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[UPDATED] Teaser: Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. One of "US." One variant each for all of the US?

lilotimz

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by Josh McDaniel, Tim Yu, and Andrew J. Shepherd

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 11:50 PM MST

 

Update: Further inspection of the FCC OET authorization filings has shown that while Samsung will produce only one "US" hardware variant each for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, it still will delineate operator specific "V," "A," "T," "P," and "R4" variants via firmware.

 

That firmware on the Sprint "P" variant, for example, will enable CCA/RRPP compliant bands 2/4/5/12/25/26/41 but disable VZW band 13, AT&T bands 29/30, and VoLTE. Similar segmentation applies to the other domestic variants, such as the AT&T "A" variant and T-Mobile "T" variant, both of which disable CDMA2000 and Sprint bands 25/26/41.

 

Thus, the single SKU aspect for the "US" hardware variants of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge will be limited to their respective FCC IDs. At the retail and end user levels, separate SKUs and model numbers still will exist for the operator specific airlink/band firmware packages.

 

S4GRU hopes, however, that Samsung will use this consolidated hardware platform now as means also to sell unlocked BYOD versions of both handsets that will have full airlink/band firmware across all domestic operators.

 

Per Samsung Galaxy astronomy, the "V" suffix has been for VZW, the "A" suffix for AT&T, the "T" suffix for T-Mobile, the "P" suffix for Sprint, and the "R4" suffix for regional operators.

 

But what does the "US" suffix mean for the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge?

 

Both handsets A3LSMG930US and A3LSMG935US bearing the "US" suffix in their model numbers were intentionally/unintentionally outed today in the FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) database -- weeks in advance of their supposed official reveals at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month.

 

Okay, the seventh generation of Samsung Galaxy handsets is a big deal. That said, what is so special about these two device authorizations?

 

Well, these two authorization filings with the FCC cover the entire gamut of supported LTE bands for every single US operator -- and include downlink three carrier aggregation support. Even before Apple, Samsung appears on the verge of single SKU handsets for the US.

 

VZW band 13. Sure. AT&T bands 29 and 30. Right on. T-Mobile band 12. Absolutely. Sprint bands 25, 26, and 41. Positively. Carrier aggregation. Yup.

 

Furthermore, as both Samsung handsets support CDMA2000, that is strong indication Samsung has reversed course from the the sixth generation of Samsung Galaxy handsets and included Qualcomm baseband modems in all domestic handsets. Almost assuredly, the chip of choice is the Snapdragon X12 LTE modem. That detail, though, is not yet available. On a similar count, tested RF ERP/EIRP figures are beyond the purview of this teaser. However, S4GRU may follow up later on all of the above.

 

In the meantime, here are the nitty gritty Galaxy S7 domestic airlink specs. The FCC filings did not disclose -- nor are they required to disclose -- international airlink support.

 

Samsung Galaxy S7

GSM / GPRS / EDGE: 850 / 1900

W-CDMA Band: 2 / 4 / 5

CDMA Band Class: 0 / 1 / 10

LTE Band: 2 / 4 / 5 / 12 / 13 / 25 / 26 / 29 (downlink only) / 30 / 41

 

LTE Carrier Aggregation:

 

2xCA

2+4 / 2+5/ 2+12 / 2+13 / 2+29 / 2+30

4+2 / 4+4 / 4+5 / 4+12 / 4+13 / 4+29 / 4+30

5+2 / 5+4 / 5+30 /

12+2 / 12+4 / 12+30

13+2 / 13+4

25+25

30+2 / 30+4 / 30+5 / 30+12 / 30+29

41+41

 

3xCA

2+4+12 / 2+4+13 / 2+5+30 / 2+12+30 / 2+29+30

4+2+12 / 4+2+13 / 4+4+12 / 4+5+13 / 4+5+12 / 4+5+30 / 4+12+30 / 4+29+30

5+2+30

12+4+2 / 13+2+4

30+2 +5 / 30+2+12 / 30+2+29 / 30+4+5 / 30+4+12 / 30+4+29

41+41+41

 

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

GSM / GPRS / EDGE: 850 / 1900

W-CDMA Band: 2 / 4 / 5

CDMA Band Class: 0 / 1 / 10

LTE Band: 2 / 4 / 5 / 12 / 13 / 25 / 26 / 29 (downlink only) / 30 / 41

 

LTE Carrier Aggregation:

 

2xCA

2+4 / 2+5 / 2+12 / 2+ 13 / 2+29 / 2+30

4+2 / 4+4 / 4+5 / 4+12 / 4+13 / 4+29 / 4+30

5+2 / 5+4 / 5+30 /

12+2 / 12+4 / 12+30

13+2 / 13+4

25+25

30+2 / 30+4 / 30+5 / 30+ 12 / 30+29

41+41

 

3xCA

2+4+12 / 2+4+13 / 2+5+30 / 2+12+30 / 2+29+30

4+2+12/ 4+2+13 / 4+4+12 / 4+5+13/ 4+5+12 / 4+5+30 / 4+12+30 / 4+29+30

5+2+30

12+4+2 / 13+2+4

30+2 +5 / 30+2+12 / 30+2+29 / 30+4+5 / 30+4+12 / 30+4+29

41+41+41

 

Note in bold text the Sprint relevant 2x CA combinations each for band 25 and band 41, then 3x CA combinations for band 41.

