by Cedric Owens
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Friday, October 3, 2014 - 2:30 PM MDT
A year ago, S4GRU brought you a great breakdown article titled after the Three Dog Night hit - "One is the loneliest number". Unfortunately, this great article brought news that none of us Sprint Samsung phablet owners wanted to hear. One band of LTE. "No Tri-band For You!"
Well, Samsung and Sprint officially announced on September 3, 2014 that the wait for the "King of Phablets" having Sprint Spark was finally over. Okay, maybe not over, but a little over a month away.
So with the announcement from Apple September 9th, 2014, that they are getting into the phablet market with the iPhone 6 Plus and with the rumored announcement from Google and Motorola about a 5.92" beast of their own on the horizon, does the Sprint variant of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 have enough to remain on top of the throne?
Let's take a look at what was found over at the good ol' FCC Office of Engineering & Technology for FCC ID: A3LSMN910P.
Three Bands Short of Being One of Your Favorite CCA/RRPP Rock Concerts
If you were hoping for band 4 LTE 1700+2100, band 12 LTE 700 and band 17 LTE 700, you're going to have to find a new rock tour to follow for a fully compliant Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) and Rural Roaming Preferred Program (RRPP) device.
Sprint announced March 26, 2014, that they were moving to include CCA band support on devices by end of the year, but the Note 4 missed the mark this time around. One would have thought that that would have included the Note 4, but just as last year when Sprint made the announcement about Sprint Spark in every device going forward and Samsung went rogue, it appears they are deciding to do the same this year with bands 4, 12 and 17.
Without these additional LTE bands, Note 4 Sprint customers may be limited in the amount of pseudo native coverage gained when Sprint's CCA LTE roaming starts to go live, in the places where bands 25/26/41 are not present. So the "King of Phablets" will once again be missing out on something that "America's Newest Network" is offering. This Note 4 is capable of using LTE deployed on Band 2 and 5 though, if some of these members are using that spectrum. So the news is not the best for Sprint LTE roaming with CCA partners, but it is "Note"worthy that it will still be able to pick up bands 25/26/41 that their RRPP partners are overlaying on their own networks.
ERP/EIRP numbers to help anticipate RF performance
Below find the maximum ERP/EIRP Numbers for the LTE Bands relevant to the Sprint variant:
- 5 MHz FDD channels: max EIRP 22.45dBm
- 20 MHz FDD channels: max EIRP 22.75dBm
- 15 MHz FDD channels: max EIRP 22.78dBm
- 10 MHz FDD channels: max EIRP 22.58dBm
- 3 MHZ FDD channels: max EIRP 22.09dBm
- 1.4 MHZ FDD channels: max EIRP 21.27dBm
- 5 MHz FDD channels: max ERP 18.89dBm
- 10 MHz FDD channels: max ERP 18.92dBm
- 3 MHz FDD channels: max ERP 18.96dBm
- 1.4 MHz FDD channels: max ERP 18.54dBm
Band 41 (Spark)
- 20 MHz TDD channels: max EIRP 22.44dBm
- 15 MHz TDD channels: max EIRP 22.84dBm
- 10 MHz TDD channels: max EIRP 22.52dBm
- 5 MHz TDD channels: max EIRP 22.69dBm
NOTE: This is using the better antenna, on the best channel in the band, and with robust QPSK modulation. Although Sprint currently does not use B25 1.4MHz, 3MHz, 10MHz, 15MHz or 20MHz channels, nor B26 1.4MHz, 3MHz or 10MHz channels, nor B41 5, 10 or 15MHz channels, they were included for interest as it is plausible that Sprint could use these in the future at some point.
Simultaneous Voice/Data, VoLTE, Domestic WiFi Calling and Carrier Aggregation
No... (Enough said)
After deciphering through all the FCC data, the released specifications and considering the phablet options out there... So what's my take? I give it a "Kanye Shrug". The EIRP results indicate that Band 25 and Band 41 are what's to be expected, and Band 26 is surprising less robust. One caveat though is that the Band 25 EIRP numbers are similar to the Note II, so we'll have to wait for real world results before making the final verdict on RF performance.
The Note series may no longer be the beast of a device it used to be. Apple has released a very competitive device in this category. Google/Motorola are supposedly releasing a 5.92" Nexus phablet and who are you trying to fool LG, HTC and Samsung with these flagship device screen sizes you all have been releasing lately?
At one point the Note series offered something you couldn't get on other devices, including Samsung, but it's now clear that Samsung intends to release its flagship device every Spring and if you want it in a bigger size, you'll have to wait until the Fall.
So, here's to another year of waiting for the "latest and greatest" Samsung Galaxy Note to catch up to the latest and greatest network from Sprint. *Cough* Carrier Aggregation *Cough*
Thanks everyone for reading my 1st Wall article. Hope you enjoyed it.
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 APQ8084
- RAM: 3GB
- Rear Facing Camera: 16-megapixel with Optical Image Stabilization (Take that iPhone 6 Plus)
- Front Facing Camera: 3.7-megapixel (Selfie Heaven)
Sprint Specifications said:
- Android 4.4 (Kit Kat)
- 3220 mAh Lithium Ion Battery
- Talk time: Up to 35 hours
- Dimensions: 6.0" x 3.1” x 0.3"
- Display: 5.7” Quad HD Super AMOLED (2560 X 1440)
- Weight: 6.2 oz
- 2.7 GHz Quad-core processor – Qualcomm Snapdagon
- 32GB internal memory(ROM)/3GB (RAM) /supports up to 128GB Micro SD (sold separately)
- Bluetooth profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, GAVDP, HFP 1.6, PBAP, HSP, HID, GOEP, SPP, MAP, PAN, OPP, DI, HOGP
- HD Voice
- International WiFi Calling
- Sprint® Direct Connect® Now