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Apple's new iPhone 6S has Band 41 LTE 2x CA on board for Sprint. And you could win one!

MacinJosh

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by Josh McDaniel

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Friday, September 11, 2015 - 9:45 AM MDT

 

As most of nearly the entire world is aware, Apple announced the iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, and a number of other devices earlier this week. Most notably, iPhone 6S/6S Plus debuts 3D Touch, which is an enhanced version of Force Touch on Apple Watch. However, for most S4GRU readers here, there was one burning question that was not answered in the keynote.

 

As iPhone models have progressed on Sprint from the iPhone 5 in 2012 with Band 25 LTE to the iPhone 5S in 2013 with dual Band 25/26 LTE to the iPhone 6 in 2014 with Triband 25/26/41 LTE, Apple has oft been half to a full generation behind in supporting the latest Network Vision enhancements.

 

Last year's iPhone 6, for example, did feature the inclusion of Band 41 LTE but not quite full compatibility with CCA/RRPP bands. And Band 41 LTE 2x CA on Android handsets was just a few months around the corner. Well, this year's iPhone 6S includes Band 12 LTE for full CCA/RRPP support and Band 41 LTE 2x CA on Sprint! Now the latest iPhone is fully up to date with all Sprint bands and current technology initiatives that are currently released.

 

Notable Specs & Sprint Interband 2x Carrier Aggregation

 

Yes, that's right, iPhone users now get to enjoy 2x Carrier Aggregation on the Sprint network! This will lead to a doubling in B41 performance in Sprint Spark markets that have CA deployed. Up to 150Mbps in the most ideal signal and network conditions.

 

All you wireless enthusiasts who want to know about radio performance, read further for RF testing information. The rest of the notable specs on the new phones are listed below:

  • A9 processor
  • 2 GB RAM (just like iPad Air 2)
  • 12 MP iSight (rear) camera with 4K video recording
  • 5 MP FaceTime camera with Retina Flash and 720p video recording
  • 7000 Series aluminum body
  • Rose Gold color option
  • Only 1/10 of a cm taller, wider, and thicker than last year's iPhone 6/6 Plus

And now for an RF testing sidebar from S4GRU's technical editor...

 

As always, the usual caveats about lab testing versus real world performance and uplink versus downlink apply. The figures represent my best averaged and rounded estimates of maximum uplink ERP/EIRP test results provided to the FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) in the authorization filings for the device(s).

 

These ERP/EIRP figures are specific to the A1688 and A1687 models, which are the Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE (MDM9635) Category 6 and CDMA2000 equipped iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, respectively. Separate Band 30 enabled models exist for AT&T, and while those models are disclosed to use the same antenna arrays, they were RF tested separately in the authorization filings, thus may possess different ERP/EIRP figures. So, this data and analysis should not be extrapolated to cover any other iPhone 6S models.

 

Since this article covers two different iPhone 6S models with two different antennas each, I have put together a table for easier viewing and comparison. (Click to Enlarge)

 

aomdzq.png

 

To provide further analysis, the green shaded cells represent the maximum figures for each LTE band across both handsets and both antennas. As we can see, the LAT -- with one or two possibly anomalous exceptions -- is the primary antenna on both handsets, possessing greater maximum ERP/EIRP and/or higher maximum antenna gain.

 

Both iPhone 6S sizes look to be at least good to possibly great LTE performers -- especially in their high band output. ​For the uninitiated, 30 dBm equals a full 1 W. Mid band is good, and low band is at least average. Hopefully, this expected solid LTE performance plays out in the real world and is not compromised by carrier bundle firmware, as some S4GRU users have reported previously.

 

For a comparison of the two sizes, bigger, apparently, is not always better for RF. Somewhat of a surprise, the smaller iPhone 6S is the superior RF performer of the two. It generally has greater maximum ERP/EIRP and higher antenna gain -- as evidenced by the greater number of green shaded cells. Moreover, the LAT to UAT consistency is much better on the iPhone 6S, with relatively less drop off between the two antennas and always higher UAT maximum ERP/EIRP than that of the iPhone 6S Plus. This means the RF "death grip" loss on the iPhone 6S could be much smaller when it has to shift between LAT and UAT.

 

And now for the best part, you could win a new iPhone 6S...

 

S4GRU is in currently in the throes of a Start of Autumn Promotion to help raise money for the site. We are currently planning to raffle off a new iPhone 6S to one lucky winner who donates a minimum of $10 to support the site. All donations go toward S4GRU Sponsor status and future upgrades. However, S4GRU Membership is not required. Click on this link for more details.

 

It's a Win-Win-Win for everyone! You get to support the leading Sprint/Wireless Enthusiast site on the internet, you get a chance to win a brand new iPhone 6S and your donations count toward Sponsor membership upgrades. Support S4GRU today!

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Great write up. Excited by those EIRP numbers and just got paid today. Will be donating shortly.

 

Just got paid...Friday night!!!

 

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Ugh I'm torn. I love my 6 plus and want the 6s plus but the small 6 has better rf performance but not by too much but it all counts. I think I'll just take my chances and just pre order the plus. If it's a mess I do have 14 days.

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Ugh I'm torn. I love my 6 plus and want the 6s plus but the small 6 has better rf performance but not by too much but it all counts. I think I'll just take my chances and just pre order the plus. If it's a mess I do have 14 days.