 

One SKU, one "US" device variant for all in the US, just like or better than iPhone and Nexus? By all appearances, yes. And while S4GRU is a Sprint centric blog and web site, this Samsung development has ramifications for millions of VZW, AT&T, T-Mobile, USCC, et al., users, too.

 

You heard it here first -- at S4GRU.

 

Sources: FCC

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Any word on CA uplink speeds? I assume 2x.  While most will focus on the fastest speeds, I like the turbo-charged snail speeds at the edge -- this covers far more geographic area. Ready to do battle:

 

lUW71yd.jpg

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Samsung should sell an unlocked version that works on all carriers much like the Nexus phones and Moto X Pure Edition.

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Samsung should sell an unlocked version that works on all carriers much like the Nexus phones and Moto X Pure Edition.

Verizon is already obligated to sell unlocked phones, so in theory, since its only one variant for the US Verizon's version would work on any carrier.

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In the age of no carrier contracts, all operators need to be open to devices from newly arriving customers.

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In the age of no carrier contracts, all operators need to be open to devices from newly arriving customers.

This definitely is a huge step in that direction. Only limitation would be logistical, hardware would no longer be an excuse.

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Any word on CA uplink speeds? I assume 2x.  While most will focus on the fastest speeds, I like the turbo-charged snail speeds at the edge -- this covers far more geographic area. Ready to do battle:

 

how about upload CA?

 

No uplink CA on this device.

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This definitely is a huge step in that direction. Only limitation would be logistical, hardware would no longer be an excuse.

 

You are right that it would only be logistics at this point. Carrier bloat would be downloadable as you take your phone from carrier to carrier.

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This would help the resale value of these devices because each device could be used on any US network.  No need to go hunting for a carrier specific version.  Smart move by Samsung.

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This would help the resale value of these devices because each device could be used on any US network.  No need to go hunting for a carrier specific version.  Smart move by Samsung.

 

Sorry, folks, but Phonescoop is reporting that the single "US" variant will be limited to just the hardware.  Separate, operator specific "V," "A," "T," "P," and "R4" variants will be defined by firmware that locks out certain airlinks and bands.  The "P" variant for Sprint, for example, will have enabled the usual CCA/RRPP compliant bands 2/4/5/12/25/26/41.

 

http://www.phonescoop.com/articles/article.php?a=17201

 

AJ

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Except for the specific addition of Band 30 on the AT&T model iPhones, it's the same device across carriers.

 

How is Apple able to do this while the other device makers aren't? Does Apple have a "don't mess with us" kind of leverage?

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Except for the specific addition of Band 30 on the AT&T model iPhones, it's the same device across carriers.

 

How is Apple able to do this while the other device makers aren't? Does Apple have a "don't mess with us" kind of leverage?

Samsung could easily flex it;s muscles to keep the carriers away from the software and device models like Apple does but I don't understand why not. At this point I'm sure no carrier wants to say no to carrying a Galaxy phone

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Samsung could easily flex it;s muscles to keep the carriers away from the software and device models like Apple does but I don't understand why not. At this point I'm sure no carrier wants to say no to carrying a Galaxy phone

 

Quite likely, the operators requested customized firmware versions.  And Samsung is there to serve the operators -- not the other way around.  Samsung benefits from economy of scale by consolidating down to one "US" hardware platform per handset.  But Samsung does not benefit from strong arming the operators into one all band firmware platform.  If anything, Samsung may charge the operators based on the number of airlinks and bands activated.

 

AJ

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Quite likely, the operators requested customized firmware versions.  And Samsung is there to serve the operators -- not the other way around.  Samsung benefits from economy of scale by consolidating down to one "US" hardware platform per handset.  But Samsung does not benefit from strong arming the operators into one all band firmware platform.  If anything, Samsung may charge the operators based on the number of airlinks and bands activated.

 

AJ

 

Does Apple deny carrier requests for specific carrier versions? It could have launched just the AT&T model with Band 30, but perhaps for cost reasons it decided to have two models because why bother including components to support Band 30 on networks which don't have it.

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I would love to see B41 3x CA being implemented as part of the NGN upgrades.  Also at some point would like to see some B25 2xCA.

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This is a step in the right direction. My hope is that Sprint will be adding all the US models in their database like they do with iPhone and Nexus, so they can be brought to Sprint even if they start somewhere else. The 2nd (and less likely) hope is that an unlocked model have an unlocked bootloader.

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This would make me very happy. I would love to see them follow the iPhone trend and include band 1, 3, 6, 20, and 28. Band 39 and 40 would probably be too much to ask. 

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I think this also has a lot to do with the fact that Samsung has reported that they're going to try and start a direct leasing plan that is carrier agnostic, a la iPhone. 

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Where are we at as far as VOLTE progress goes?  Are there any phone hardware considerations for that which are starting to appear yet?

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Where are we at as far as VOLTE progress goes?  Are there any phone hardware considerations for that which are starting to appear yet?

 

No VoLTE.  The article mentions that.

 

AJ

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