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lilotimz

S4GRU Staff
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Blog Entries posted by lilotimz

  1. lilotimz
    Tim Yu
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    Thursday, August 2, 2018 - 12:01 PM PDT
    It's been a long time coming for Sprint through many trials and tribulations.  Now it's finally here!
    S4GRU was able to obtain confirmations that Sprint is finally ready and prepared to enable Voice over LTE (VoLTE) for subscribers to manually opt into in select markets across the country this coming September. See list at the bottom. 
    As a refresher here are some of the essential points about VoLTE applicable to Sprint: 
    Calls placed over VoLTE will have the QOS tag unlike the current Calling Plus configuration on numerous Sprint devices Like Calling Plus, VoLTE will have no fallback to the legacy 1x voice network. Calls will drop if the LTE signal drops.  The voice codec is AMR-WB which one can experience with Calling Plus calls and matches the other carriers VoLTE setups.  At this point and time S4GRU does not have a list of compatible VoLTE devices though we do speculate that any device currently running Calling Plus should be able to tap into that very same IMS core Calling Plus utilizes via true VoLTE. In addition, recent Apple iPhone's seems like a sure bet as some users have already experienced VoLTE in live field tests conducted by Sprint. For the non Sprint branded BYOD devices like Google Pixels or unlocked Moto devices the future is quite murky indeed. 
    Sprint VoLTE Soft Launch Market Map

    See this for map of all Sprint market boundaries
    Sprint VoLTE Soft Launch Markets
    .tg {border-collapse:collapse;border-spacing:0;} .tg td{font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px;padding:10px 5px;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;overflow:hidden;word-break:normal;border-color:black;} .tg th{font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-weight:normal;padding:10px 5px;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;overflow:hidden;word-break:normal;border-color:black;} .tg .tg-wk8r{background-color:#ffffff;border-color:#ffffff;text-align:center;vertical-align:top} Atlanta / Athens Austin Baltimore Boston Central Jersey Chicago Cincinnati
    Cleveland
    Colorado
    Columbus
    DFW East Kentucky
    East Michigan
    Ft. Wayne / South Bend
    Houston
    Idaho
    Indianapolis
    Kansas
    LA Metro
    Las Vegas
    Long Island
    Miami / West Palm
    Milwaukee
    Minnesota
    Missouri
    Nashville
    New York City
    Norfolk
    North Wisconsin
    Northern Jersey
    Oklahoma
    Oregon / SW Washington
    Orlando
    Philadelphia Metro
    Phoenix
    Pittsburgh
    Richmond
    San Antonio
    SF Bay
    South Bay
    South Texas
    Southern Jersey
    Tampa
    Toledo
    Upper Central Valley
    Utah
    Washington DC
    West Iowa / Nebraska
    West Virginia

  2. lilotimz
    Tim Yu
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    Friday, June 8, 2018 - 3:00 PM PDT
    It has been a little over a year since the first Magic Box publicly available was announced. In the time since then since the Airunity 545 "GEN 1" was announced, minor revisions were done as "GEN 2" with the Airunity 544 sporting a LCD display and subsequently the Airunity 546 having an more aesthetically pleasing exterior. All LCD display models  are known as "GEN 2" respectively. 
    Come next week starting on June 11th, 2018, the GEN 2 Magic Box's (AU544/546) will be considered out of stock and a GEN 3 Magic Box will take over the reigns in the beginning of July 2018. 
    Though information on this new unit is scarce, information attained by S4GRU does suggest the new revision may potentially contain user accessible USB Type A ports and have a slightly lower transmit power. 
    More to come as S4GRU discovers additional information about this GEN 3 Magic Box. 
     
  3. lilotimz
    by Tim Yu and Andrew J. Shepherd
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    Sunday, December 6, 2015 - 2:55 AM MST
     
    S4GRU staff is burning the well past midnight oil for our readers. Overnight, Sprint has unofficially updated its network coverage map tool to include LTE Roaming+ and LTE Roaming acquired via its participation in the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) Roaming Hub and its own Rural Roaming Preferred Partners (RRPP) program. The coverage tool LTE roaming update clearly is a work in progress -- more on that later. But LTE roaming is finally here.
     
    So, what is the difference between LTE Roaming+ and LTE Roaming?
     
    LTE Roaming+
     
    A simple explanation is that LTE Roaming+ is pseudo native coverage. Sprint users will access certain other LTE networks without roaming restrictions and can treat them as native. Usage does not count against any roaming cap, the only restrictions being the plan type ("unlimited" vs data allotment).
     
     
    LTE Roaming
     
    LTE Roaming is non native, off network coverage. Usage is counted against Sprint plan roaming caps. Older plans, such as the Everything Data, have a 300 MB limit, while newer plans, like Framily, are limited to 100 MB.
     
