about Google Play Nexus 6’s? That radio is already unlocked right

    • Aaron C

      I thought a Nexus 6 was a Nexus 6 was a Nexus 6 and that all radios were enabled? I don’t get it. I bought this phone so that I could immediately get access to band 12 as soon as it was deployed. Now I find out T-Mobile has to ENABLE it?? WTH?

      • What’s the difference? They have to enable the tower too at the end of the day…

      • Brian Perez

        I think its some sort of marketing strategy….to let people know their coverage will be like on par withthe otger carriers etc..

  • Wow, the whole thing is a joke! May 2015? WTF? Didn’t they start selling all of these like end of last summer / start of Fall?

    I was thinking they already were supposed to have it all ready and running, and all these devices being mentioned as having Band 12 support being quite future proof, but, it turns out, it’s all disabled and coming out only in May?! WTF May? Well, at least that better be before mid-May, where people start go on vacation to the boonies where Band 12 might be especially beneficial.

    • gmo8492

      FYI, their band 12 deployment isn’t set to end until the 4th quarter of 2015. So they still have to keep converting their cell sites before anyone can take advantage of the new spectrum.

      • randomnerd_number38

        FYI, there are multiple places they have officially announced availability of band 12. Like right now. So there are plenty of people that could take advantage of it now.

  • Laststop311

    Im in cleveland ohio with a galaxy note 4. Is there a way to verify with my phone I am receiving band 12?

    • Jay J. Blanco

      Daily *#2263# and you’ll go into service mode select LTE band preference band 12. Then your phone will search for nothing but band 12. To reverse that dail *#2263# and select automatic so you can get you phone back to normal

      • Brian Perez

        Is it only for note 4 …ibtried on my lgg3 nothing says invalid.code

        • Jay J. Blanco

          It’s only for Samsung devices

  • Jay J. Blanco

    Wow, this sounds similar to the LTE fiasco from 2013. lol

    • Anonymouse

      you mean the PCS HSPA+ refarm fiasco?

      • Jay J. Blanco

        No LTE. When lte first launched and updates had to be sent out

  • GREAT news! Notjing like buying a device that gets better over time!

  • mike

    What about HTC M8? Will it get volte update? Even att just came out volte for M8.

  • Brian Perez

    So the lg g3 user what are we choped liver??i was.told the lg g3 support volte but yet nothing would sucks if nothing is done to improve the lg g3

  • David Firebaugh

    Wow some of the questions being asked are just too funny. Do a little research folks. Learn why your phone is going to need to be updated first. Before you go say some of the things you are saying. It’s not like turning on a light switch in your house and the light comes on. There’s more to it than that.

  • Paul Chow

    I wonder if this will apply to the Z3 Compact as well, since it has the same innards as the regular Z3?

    • JamesG

      Not it doesnt, it only has band 2 and 4. It lacks band 12 needed for this

  • Kevin

    Well I live in Los Angeles area and thanks to channel 51 the 700 MHz band is not available…
    But my phone (OnePlus One) doesn’t support band 12 so I guess it doesn’t matter…

    • Henry Pham

      I believe there was a post recently on this site that said T-Mobile and the channel entered an agreement so T-Mobile could use at least some of the band now. So I think this does matter to us Socal subscribers.

  • AnoNYC

    Motorola X 2014 Pure Edition?

  • MrProTechHD .

    they should had the wifi calling/volte added right before they started to sell the nexus 6