 

Or you can donate to the S4GRU iPhone 6s raffle and see if you win that.  Also, you aren't too far away from Premier, so you could join the raffle and get upgraded.  You can message me to find out far away you are from Premier.  And remember, Premier memberships never expire.

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I really wish Apple would stop with this confusing multi-variant nonsense.

 

If you look at the iPhone LTE breakdown ( http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE ) you'll see that the AT&T variant is going to also be sold by US Cellular and C-Spire, meaning it will do CDMA.

 

So again, we end up with two US iPhone variants... one for 3 national carriers and one for 1 national carrier with the latter supporting all of the former's bands and technologies, plus one or two more bands. It's just that this year AT&T is the odd one out rather than Sprint (last year's model).

 

I am assuming in a couple of months when Apple releases the officially SIM-Free version, it might very well end up being the AT&T one.

 

Any idea why Apple is doing this?

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It looks to me as though Sprint and Verizon wil be using/selling the same model iPhone 6s (A1688). The A1688 also looks to be the best cross carrier compatible model available (if not only cross carrier model given its CDMA compatibillity). However when looking at the following spec page the A1633 seems to support, at least "officialy", the smaller carriers many of whom are potential Sprint Roaming Partners.

 

http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

 

I have no interest in ATT, but do hope to test Sprint (including roaming partners), TMobile, and Verizon, which are listed as supported by the A1688. I am assuming if you get an unlocked A1688 you are good to go on everything except ATT's Band 30.

 

Any word on Apple SIM for iPhone 6s, and in particular that none of the carriers, like ATT, lock up. Regarding Sprint's IMEI requirement is that a one time deal where you get your device with an Apple SIM registered and you are fine from there on out?

 

http://appleinsider.com/articles/15/07/16/apple-samsung-carriers-working-together-on-e-sim-standard-for-mobile-data-plans

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It looks to me as though Sprint and Verizon wil be using/selling the same model iPhone 6s (A1688). The A1688 also looks to be the best cross carrier compatible model available (if not only cross carrier model given its CDMA compatibillity). However when looking at the following spec page the A1633 seems to support, at least "officialy", the smaller carriers many of whom are potential Sprint Roaming Partners.

 

http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

 

I have no interest in ATT, but do hope to test Sprint (including roaming partners), TMobile, and Verizon, which are listed as supported by the A1688. I am assuming if you get an unlocked A1688 you are good to go on everything except ATT's Band 30.

 

Any word on Apple SIM for iPhone 6s, and in particular that none of the carriers, like ATT, lock up. Regarding Sprint's IMEI requirement is that a one time deal where you get your device with an Apple SIM registered and you are fine from there on out?

 

http://appleinsider.com/articles/15/07/16/apple-samsung-carriers-working-together-on-e-sim-standard-for-mobile-data-plans

 

As for Apple SIM, we just won't know until people get them from Apple on the 25th.

 

As for models, the A1633 is a minor technicality, as you can use either model on Sprint since they include all necessary requisite bands. I'm just hoping that all iPhone's are white-listed for Sprint and Verizon so that activation will be a snap.

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Not the first time Apple accidentally omitted band support in their pages.  The FCC docs show the support is there.

 

It is also shown on the main 6s specs page.

 

They'll probably figure out at some point that it's missing from the LTE page and add it. They already made a change recently on the LTE support page... They took out the CDMA/GSM designations on the left when they realized that both models do CDMA.

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I wonder if this iPhone will support all of the wireless bands if it will eventually support Project Fi.  I love my Sprint service but it would be cool to fall back on another network for those rare times I don't have solid Sprint signal.  That's the main reason why I'm going to be testing out Project Fi on my phone when I get the fi Sim, I am testing it out because I get to stay on Sprint which I know is solid but get the WiFi calling and the backup T-Mobile, it's a win win.

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I wonder if this iPhone will support all of the wireless bands if it will eventually support Project Fi.

 

Not a snowball's chance.  Project Fi requires a customized Android OS and/or Android app.  iOS need not apply.

 

AJ

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It looks to me as though Sprint and Verizon wil be using/selling the same model iPhone 6s (A1688). The A1688 also looks to be the best cross carrier compatible model available (if not only cross carrier model given its CDMA compatibillity). However when looking at the following spec page the A1633 seems to support, at least "officialy", the smaller carriers many of whom are potential Sprint Roaming Partners.

 

http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

 

I have no interest in ATT, but do hope to test Sprint (including roaming partners), TMobile, and Verizon, which are listed as supported by the A1688. I am assuming if you get an unlocked A1688 you are good to go on everything except ATT's Band 30.

 

Any word on Apple SIM for iPhone 6s, and in particular that none of the carriers, like ATT, lock up. Regarding Sprint's IMEI requirement is that a one time deal where you get your device with an Apple SIM registered and you are fine from there on out?

 

http://appleinsider.com/articles/15/07/16/apple-samsung-carriers-working-together-on-e-sim-standard-for-mobile-data-plans

 

As for Apple SIM, we just won't know until people get them from Apple on the 25th.

 

As for models, the A1633 is a minor technicality, as you can use either model on Sprint since they include all necessary requisite bands. I'm just hoping that all iPhone's are white-listed for Sprint and Verizon so that activation will be a snap.

What is really weird it shows Boost will carry the ATT variant. I think someone went copy and paste happy.

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You guys mind looking up the values for the A1633/4 models too?

 

My gut feel tells me that the reason they split out to two models was due to component yield and availability and once they have enough of the AT&T stock built up they will use those for the "SIM-FREE" variant that should come out in a few months.

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