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Could there be one iPhone to rule the world’s LTE networks?

pyroscott

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by Scott Johnson

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 12:47 PM MDT

 

When Apple first released the iPhone in 2007, they introduced a technological renaissance. The iPhone ushered in the “smartphone era” bringing phone technology to an entirely new level. Since the iPhone release, the iPhone has seen some technological advancement along the way, but not to the degree of changing the industry.

 

The next iPhone is not only expected to introduce LTE capability to the line, but it may also be a true world phone, connecting to nearly every network technology. There could potentially be a single iPhone model that could be activated on nearly any carrier with the swap of a SIM card. Many carriers will undoubtedly impose a SIM lock, to keep the phone on their carrier, but it has the potential.

 

Many technologies, one tiny chip

 

At the heart of this advancement is the Qualcomm MDM9615 from Qualcomm’s GOBI line. This multiple device modem (MDM) chip supports both voice and data over LTE (FDD and TDD)as well as connecting to EV-DO Rev A and B, HSPA+, dual carrier HSPA+, and TD-SCDMA. With the added support of voice over LTE this phone could also be one of the first to support VoLTE.

 

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All this in the tiny iPhone form factor

 

The MDM9615 will pair with Qualcomm’s WTR1605 and PM8018 integrated circuits to combine multiple mode and multiple band connectivity, low power consumption, and small footprint. The WTR1605 is Qualcomm’s first wafer level radio transceiver and will allow LTE FDD, LTE TDD, CDMA, WCDMA, TD-SCDMA and GSM connections. The PM8018 will provide efficient power management at the wafer level. The only sticking point for Apple is how to fit all the antennas, PA's and filters for all the different bands into the iPhone without significantly increasing the size. This may keep them from being able to introduce a “world” phone and have to settle for regional or carrier specific models with the components to support the bands the carriers use.

 

But will it retain Apple’s iconic battery life?[float right]slooProImg_20111123164640.jpg[/float]

 

 

First generation LTE chips are energy hogs, which may be why Apple opted to skip the addition of LTE to their iPhone 4S. The 28nm MDM9615 may be just what Apple was waiting for in order to retain their small form factor and still give outstanding battery life. Not only will the 28nm chip have a reduction in size, but when paired with Qualcomm’s Power Optimized Envelope Tracking (Q-POET) the chip will see further enhanced power efficiency and heat management.

 

What we know

 

As of this point, Apple is only reviewing potential components for their next iPhone, but the fact that they are reviewing these specific components leads many to believe that they will utilize the components to their maximum potential. Apple generally is leak proof, which means that we will have to wait until an official announcement until we have confirmation of what will be included in the newest installation of their iPhone line. The combination of these chips may not even see the Apple device first. An Android OEM may be already working on this and introduce a phone with the wide capabilities possible with this chipset.

 

 

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Sources: Qualcomm (2) Simonblog Engadget AppleInsider

Baseband RF Photo courtesy of Barklay's Research

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As the FCC turns its attention to interoperability concerns, VZW and AT&T should not and will not be allowed to continue their parochial, predatory practices to prevent interoperability and stymie competition.

 

I have seen reports that the FCC is looking into why phones cannot use LTE BC 12 in lieu of BC 17. Band 12 (regional carriers) is a superset of Band 17 (AT&T). I see no reason why these two band classes have to be separate.

 

I don't see any way they can do anything about BC 13, however. It is backwards (uplink frequencies higher than downlink frequencies) in addition to having a different duplex spacing (-31 instead of +30 MHz).

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I have seen reports that the FCC is looking into why phones cannot use LTE BC 12 in lieu of BC 17. Band 12 (regional carriers) is a superset of Band 17 (AT&T). I see no reason why these two band classes have to be separate.I don't see any way they can do anything about BC 13, however. It is backwards (uplink frequencies higher than downlink frequencies) in addition to having a different duplex spacing (-31 instead of +30 MHz).

 

Agreed, band class 13/14 (Upper 700 MHz) and band class 12/17 (Lower 700 MHz) will remain separate because of the duplex inversion.

 

The perfectly solvable problem is VZW and/or AT&T throwing around their anti competitive clout to get OEMs to build devices that are band class 17 (instead of the original, inclusive band class 12), band class 2 (instead of the superset band class 25), or band class 5 (instead of the superset band class 26).

 

Those are little more than predatory, exclusionary practices designed to squeeze out the competitive carriers by making it more difficult for them to procure compatible devices and nary impossible for subs to churn and take their VZW or AT&T devices to other carriers.

