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[Teaser] Life's Good with VoLTE?

lilotimz

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by Tim Yu

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 - 9:13 PM MDT

 

Authors Edit (8/25/16): According to a report, the LG G5 (and HTC 9) is indeed capable of 3xCA specifically for Sprint due to the intraband contiguous setup Sprint utilizes.

 

The spotlight may have been largely on the Samsung Galaxy for the past few weeks, but from behind the red moon, a new contender has revealed itself.

 

To keep it short, as per typical of a S4GRU teaser article, the model LS992 Sprint variant LG G5 had its FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) authorization filings uploaded earlier this week. This is the 2016 flagship from LG for Sprint that will be available to subscribers soon. In keeping with S4GRU interests, we will take a look at the cellular technology side of the phone.

 

Supported Technologies

 

LTE Band: 2 / 4 / 5 / 7 / 12 / 25 / 26 / 41

CDMA Band Class: 0 / 1 / 10

GSM: 850 / 1900

WCDMA Band: 2 / 4 / 5

 

Pretty typical for a Sprint device of this time. It supports the standard Sprint LTE setup of Bands 25/26/41 and CCA/RRPP Bands 2/4/5/12. The FCC filings did not disclose international band support.

 

What many are interested in though, especially after the Samsung Galaxy S7 S4GRU article, is carrier aggregation combinations. Is the G5 a 3x CA device for Sprint? Well, the following excerpt from the FCC OET filing tells the story.

 

Az4oYQ9.png

 

The LG G5 LS992 is not 3x CA B41 capable -- unlike the Sprint variants of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.

 

The G5 supports 2x CA intraband contiguous Band 41 and 2x CA intraband non contiguous Band 25. This is somewhat surprising, as both the G5 and the Galaxy S7 have the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC, which has the Snapdragon X12 LTE baseband and 3x CA capability on die. Most likely, though, the RF transceiver is limited to 2x CA and/or the modem configuration is different.

 

Barring a Class II Permissive Change filing or a refresh model for the G5, it appears the Galaxy S7 variants still hold the crown for the first and only 3x CA B41 capable devices on the Sprint network.

 

But the G5 does hold one advantage over the Galaxy S7 variants for Sprint.

 

UsYt4ns.png

 

Note the S4GRU highlighted portion of the FCC OET filing.

 

Yes.

 

This is the first VoLTE certified device for Sprint. VoLTE will not work right out of the box, however. It is a latent capability until the Sprint network activates VoLTE. Consider this is a hint, though, that VoLTE may become a user option this year.

 

To begin the wrap up, the FCC OET filings do grace us with an antenna diagram -- something that is increasingly hidden behind a shroud of confidentiality.

 

DeIjsC7.png

 

There you have it: an initial look at the cellular tech side of the soon to be released Sprint variant LG G5.

 

Source: FCC ZNFLS992

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Can the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge support VoLTE at a later time? Is it just a matter of a software update or FCC filing or something like that, or is it simply not capable?

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Can the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge support VoLTE at a later time? Is it just a matter of a software update or FCC filing or something like that, or is it simply not capable?

 

VoLTE support on current (and future) generation flagship devices should just be a matter of software/baseband support and any necessary filings with the FCC, since these devices already support VoLTE on other carriers.

 

Whether Sprint will go to the trouble of enabling the support on devices not initially advertised with the feature is another question. See, for example, the seeming lack of LTE roaming support as yet on the Nexus 6, 5X, and 6P, which should only be a minimal change, far simpler than enabling VoLTE relatively speaking.

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Just wondering.

 

Since the iPhone 6 and 6S models have supported VoLTE on other carriers, is it safe to assume that they'll do Sprint VoLTE after they receive carrier settings update, considering the same iPhone model that Sprint sells is also sold on other carriers?

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No CAx3.

 

So disappointing. LG can no longer run with the big dogs.  Reduced to staying on the porch.  Samsung can prevent rooting with no LG competition on its S7/S7 Edge.  Without CAx3, the LG G5 will likely be a launch failure unless the VoLTE is actually implemented soon.

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To predict it a launch failure across the board due to lack of CAx3 is a bit nuts - most consumers will have no clue what carrier aggregation is or means. Those of us who do are a relatively small minority.

 

That being said, despite the innovation attempt in design, it may well be a failure simply due to coming to the market late vs Samsung's latest alone, not to mention the potential for disenfranchised loyal customers who had bought into the back volume rocker contols from previous generation designs. I can easily envision LG ending up losing more sales than it gains regardless of carrier due to those 2 issues.

