by Tim Yu
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - 08:51 AM MDT
Mid summer has arrived in the northern hemisphere, and that means the harvest of fall flagship handsets is just getting underway. (The exception are Apples, which are planted and picked all in one afternoon in September.)
The past two weeks brought our first crop. A new authorization for a Motorola device in the FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) database arrived yesterday. Just about in time for Motorola's expected August/September launch of its flagship (read: Moto X) devices.
Prior to that, S4GRU staff discovered a Motorola device filing last week with FCC ID IHDT56UC2, approved for LTE bands 2/4/5/7/12/17/25/29/41 in addition to the standard W-CDMA and GSM bands. Quick staff analysis of the filing lead to the conclusion that it was a either a fully unlocked version or a T-Mobile variant -- due to onboard VoWi-Fi and intra band band 4 carrier aggregation, both of which T-Mobile is pushing hard.
But other tech media discovered and wrote articles on the handset filing -- with some speculating that it was for Sprint as well, due to the inclusion of LTE bands 25/41. Did they overlook that band 26 and any CDMA2000 capability were absent? We know very well that Sprint devices must have LTE bands 25/26/41 and CDMA2000 band classes 0/1/10 at the minimum.
So, we waited with watchful eye for any new authorizations from Motorola, expecting a Sprint variant soon. Indeed, Motorola delivered FCC ID IHDT56UC1.
Fully Sprint CCA/RRPP and VZW/AT&T/T-Mobile compatible
This handset is fully certified for the Sprint network and those of its CCA/RRPP partners. It also completely covers VZW and T-Mobile network capabilities, mostly for AT&T, too, though lacking Ma Bell's emerging LTE bands 29/30.
For a full rundown, it supports:
LTE bands: 2 / 4 / 5 / 7 / 12 / 13 / 17 / 25 / 26 / 41
CDMA Band Class: 0 / 1 / 10
W-CDMA Band: 2 / 4 / 5
GSM: 850 / 1900
So, Sprint Spark? Got it. VZW XLTE? Got it. T-Mobile band 12? Got it. This handset does almost everything -- including carrier aggregation.
Sprint Band 41 Carrier Aggregation Capable
The device is a category 6 UE and supports all of the myriad FDD carrier aggregation combos present in the unlocked or T-Mobile variant detailed earlier. But this variant also includes Sprint's LTE Advanced implementation of TDD carrier aggregation on band 41 -- aka 2x CA band 41 or B41+B41. For reference, S4GRU confirmed activation of carrier aggregation and wrote about it a few weeks ago.
Now, this is the seventh announced device to support Sprint's band 41 carrier aggregation, joining the ranks of the Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, HTC One M9, LG G Flex 2, and LG G4.
Edit: There may be issues with MXPE's B41 carrier aggregation compatibility with the Sprint Network.
To wrap things up, I am not conclusively declaring that this is the 2015 Moto X nor that it is definitively headed to Sprint postpaid -- we all know what happened with the Sprint variant 2014 Moto X. But the band 41 carrier aggregation support screams Sprint and the FCC authorization timing comes spot on for an August/September device launch, as historically has been the time when Motorola has launched its flagship devices.
So, you be the judge...