    For a specific LTE roaming footprint example, see this coverage tool screenshot centered around Sprint's headquarters in the Kansas City metro. From the LTE roaming legend, the dark green LTE Roaming+ in western Kansas is Nex-Tech Wireless, and you can catch a glimpse of the same LTE Roaming+ from C Spire south of Memphis. The light green is LTE Roaming, all of which appears to be USCC at this point. Elsewhere, you will find LTE Roaming on USCC in its Pacific Northwest, Southeast, and New England regions. There is still map work to do -- note the LTE Roaming legend "@TODO will we have a description here?" More LTE Roaming+ and LTE Roaming operator coverage may be added in the coming hours or days.
     

     
    Device compatibility?
     
    Due to Sprint's unique LTE Band 25-26-41 network configuration, not all Sprint LTE capable devices will be able to roam on partner networks, which may use different bands, such as Band 2 (PCS 1900 MHz A-F blocks), Band 4 (AWS-1 1700+2100 MHz), Band 5 (Cellular 850 MHz), and Band 12 (Lower 700 MHz)
     
    As such, a CCA/RRPP compatible Sprint triband device, of which many were released in the past year, is the best bet for full network compatibility with partner LTE networks. A CCA/RRPP device will have LTE Band 2-4-5-12-25-26-41 support, which basically covers all of the standard LTE bands in use in the US -- minus VZW Band 13 and AT&T Band 17. No matter, VZW and AT&T presently are not LTE roaming partners with Sprint.
     
    If Multi Frequency Band Indicator (MFBI) is active at the network level, a regular Sprint triband device (Bands 25-26-41) may be able to access some partner networks -- due to Band 25 (PCS 1900 MHz A-G blocks) and Band 26 (eSMR 800 MHz + Cellular 850 MHz) being supersets of Band 2 and Band 5, respectively. However, these triband devices will not roam if the partner network uses Band 4 or Band 12.
     
    An older single band Sprint LTE Band 25 device will be even more restricted. If it can roam at all, it will be limited to partner networks that use Band 2, again assuming MFBI.
     
    In Summary...
     
    A few months ago, Sprint upgraded much off network coverage for most accounts from only CDMA1X to EV-DO. Now, a lot of that same roaming footprint gets elevated a second time to LTE. Sprint LTE, eHRPD/EV-DO, and CDMA1X coverage still will hold highest priority. Whether LTE Roaming+ or LTE Roaming, it will not supersede Sprint eHRPD/EV-DO or CDMA1X signal. But outside of all Sprint native coverage, roaming gets another boost.
     
    LTE roam, roam if you want to.
     
     
    Sources: Sprint, S4GRU thread
  4. lilotimz
    Tim Yu
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    January 12, 2018 - 5:30 PM PST

    "New year, new me. Am I right?"
         ~ signed Samsung
    Samsung has decided that the beginning of the new year is a great time to change.  Samsung has decided its newest flagship Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus devices must meet with the FCC OET for certification far earlier than usual. With ever watchful and prying eyes, S4GRU staff discovered the twin filings for two devices with FCC IDs of A3LSMG960U and A3LSMG965U which follows the   previous Samsung numeration of the Galaxy S8 / 8+ (950u/955u) and Galaxy S7 (930u/935u) respectively. In addition, previous leaks for purported international Galaxy S9 variant have captured the ID of 960F and 965F respectively. 
    To keep this short and simple, the Galaxy S9, to date, is the most technologically powerful device we've seen at least for Sprint and possibly other entities and the following technical specifications should demonstrate why.
    CDMA BC: 0 / 1 / 10
    GSM: 850 / 1900
    WCDMA Bands: 2, 4 , 5
    LTE Band: 2, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 14, 17, 25 , 26 , 29, 30, 38, 41, 66, 71

    Downlink Carrier Aggregation (DL CA)
    5xB41 (up to 5 B41 carriers aggregated)
    B25+41CA (up to 2 B41 carriers - 3 total carriers aggregated )
    B26+41CA (up to 2 B41 carriers - 3 total carriers aggregated )
    B25+26CA (up to 2 B25 carriers - 3 total carriers aggregated )
    Uplink Carrier Aggregation (UL CA)
    2xB41 

