New Qualcomm components will help more phones offer T-Mobile 600MHz support


T-Mobile has told us to expect two 600MHz-compatbile smartphones in 2017, but a new chip from Qualcomm ought to help boost that number in 2018.

Qualcomm today announced new RF Front-End chips which are amplifiers and tuners to help connect a physical antenna to the phone’s modem. As PCMag explains, the RF Front-End also lets phones with 700MHz antennas connect to 600MHz signals.

“It’ll be in the spring crop of smartphones. At least some of the OEMs will be using it in the first half of 2018,” said Sharif Hanna, Qualcomm’s Staff Manager of Product Marketing for 4G and 5G.

What makes this news even more exciting is that Qualcomm is making parts that’ll work with its Snapdragon 200, 400, 600, and 800 families of processors. That means that while only the flagship LG V30 supports T-Mobile’s 600MHz band 71 coverage right now, these Qualcomm parts will help to expand 600MHz support to more affordable devices, which should get more people onto that coverage.

T-Mobile has only launched its 600MHz band 71 coverage in two markets so far, but it’s said that there will be several more deployments in 2017. T-Mo has previously said that it’s on track to launch 600MHz LTE in parts of Wyoming, Northeast and Southwest Oregon, West Texas, Southwest Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle, Western North Dakota, additional areas of Maine, Coastal North Carolina, Central Pennsylvania, Central Virginia, and Eastern Washington in 2017.

Sources: PCMag, Qualcomm

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  • JLP474

    The best just keeps getting better and better!

    • Sayahh

      Your avatar made me think that there was a hair on my phone.

      • SirStephenH


        • Daniel Holmstock

          LOL me too – good one! lol

  • Sayahh

    Can we retrofit existing phones with these?

    • bman893

      No its a chip on the phones mainboard an also the phones drivers would have to be re written I mean technically yes a company could rerelease their phone again with new hardware but I doubt any of them will actually do it it would cost too much for too little game it’d be more practical just to design a new phone and put the chip in that phone then to RI engineer an old phone

    • Mike

      That’s like saying can my Xbox one S perform like the Xbox one X.

      • Sayahh

        Why? My PC motherboard can have the CPU upgraded and a Mustang could have a engine swap. I’m just asking. And for some reason I read “chip” as a small chip that could be attached as opposed to the SOC chip.

        • g2a5b0e

          This is true, but how many phones have you seen the motherboard being modified on?

        • Sayahh

          That’s why I was excited!

        • marque2

          I have heard of some mods where memory was added. But you are right rather rare and requires more technical skill than most people have. Also the phone wouldn’t have the drivers to run the chip. Would have to write them yourself probably.

        • Mike

          Pc’s are meant to be upgradable. Phones , consoles, tablets,and etc are closed based non upgradable .

        • Sayahh

          Most are, but you can’t buy the Fairphone easily.

  • riverhorse

    Very smart move by Qualcomm. Their stock(& TMO’s) rates a very strong Buy.

  • Bklynman

    Could also this mean midlevel phones will soon get 3 to 4 gigs of ram too? If so who in there right mind would buy overprice flagship phone then?

    • Medion

      I just spent $40 on a Moto E4 for one of my kids and I’m shocked at how well it performs next to my Nexus 5x. It’s nearly as good but lacks NFC (and other modern flagship features). Excellent phone for the price.

      • marque2

        My 5x is a brick. Google allowed me to replace my wife’s 5x which also bricked. Sad because when they were working they functioned well.

        • MindFog2287

          Buddy at work just had his 5x brick as well, after an update. LG (or Google?) made him send it in. He’s been without a phone for a week or more. Don’t know how people do that these days. Amazing what we come to rely on.

          After my G4 experience (two bricked), and the nightmare support from LG, I’ll never buy another LG.

        • marque2

          No kidding – I had to buy an LG Arista the next day for 120 bucks because I use my phone for business and had to do a teleconference. For the price that Arista was an amazing phone.

        • marque2

          I should mention the 5x Google sent bricked within a week – same bootloop problem. So they sent me a third.

      • Acdc1a

        I bought the E4 Plus for myself when traveling for the battery life. Well, guess what turned into my daily driver?

        • Medion

          I am really impressed with Moto’s current soft-touch approach to Android.

          If Moto care about more than 1 year of updates (they don’t even do THAT for the E), I’d be all over them. Maybe an X4 for me and an E4 for the kids (wife would still insist on an iPhone).

          Also, I miss the design of the OG Moto X. Best size/feel for a smartphone ever, IMO.

        • Mschmal

          If you are spending $800 plus for a flagship or $219 a Moto G5plus, do more updates to the Moto matter?

        • thepanttherlady

          I’m using the E4 Plus myself and really like it.

        • Acdc1a

          Definitely the 1 person who has more phones than I do!

        • thepanttherlady

          I’m debating on whether or not I want to try the Pixel 2 XL. Because I am liking this one so much right now I keep asking myself if I really NEED to try the other. LOL

      • Steven Michaels

        Friend has Moto G5 Plus 64GB/4GB and it rocks. Smooth as butter for $299

  • Anthony Cardell

    So what are your thoughts on what this Samsung 600 mhz phone will be slated for year end release? Do we think it will be a flagship or more of a mid range?