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

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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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how about upload CA?

Sprint doesnt have any upload CA. I havent heard anything about them actually doing it. If they ever do then yeah these new phones will not work on it. 2xca upload would help increase the upload speeds to around 30mbps or so I think.

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One net effect of having one universal device would be the resale value going forward. Having a universal device that is able to move around different carriers adds a significant value to a second hand device.

 

This could have been influenced by the advent of the leasing model. Second hand devices would no longer be technically limited to one carrier.

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One net effect of having one universal device would be the resale value going forward. Having a universal device that is able to move around different carriers adds a significant value to a second hand device. This could have been influenced by the advent of the leasing model. Second hand devices would no longer be technically limited to one carrier.

 

A few thoughts on the matter...

 

We do know that the hardware in the "US" variant will be centralized across all domestic operators.  S4GRU staff even has discovered more recently in the FCC OET a "KOR" variant -- ostensibly intended for South Korean operators.  Samsung seems to be standardizing its handset hardware platforms across all operators within certain countries/regions.

 

What we do not know is how Samsung will handle separate firmware per operator.  Though I doubt it, the customized firmware could be temporary and tied to the SIM card in use.  Pop in an AT&T SIM, that activates the "A" firmware.  Pop in a Sprint SIM, that activates the "P" firmware.

 

More likely, barring hacker intervention, the firmware locks could be permanent.  A Sprint "P" variant, for example, always may be set up for Sprint, thus not particularly usable on VZW.  From a sales volume standpoint, Samsung benefits more if those who are switching providers have to obtain new handsets.

 

AJ

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A few thoughts on the matter...

 

We do know that the hardware in the "US" variant will be centralized across all domestic operators.  S4GRU staff even has discovered more recently in the FCC OET a "KOR" variant -- ostensibly intended for South Korean operators.  Samsung seems to be standardizing its handset hardware platforms across all operators within certain countries/regions.

 

What we do not know is how Samsung will handle separate firmware per operator.  Though I doubt it, the customized firmware could be temporary and tied to the SIM card in use.  Pop in an AT&T SIM, that activates the "A" firmware.  Pop in a Sprint SIM, that activates the "P" firmware.

 

More likely, barring hacker intervention, the firmware locks could be permanent.  A Sprint "P" variant, for example, always may be set up for Sprint, thus not particularly usable on VZW.  From a sales volume standpoint, Samsung benefits more if those who are switching providers have to obtain new handsets.

 

AJ

I'm almost certain swapping sims freely between carriers would be a no go. But, my thought is that they(and only them)would have the lock and key to be able to sell you a device that came from one carrier and sell it to you for another, as a second hand device.

 

That could potentially open up a whole new business model moving forward for them.

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Another interesting question is whether they will decide to sell an officially unlocked US variant, and if so, what bands would such a device support?

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Another interesting question is whether they will decide to sell an officially unlocked US variant, and if so, what bands would such a device support?

 

 

Unless carriers want to pay for custom builds of the phone, mass-manufacturing typically makes it cheaper just to support all bands.

 

I'd expect the model numbers to be purely software / quality control differences.

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Unless carriers want to pay for custom builds of the phone, mass-manufacturing typically makes it cheaper just to support all bands.

 

I'd expect the model numbers to be purely software / quality control differences.

That's not exactly what I was referring to. What I mean is that Samsung also usually sells an "officially unlocked" version of their flagship. This variant typically supports AT&T and T-Mobile (albeit sometimes only partially). What I am wondering is if they will sell an unlocked variant of the S7 that could be used on all four (or maybe just 3) carriers that you could get directly from Samsung or their resellers.

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A few thoughts on the matter...

 

We do know that the hardware in the "US" variant will be centralized across all domestic operators.  S4GRU staff even has discovered more recently in the FCC OET a "KOR" variant -- ostensibly intended for South Korean operators.  Samsung seems to be standardizing its handset hardware platforms across all operators within certain countries/regions.

 

What we do not know is how Samsung will handle separate firmware per operator.  Though I doubt it, the customized firmware could be temporary and tied to the SIM card in use.  Pop in an AT&T SIM, that activates the "A" firmware.  Pop in a Sprint SIM, that activates the "P" firmware.

 

More likely, barring hacker intervention, the firmware locks could be permanent.  A Sprint "P" variant, for example, always may be set up for Sprint, thus not particularly usable on VZW.  From a sales volume standpoint, Samsung benefits more if those who are switching providers have to obtain new handsets.

 

AJ

 

This showed up in the rumors thread...

 

http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/7323-samsung-galaxy-s7-rumors-thread/page-11&do=findComment&comment=470384

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