    256 / 64 QAM Downlink/ Uplink
    HPUE

    CAT 18 Modem
    4x4 MIMO B2, 4, 25, 30 , 41, 66
    12 spatial streams

    Holy bonanza!
    This phone supports up to 100 MHz of LTE spectrum being aggregated together from 5 individual Band 41 carriers!
    To add to that, it also supports FDD and TDD LTE carrier aggregation by utilizing Band 25 1900 MHz or Band 26 800 MHz as the primary component carrier which would contribute to downlink and uplink while Band 41 is aggregated to it would be downlink only secondary component carriers. Remember the saying of having B25 or B26 uplink with Band 41 downlink, anybody?
    Plus  there is expansion of FDD carrier aggregation to that of between Band 25 and Band 26.  This will help a ton in areas where Band 41 and its oodles of capacity does not reach. As the recent CDMA refarming nationwide on PCS spectrum has allowed Sprint to fire up an additional Band 25 carrier,  this means in many Sprint markets there currently exists two Band 25 carriers in addition to a Band 26 carrier. This additional carrier is not forgotten and can now be used alongside the other Band 25 and Band 26 carrier for carrier aggregation.
    Last but not least, this phone is "Gigabit Class" by having up to 12 spacial streams means that 4x4 MIMO can be used for 3 separate B41 carriers when aggregated together instead of 2 in the previous generation which supports only 10 spacial streams. Though it was a moot point as the entire generation of Samsung flagships from this past year did not support 4x4 MIMO on Band 41, until now!
    A phone this size should not be able to pack so many technologies...but yet it does! A splendid phone and surely a must have for the S4GRU and other tech adept users! 

  5. lilotimz
    Tim Yu
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    May 19, 2017 - 8:30 AM PDT
     
    The Sprint Magic Box was announced on Sprint's quarterly earning call earlier this month, and was heralded as the first truly all wireless small cell in the industry. So what is this mystical beast that is purported to increase coverage by up to 30,000 square feet, amplifies data speeds, and "boosts" your data signal?
    This is the 1st Generation Sprint Magic Box
     

    In more technical terms, the Magic Box is an Airspan product under their Airunity line. The black colored model that exists in the wild, and which I procured contains the Airspan Airunity 540 small cell eNB. Whereas the white colored Magic Box advertised by Sprint is a newer model that contains the Airspan Airunity 545 small cell eNB. The primarily difference is that the unreleased white Magic Box is able to broadcast at twice the transmit power compared to the black model which results in substantially increased coverage area in addition to the LTE UE Relay Module having HPUE capability.
    These are all wireless small cells as there is no requirement of a wired backhaul solution like traditional Femto cells like the pending Sprint Airave 3 LTE, Commscope S1000, or the T-mobile LTE Cellspot.
    Instead, the Magic Box (MB) utilizes a technology called LTE UE Relay that is integrated into the overall package. The Magic Box contains an Airunity LTE B41 2500 MHz small cell and a LTE UE Relay device called the ninja module whose only job is to establish a data link to a macro eNB LTE 1900 or 2500 MHz signal and then feed a data connection to the Airunity small cell.
    For more on LTE UE Relay: see here
    Once the Relay link is connected and data flows to the Airunity eNB, a new LTE 2500 MHz signal is then created and broadcasted from the unit. This signal is unique to the Magic Box and is available to use by any compatible Sprint device that can access the LTE Plus (2500 MHz LTE B41) network.
    Unlike a repeater setup, the Magic Box does not simply take an existing signal and amplify it and all the accompanying noise and interference. This is a brand new and very clean LTE signal being broadcasted.
    The following screenshot from Network Signal Guru app displays this clearly.

    The Magic Box in my location broadcasts a brand new LTE carrier with frequency located on EARFCN 40270 (2558 MHz) while the macro donor eNB signal of 40978 (2628 MHz) is used as backhaul (LTE Band 25 1900 MHz can also be used).
    [As of July 2017, the Magic Box had its LTE carrier center frequency switched to 2518.4 MHz or EARFCN 39874. Signal Check Pro screenshot]
    This means, instead of a weak edge of cell LTE signal with the accompanying band switching that substantially impact device stand by times and I may lose deep inside the building, a Magic Box allows a Sprint device to connect to a strong and clean LTE 2500 MHz signal which blankets the formerly weak LTE coverage area.
    As a side effect, LTE speeds may also be dramatically increased due to the better signal level and quality being broadcasted by the MB whose LTE Relay Module can connect to what may have been previously an unusable 2500 MHz network. Especially when placed by a window as recommended.




    Album of Screenshots
    Personal Experience
    In my more than one month of observations using the Magic Box, I was able to connect to a LTE 2500 MHz signal from inside a suburban family residential building where such a signal was previously unusable. Furthermore, not only did the Magic Box boost the data signal from weak edge of cell service with consistent frequency swapping that had previously killed our devices battery life, but it also increased the LTE data speeds substantially to the tune of 200-300% over what we were previously getting over LTE 800 and 1900 MHz.
    Whereas previously the house was a weak coverage area where LTE 800 MHz was predominant with even parts dropping to EVDO 3G, the new LTE signal broadcasted by the MB covers the entire house and then some through multiple interior walls and even an exterior brick wall before handing over back to the macro network.
    So what's my view on the Magic Box?
    It can't come soon™ enough for more people to use and enjoy.
  6. lilotimz
    Tim Yu
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    December 11, 2017 - 9:30 PM PST
    Recently, individuals who ordered Magic Boxes noticed a change in the product code of the unit to AU544 from AU545.  It is now confirmed that the product code change is due to the release of the 3rd generation Magic Box.  They are now being shipped!
    The new revision is in essence a GEN2 optimized with a high quality LCD touchscreen display like that of the 1st Generation AU540. In addition, an external battery pack with an adapter to hook onto the Magic Box is now provided.  It can be lugged around for testing purposes instead of internal batteries. In addition, the touch power on button of the GEN2 has been removed with power on sequence done by plugging in power to the unit via a battery pack with an adapter or via the AC power brick. 