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What's the likelihood of a Permissive Change Filing or Refresh at this point?

 

I hope Apple still plans to do a 3xCA iPhone 7... and not leave it for the "S" model...

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I heard multiple times mention about Sprint looking to switch to a more standard VoWifi supporting handing off from Wifi to Cellular. That would be a nice addition.

Nice gateway toward VoLTE and hopefully this will support it.

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Sprint's WiFi Calling Page recently got an update (3/8/2016).

 

Can I send text messages over Wi-Fi?

Android phones: Both SMS (text) and MMS (pictures) messaging is supported in Wi-Fi Calling mode. Note: Samsung GS7, GS7 Edge, and LG G5 will support Messaging over Wi-Fi later in 2016.

 

iOS phones: iMessage on iOS is supported over Wi-Fi. SMS and MMS messaging is still handled by the Nationwide Sprint Network. If you do not have coverage then messaging services are not supported. This functionality is expected to be supported over Wi-Fi in the future.

 

Does Wi-Fi Calling work while the phone is in Airplane Mode?

Legacy Android Phones (launched prior to 2016): No, Wi-Fi Calling is not available in Airplane Mode.

 

Current Android Phones (launching in 2016): Yes, Wi-Fi Calling is available in Airplane Mode

 

iOS Phones: Yes, Wi-Fi Calling is available in Airplane Mode.

 

Are there any restrictions to where Wi-Fi Calling can be used in the United States?

For Android phones launched in 2016 and all iOS devices there are no restrictions.

 

For Legacy Android phones launched prior to 2016, outbound calls over Wi-Fi Calling may not be available outside Nationwide Sprint Network coverage areas, but inbound calls and other messaging services may still be available.

 

-----

 

That's an interesting delineation between 2016 devices and "Legacy" devices.

 

Perhaps something is in the works on the back end.

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Sprint has been making some weird choices for the GS7 and G5?  Why make the G5 VoLTE capable but not the GS7 while at the same time make the GS7 3xCA capable but not this one.

 

I guess if 3xCA won't be a widespread reality until 2017/2018 then its not really a big deal.  2xCA is pretty fast enough but it would be nice if Sprint kept things more consistent with their flagships.  I am not curious what the HTC M10 will provide.  Hopefully it contains VoLTE capabiltiy and 3xCA capability.

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Sprint's WiFi Calling Page recently got an update (3/8/2016).

...

 

That's an interesting delineation between 2016 devices and "Legacy" devices.

 

There was probably a small change in the FCC regulations to put carrier-provided VoIP solutions on the same playing field as third-party VoIP solutions that never had to comply with "airplane mode" or the geographic licensing scheme for voice communications.

 

Reading between the lines, Sprint isn't going to bother to update the carrier software on older phones (particularly those that are likely to be EOLed soon) to allow these features but 2016 models will support it since Sprint plans to market and support them into 2017.

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That's interesting. Why was iOS treated differently? It wasn't subject to the same restrictions as Legacy Android devices?

 

Under the definition, Galaxy S6 would be considered Legacy but the iPhone 5s/5c/6/6 are not.

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Reading between the lines, Sprint isn't going to bother to update the carrier software on older phones (particularly those that are likely to be EOLed soon) to allow these features but 2016 models will support it since Sprint plans to market and support them into 2017.

 

They might if the device gains native WiFi calling support through the Marshmallow upgrade. Especially if it could lower licensing and infrastructure costs.

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Sprint has been making some weird choices for the GS7 and G5?  Why make the G5 VoLTE capable but not the GS7 while at the same time make the GS7 3xCA capable but not this one.

 

I guess if 3xCA won't be a widespread reality until 2017/2018 then its not really a big deal.  2xCA is pretty fast enough but it would be nice if Sprint kept things more consistent with their flagships.  I am not curious what the HTC M10 will provide.  Hopefully it contains VoLTE capabiltiy and 3xCA capability.

3xca starts soon. it will rollout just as fast as 2xca.

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Can anyone post an antennae location diagram for the galaxy note 5.....

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I don't think Sprint is in a position to launch VoLTE yet. There are still WAY too many places in every market where LTE gets weak and drops to 3G. Sprint has this problem more than any of the other top dog carriers. If Sprint launched VoLTE today and had a decent line of handsets to use it, call drops would be an enormous issue given the current state of the network.

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Has anyone got any updates on VoLTE for the Sprint network? They have finally got the network working great at my house but the lack of VoLTE really is a sore spot as far as being a Sprint customer.  Of course no one from Sprint will comment.  I wish I could get a straight answer.

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