 

AJ

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Agreed, band class 13/14 (Upper 700 MHz) and band class 12/17 (Lower 700 MHz) will remain separate because of the duplex inversion.The perfectly solvable problem is VZW and/or AT&T throwing around their anti competitive clout to get OEMs to build devices that are band class 17 (instead of the original, inclusive band class 12), band class 2 (instead of the superset band class 25), or band class 5 (instead of the superset band class 26).Those are little more than predatory, exclusionary practices designed to squeeze out the competitive carriers by making it more difficult for them to procure compatible devices and nary impossible for subs to churn and take their VZW or AT&T devices to other carriers.AJ

When was band class 26 approved? I only see 1-25 and the TDD classes 33-43 on the official lists... The other question is will the FCC allow a superset of ESMR and cellular since the two bands are governed by different rules (part 90S vs. 22H), which impacts power output limitations that would have to be enforced in some manner.

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Agreed, band class 13/14 (Upper 700 MHz) and band class 12/17 (Lower 700 MHz) will remain separate because of the duplex inversion.The perfectly solvable problem is VZW and/or AT&T throwing around their anti competitive clout to get OEMs to build devices that are band class 17 (instead of the original, inclusive band class 12), band class 2 (instead of the superset band class 25), or band class 5 (instead of the superset band class 26).Those are little more than predatory, exclusionary practices designed to squeeze out the competitive carriers by making it more difficult for them to procure compatible devices and nary impossible for subs to churn and take their VZW or AT&T devices to other carriers.AJ

 

Naturally, they don't want to let their product do the talking, they have to use every possible way to make it impossible for their competitors to do business.

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Naturally, they don't want to let their product do the talking, they have to use every possible way to make it impossible for their competitors to do business.

AT&T and VZW had nothing to do with the band class split-- the FCC decided upon the duplex pairing by recommendations when they went to auction. The regulations are currently the limitation on the hardware.

Phone manufacturers are in business to make money-- they want to sell the most devices they can at the most profit, so if they can make a device that'll work with everyone's network and be able to obtain FCC approval, they'll make it as long as it doesn't cost more to produce than they can sell it for. The carriers won't care as long as it supports their network and band class. Look at the LG Viper-- they made one model with a PCS (BC 25) LTE antenna for Sprint and a duplicate model with a different antenna but all other components the same for Metro PCS. All OEMs do this-- they make the most interchangeable devices they can that will meet regulatory requirements.

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Look at the LG Viper-- they made one model with a PCS (BC 25) LTE antenna for Sprint and a duplicate model with a different antenna but all other components the same for Metro PCS.

 

Also the LG Lucid on Verizon (it has several other variances, but is very similar)

 

I agree that the phone manufacturers will do whatever is needed to make the most money, BUT you have to figure there was some heavy lobbying to get those regulations pushed though.

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When was band class 26 approved? I only see 1-25 and the TDD classes 33-43 on the official lists... The other question is will the FCC allow a superset of ESMR and cellular since the two bands are governed by different rules (part 90S vs. 22H), which impacts power output limitations that would have to be enforced in some manner.

 

A few comments...

 

I do not believe that 3GPP has approved band class 26 quite yet. But that is no matter, as 1) it is slated to be standardized this spring and 2) Sprint already references band class 26 in internal LTE documents.

 

The FCC does not standardize band classes -- 3GPP and 3GPP2 do -- so the FCC will not have a direct say in the matter. Also, some current band classes already have differential power output limitations. An example of that is band class 12, which applies different ERP regulations on the Lower 700 MHz A block because its uplink is directly adjacent to UHF DTV channel 51.

 

But none of that, too, should be an impediment because I find no evidence that Part 90 rules will unduly limit uplink ERP for band class 10 CDMA1X or band class 18/26 LTE. True, many Sprint CDMA1X/EV-DO handsets do seem to be biased toward higher ERP with band class 1 (~25 dBm), lower ERP for band class 0 and/or band class 10 (~20 dBm). But that is highly variable from handset to handset and seems to be a function of antenna optimization. For example, the following is an FCC test report for a Sprint BlackBerry that outputs 27 dBm ERP for band class 10.

 

https://apps.fcc.gov/eas/GetApplicationAttachment.html?id=1521343

 

So, obviously, band class 10 can allow healthy ERP, and I think that the SMR 800 MHz, Part 90, band class 10 (CDMA1X), band class 26 (LTE) concerns are much ado about nothing.

 

AJ

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Agreed, band class 13/14 (Upper 700 MHz) and band class 12/17 (Lower 700 MHz) will remain separate because of the duplex inversion.The perfectly solvable problem is VZW and/or AT&T throwing around their anti competitive clout to get OEMs to build devices that are band class 17 (instead of the original, inclusive band class 12), band class 2 (instead of the superset band class 25), or band class 5 (instead of the superset band class 26).Those are little more than predatory, exclusionary practices designed to squeeze out the competitive carriers by making it more difficult for them to procure compatible devices and nary impossible for subs to churn and take their

VZW or AT&T devices to other carriers.AJ

 

Given today's news of CSpire (aka CellSouth) lawsuit of ATT/Qualcomm collusion, your post almost appears prophetic.

 

Robert

 

 

 

 

 

 

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