    Performance wise, the GEN 3 is identical to the GEN 2 in that they still utilize the Airspan Airunity 545 small cell eNB and a Ninja LTE Relay module. The product designation change from 545 to 544 is primarily due to a change in the WiFi module to a different Qualcomm WiFi module. But for what matters to Sprint users, the LTE B41 performance impact as noted from GEN 1 and subsequently the GEN 2 are identical.  GEN 2 users will not be left behind in performance wise. Previous generation device owners will not be missing out on much! For those that are getting the Magic Box for the first time, welcome to the party!
    Here's pictures of the GEN 3 (AU544MBGN2) courtesy of @bucdenny







  7. lilotimz
    Tim Yu
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    September 28, 2017 - 2:30 PM PDT
    [Edit: 4/6/18: Reflects Airave 3 discontinuation]
    It has been 6 months since I first learned of and received access to what is now called the GEN1 Magic Box. I wrote up my thoughts about it a few months back. Sprint has now evolved to a GEN 2 Magic Box model.  These units are being distributed to customers who preordered after Sprint's announcements.  I've now acquired a GEN2 Magic Box myself.
    Upon opening the package, the most immediate and noticeable difference between the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Magic Box is the absence of an external portable battery.  This was useful to lug the Magic Box around and test different locations in order to select the best spot for unit placement.  
    On the surface this may appear to be a way to decrease unit costs.  This may be true, but the Gen 2 model contains two CR18650 rechargeable lithium batteries integrated inside of the package for the same purpose. No more using a dongle and a hefty battery pack that could be easily lost!

    [2nd Generation Magic Box white colored on left, 1st Generation Magic Box black colored on right[
    Along with the new internal guts, the external aesthetics and materials were also modified. The Gen 1 model had a super bright LCD display with a black front surrounding by white plastic.  The new Gen 2 model has an eInk display with a touch power button below it on the front with the entire exterior being a reflective polished hard plastic. 
    What didn't change is the GEN2 is still an all wireless small cell with no requirement of hard wired backhaul supplied by the user. It still uses LTE UE Relay to acquire an existing Band 25 1900 MHz or Band 41 2500 MHz connection from an existing donor site, which is then fed to the small cell unit and broadcasted as a new LTE Band 41 2500 MHz carrier. The  LTE Relay unit supports up to 2 carrier aggregation on Band 41 to the macro donor site.
    Now to the meaty parts. The performance. Let these screenshots tell the story.
    Before

    After

    [Apps used: Network Signal Guru, Signalcheck Pro, Ookla Speedtest]
    The extremely significant data speed and signal improvements that were experienced by the original Magic Box still exist with the 2nd generation unit. The GEN2 matches and exceeds the performance of my original Magic Box, especially in the upload category.  This is due to the newer LTE Relay module design which utilizes a higher gain antenna. A very satisfactory model upgrade.  It upholds the positive impressions I outlined in my original article.  
    These units just can't come out fast enough so that more people can enjoy it!
    The Magic Box is not a panacea, but is a very good solution in many locations. Now that thousands of these preordered boxes are hitting the streets in countless different deployment scenarios, lots of limitations and bugs are being discovered. With varying impacts. The Magic Box doesn't work for everyone everywhere due to the very nature of its all wireless design. In most places, it works as advertised. Just power up and let it rip. In a few locations there is something lacking which causes units to not fully configure.  This results in errors such as the infamous "20% initialization" or "cannot connect to mobile network" screens that pop up. 
    We researched, asked questions and were informed that Sprint's LTE Relay configuration is of the out of band variety. This means that the LTE UE Relay operation and the small cell eNB signal has to operate on different frequencies. So in Sprint's case, a market must have Band 41 High and Low separation in order for a LTE Relay to work. Thus, Sprint must have spectrum in the Band 41 low range (2500-2570 MHz) and the Band 41 high range (2620-2690). If a Sprint market does not have said spectrum with such a separation, the relay link cannot be established and the Magic Box will not work. 
    In markets where such spectrum peculiarities exist and areas where the macro 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz  RF signal is not strong enough to establish a LTE Relay backhaul connection for the Magic Box, there exists other alternatives available from Sprint. These alternatives are the Airave 3 LTE and Commscope S1000 NSC which will be offered to subscribers who do not qualify for a Magic Box or in a location where the Magic Box does not work. The subscriber will require a home broadband connection in those instances. 

    (Left: Airave 3 LTE, Right: S1000 NSC; credit: ingenium & pwnedkiller)
    The Airave 3 LTE is the traditional CDMA  + LTE Band 41 + WiFi femto cell. It is the successor the Airaves of old. The Commscope S1000 NSC is a LTE Band 41 + WiFi only femto cell which is in essence the Airave 3 minus the CDMA capabilities. If a subscriber desires voice and data enhancement then the Airave 3 should be what the subscriber seeks. If the subscriber does not need voice enhancement due to sufficient macro voice coverage but need 4G LTE data enhancement, then the S1000 NSC would be a better fit. 
    There is a solution for just about everyone now. There now exists an all wireless self configuring LTE small cell, a state of the art and award winning LTE small cell, and which when paired with a CDMA module produces the newest successor in the Airave family. All of which will bring extreme improvements that Sprint subscribers can realize instantly.
    The densification of Sprint's network is now beginning and it all begins with one quite magic(al) box.
    Album of the Magic Box
  8. lilotimz
    Tim Yu
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    January 26, 2018 - 5:30 AM PST
    [Edited: 1/28/18 to include additional information on Samsung 4 port 800 MHz radio]
    [Edited: 2/2/18 for photograph addition of an Ericsson setup]
    The Triband Hexadecaport. The newest development of Sprint's recent network expenditures.
    This is a new triband antenna configuration now being deployed by Sprint that is able to do 4T4R MIMO on both 800 MHz and 1900 MHz in addition to 8T8R MIMO over 2.5 GHz. All in one single antenna.
    Previously, Sprint typically utilized two different antennas with one from Network Vision days being a hexport dual band unit that supports 800 MHz and 1900 MHz. While 2.5 GHz was an additional antenna and radio unit added on later. Some sites utilized (and may continue to utilize) another triband antenna model.  This older generation triband antenna is a decaport (10 port) triband unit that support 4T4R on both 1900 MHz and 2.5 GHz with 2T2R on 800 MHz. This meant that an 8T8R radio would have its capabilities decreased as a result of going from 8T8R to 4T4R. 
    With the development and deployment of this new 16 port triband antenna, Sprint is now poised to offer 800 MHz 4 antenna transmit and receive diversity alongside 1900 MHz, while 2.5 GHz is able to fully utilize the capability of an 8T8R radio.
    This means that the full capability of Sprint's 800 MHz, 1900 MHz, and LTE Plus (2.5 GHz) network can be utilized from a single triband antenna panel.  Removing the limitations of the previous go-to triband antenna model. Because of these limitations, Sprint did not deploy the previous triband antenna panel in a wide scale.  Now they are likely to deploy these more commonly.  In fact, we are already seeing this occur in Washington State, Pittsburgh, and other places en masse.

    Above:  Samsung 4T4R 800 MHz setup via two 800 MHz RRH-C2, 4T4R 1900 MHz RRH-P4 , & 8T8R 2.5 GHz RRH-V3 
    Photograph Source: Josh (ingenium)
    Currently, this type of setup has been found in Samsung vendor regions with two individual 2T2R 800 MHz RRUs to achieve 4T4R MIMO. Samsung and Sprint has a new 4 port 4T4R 800 MHz RRU that will be able to do the job of two existing 2T2R 800 MHz RRUs that will be deployed alongside this new type of antenna. This new Samsung 4 port low frequency radio is also available in Band 13 750 MHz for deployment in the Puerto Rico market due to the Sprint Open Mobile deal.

    Photograph Source: Chris92 
    Ericsson Setup

    Source: mdob07
    This type of setup is yet to be seen in Ericsson or Nokia - Alcatel-Lucent territory.  If you discover these in other vendor regions, be sure to post about it!

    ****If you're in Ericsson or Nokia / former Alcatel-lucent territory then replace the Samsung radios with the relevant Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent CDMA / LTE and Ericsson radios depending on region.***
     
  9. lilotimz
    Tim Yu
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    Saturday, April 7, 2018 - 6:54 PM PDT
    A year ago Sprint and Open Mobile announced the beginnings of a joint venture whereby they would combine their network assets and operations together to create a better more competitive alternative on the island. In late 2017, the deal was consummated which gave Sprint access to Open Mobile's spectrum holdings in the PCS 1900 range and, more importantly, the 750 MHz Band 13 block. 
    This LTE Band 13 is almost exclusively used by Verizon Wireless as the basis for their LTE network. In comparison to Sprints SMR 800 MHz holdings it is 20 MHz in width meaning that Sprint is able to utilize a 10x10 MHz lowband LTE carrier whereas Sprints Band 26 800 MHz is limited to 5x5, 3x3, or even non existence as in Puerto Rico due to spectrum hoarders and other issues pertaining to the IBEZ. With this spectrum, Sprint is now able and has begun the deployment of a triband 750 / 1900 / 2500 network in Puerto Rico!
    See the following screenshots from S4GRU PR / VI market thread users!


    Note: UARFCN 5230 is 751 / 782 MHz center frequency. LTE Band 13 runs 777 - 787 / 746 - 756 which means it's smack dab in the center perfect for a 10x10 MHz FDD LTE carrier. 
    Thanks to imatute and smooth25 for the finds!
     
  10. lilotimz
    by Tim Yu
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    Monday, August 18, 2014 - 8:14 AM MDT
     
    [update] Sprint has announced the Sharp Aquos Crystal which confirms our findings and theories this certified device is indeed the Sharp Aquos Crystal.
     
    While rummaging through recent FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) authorizations on a hot evening in late July, S4GRU staff noticed a curious new entry. It was a smartphone that supports the full spectrum of tri band LTE for Sprint Spark and, of course, CDMA2000 capabilities for native and roaming CDMA1X/EV-DO networks. However, tri band LTE has become commonplace among Sprint handsets over the past year. That was not the interesting part.
     
    Rather, what was most intriguing about this entry was the manufacturer: SHARP CORPORATION.
     
    Sharp, as a cell phone maker, is almost non existent in the North American market. Sharp doesn't even come across the public's mind when people think of an Android smartphone, but here it was -- confusing and exciting at the same time. S4GRU staff raised numerous questions and theories on what exact device it was until just a few hours ago when Sharp, along with SoftBank JPN, announced the Aquos Crystal smartphone in Japan. Additionally, tomorrow August 19th in New York, Sprint is holding a "Take the Edge Off" event, which S4GRU has been covering in The Forums since around the time of the FCC OET filing discovery late last month. How could both developments not be connected?
     
    The FCC authorization documents for this Sharp smartphone show a cross section diagram and diagonal of 14.5 cm that measure extremely close to that of the 5.0" display model, making it highly likely that this mystery Sharp smartphone is indeed the recently announced Aquos Crystal smartphone.
     

     
    The Japanese version is being released on August 29th. Below are its specs:
     
    Dimensions: 67 mm x 131 mm x 10 mm
    Weight: 140 g
    OS: Android 4.4.2
    SoC: MSM8926 1.2 GHz (Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad core)
    Display: 1280 x 720 (LCD)
    ROM: 8 GB, expandable to 128 GB (mSDXC)
    RAM: 1.5 GB
    NFC compatible
    SoftBank LTE FDD * AXGP (i.e. LTE TDD band 41)
     
    For the Sprint variant, the FCC OET docs make no mention of hardware (e.g. processor, display, memory), as that is not the RF purview of the FCC. But the hardware specs are likely to be the same as those of Japanese version, the primary differences being the band/band class support for Sprint. And below is a cursory look at the Sprint variant maximum ERP/EIRP figures:
    LTE FDD band 25 (LTE 1900): 25.82 dBm LTE FDD band 26 (LTE 800): 19.72 dBm LTE TDD band 41 (TD-LTE 2600): 25.43 dBm CDMA2000 band class 0 (CDMA1X/EV-DO 850): 18.62 dBm CDMA2000 band class 1 (CDMA1X/EV-DO 1900): 23.28 dBm CDMA2000 band class 10 (CDMA1X/EV-DO 800): 18.98 dBm It's nice to see Sharp coming back into the game in the North American market, and what better way to do so then by taking the edge off and using it to cut into the competition.
    Sources:
    FCC
    SoftBank JPN
    Pictures
    Sprint
  11. lilotimz
    by Tim Yu
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - 08:51 AM MDT
     
    Mid summer has arrived in the northern hemisphere, and that means the harvest of fall flagship handsets is just getting underway. (The exception are Apples, which are planted and picked all in one afternoon in September.)
     
    The past two weeks brought our first crop. A new authorization for a Motorola device in the FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) database arrived yesterday. Just about in time for Motorola's expected August/September launch of its flagship (read: Moto X) devices.
     
    Prior to that, S4GRU staff discovered a Motorola device filing last week with FCC ID IHDT56UC2, approved for LTE bands 2/4/5/7/12/17/25/29/41 in addition to the standard W-CDMA and GSM bands. Quick staff analysis of the filing lead to the conclusion that it was a either a fully unlocked version or a T-Mobile variant -- due to onboard VoWi-Fi and intra band band 4 carrier aggregation, both of which T-Mobile is pushing hard.
     
    But other tech media discovered and wrote articles on the handset filing -- with some speculating that it was for Sprint as well, due to the inclusion of LTE bands 25/41. Did they overlook that band 26 and any CDMA2000 capability were absent? We know very well that Sprint devices must have LTE bands 25/26/41 and CDMA2000 band classes 0/1/10 at the minimum.
     
    So, we waited with watchful eye for any new authorizations from Motorola, expecting a Sprint variant soon. Indeed, Motorola delivered FCC ID IHDT56UC1.
     
    Fully Sprint CCA/RRPP and VZW/AT&T/T-Mobile compatible
     
    This handset is fully certified for the Sprint network and those of its CCA/RRPP partners. It also completely covers VZW and T-Mobile network capabilities, mostly for AT&T, too, though lacking Ma Bell's emerging LTE bands 29/30.
     
    For a full rundown, it supports:
     
    LTE bands: 2 / 4 / 5 / 7 / 12 / 13 / 17 / 25 / 26 / 41
    CDMA Band Class: 0 / 1 / 10
    W-CDMA Band: 2 / 4 / 5
    GSM: 850 / 1900
     
    So, Sprint Spark? Got it. VZW XLTE? Got it. T-Mobile band 12? Got it. This handset does almost everything -- including carrier aggregation.
     
    Sprint Band 41 Carrier Aggregation Capable
     
    The device is a category 6 UE and supports all of the myriad FDD carrier aggregation combos present in the unlocked or T-Mobile variant detailed earlier. But this variant also includes Sprint's LTE Advanced implementation of TDD carrier aggregation on band 41 -- aka 2x CA band 41 or B41+B41. For reference, S4GRU confirmed activation of carrier aggregation and wrote about it a few weeks ago.
     
    Now, this is the seventh announced device to support Sprint's band 41 carrier aggregation, joining the ranks of the Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, HTC One M9, LG G Flex 2, and LG G4.
     
    Edit: There may be issues with MXPE's B41 carrier aggregation compatibility with the Sprint Network.
     
    To wrap things up, I am not conclusively declaring that this is the 2015 Moto X nor that it is definitively headed to Sprint postpaid -- we all know what happened with the Sprint variant 2014 Moto X. But the band 41 carrier aggregation support screams Sprint and the FCC authorization timing comes spot on for an August/September device launch, as historically has been the time when Motorola has launched its flagship devices.
     
    So, you be the judge...
     
    Source: FCC
  12. lilotimz
    by Tim Yu
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - 3:17 PM MDT
     
    Consider this just a public service announcement. Sprint Spark Band 41 Carrier Aggregation (2x CA) now is officially live according to a Sprint internal announcement leaked on Reddit today by a verified Sprint employee in the Sprint subreddit. Late last month, S4GRU found evidence of 2x CA being live in Atlanta, but this now is a formal notice that Sprint has sent to its employees.
     
    This is the present lineup of 2x CA capable devices:
    Samsung Galaxy S6 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Samsung Galaxy Note Edge LG G Flex 2 LG G4 HTC One M9 ZTE Hot Spot Edit: S4GRU has been fielding numerous questions on other devices. To make this very clear, the above are the only devices right now capable of 2xB41 Carrier Aggregation because they have the hardware (category 6 modem) that is required. Any other phones that were released previously are not compatible because their modems are not category 6 (or higher).
     
    As detailed in the internal document (posted below), the seven devices may receive automatic profile updates this week to enable 2x CA. Alternatively, as some S4GRU users have discovered, 2x CA may already be enabled or can be enabled manually via the hidden Data programming screen.
     
    Next, these are the initial markets in which Sprint is rolling out 2x CA:
    Boston New Jersey Long Island Philadelphia Metro Providence Southern Connecticut Baltimore Cincinnati Columbus East Michigan West Michigan Indianapolis Washington DC Austin Dallas Fort Worth Houston Kansas Missouri San Antonia Atlanta / Athens Miami / West Palm Orlando South West Florida Tampa Chicago Colorado Milwaukee Minnesota Oregon / SW Washington West Washington Utah LA Metro Las Vegas North LA Orange County Riverside / San Bernardino San Diego SF Bay South Bay For reference, here is a S4GRU map of all Sprint markets:
     

     
    Finally, this is the internal document posted on Reddit:
     

     
    Source(s): Reddit
  13. lilotimz
    by Tim Yu and Andrew J. Shepherd
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    Wednesday, July 22, 2015 - 1:20 PM MDT
     
    On the heels of the first of the late summer/early fall flagship handsets that S4GRU reported on two weeks ago, a second group of superheroes has appeared. And both of these new handsets are destined to be the size of a galaxy. So, take note, and stay on the edge of your seats.
     
    Last week, Samsung started certifying what is presumably its next go round of devices for US wireless operators -- the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge+ -- with variants pointed toward T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and USCC popping up in the FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) database. Yesterday, Sprint's models joined the FCC authorizations of the rest under the FCC IDs A3LSMN920P, which expectedly is the Galaxy Note 5, and A3LSMG928P, which presumably is the Galaxy S6 Edge+.
     
    A quick glance at the RF Exposure reports identifies the supported LTE bands:
    Band 2 (PCS A-F) Band 4 (AWS) Band 5 (CLR 850) Band 12 (Lower 700 A-C) Band 25 (PCS A-G) Band 26 (ESMR 800 + CLR 850) Band 41 (BRS/EBS 2600) ...along with the standard CDMA band classes:
    Band Class 0 Band Class 1 Band Class 10 ...and GSM/W-CDMA bands:
    GSM 850/1900 W-CDMA Bands 2/5 World roaming capability -- including GSM 900/1800 and W-CDMA band 1, possibly other W-CDMA and/or LTE bands, too -- is likely on board. But FCC OET authorizations are not required to document non US bands.
     
    Carrier Aggregation Is A Go
     
    Following the the presumed 2015 Motorola X flagship authorization a few weeks back -- and that was the the 7th Sprint device to be officially certified for B41 2x Carrier Aggregation (2x CA) -- these two Samsung Galaxy handsets will be the 8th and 9th devices to be officially certified for 2x CA. All join the ranks of the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, LG G Flex 2, LG G4, and HTC One M9.
     
    Some, though, may be disappointed that the two Samsung devices were not certified for 3x CA like the GSM/W-CDMA/LTE model for T-Mobile and AT&T, while the other CDMA carrier variants for Verizon and USCC are only certified for 2x CA as well. So, it is likely Samsung had to switch out the baseband modem for a Qualcomm category 6 one for CDMA compatibility -- whereas Samsung may have opted for its own category 9 modem in the GSM/W-CDMA/LTE models.
     
    Now, to add some RF ERP/EIRP analysis from S4GRU's technical editor...
     
    We will dive straight in to the numbers. Of course, all of the usual disclaimers about lab testing versus real world performance and uplink versus downlink apply. The figures represent our best averaged and rounded estimates of maximum uplink ERP/EIRP -- with band class 10, band 25, band 26, and band 41 receiving heavier weighting toward uniquely Sprint frequencies or configurations.
     
    Samsung Galaxy Note 5:
    Band class 0/10: 21 dBm Band class 1: 19-20 dBm Band 2/25: 18-21 dBm Band 4: 21 dBm Band 5/26: 17-20 dBm Band 12: 16 dBm Band 41: 17-18 dBm Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+:
    Band class 0/10: 22 dBm Band class 1: 22-24 dBm Band 2/25: 19-22 dBm Band 4: 20-22 dBm Band 5/26: 21-22 dBm Band 12: 21 dBm Band 41: 18 dBm For comparison, here are the ERP/EIRP figures from S4GRU's FCC OET Galaxy S6 article a few months ago...
     
    Frankly, Samsung used to be a leader in RF performance but is showing some continued regression. The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge in their Sprint variants brought roughly average to below average RF. In particular, band 41 EIRP was weak. That has not changed with these two new Galaxy handsets -- band 41 is still well below the at least 23 dBm that we would like to see. Between the two handsets, the Galaxy Note 5 is the RF chump. Sorry, Galaxy Note fans, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is notably superior in that regard. The Galaxy Note 5 ERP/EIRP is average to below average across the board. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is generally a few dB better and actually brings some good low band performance to the table. To reiterate, though, both lack band 41 oomph, and that is a disappointment for Sprint.
     
    Next, to echo Tim's sentiments above, the Galaxy Note 5 will not be the first Sprint handset to offer 3x CA capability, though many had predicted that. Both it and the Galaxy S6 Edge+ are using not a category 9 or 10 baseband but a category 6 baseband, most likely the Snapdragon X7 LTE (MDM9635) -- the same as in the Sprint variant Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. This is because Samsung has at least temporarily, probably permanently shifted away from Qualcomm chipsets in favor of in house chipsets. That means Exynos processors and modems. The Exynos processor is airlink technology agnostic, but the modem certainly is not. And Samsung does not have a 3GPP2 (i.e. CDMA2000) baseband, so it still sources that separate chipset from Qualcomm. For further reading on the processor, baseband, RF transceiver, and carrier aggregation issues, see S4GRU's previous FCC OET articles on the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, and One M9 as well as the G4.
     
    Well, that is a wrap. So, are these new Samsung Galaxy handsets Groot or not? Discuss.
     
    Source: FCC
  14. lilotimz
    Tim Yu
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    December 15, 2016 - 9:40 PM PDT
     
    It's been but a blink of an eye since Sprint CTO Gunther's last Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) but he's back!
    Right now, December 16, 2016 at 11 AM to 12 PM PDT, he is doing his second AMA on R/Sprint.
    Be sure to check it out and ask him many questions that have kept you from blissful nights of rest.
  15. lilotimz
    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.

     
    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.

    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.

     
    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
  16. lilotimz
    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
  17. lilotimz
    by Tim Yu
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    Friday, September 25, 2015 - 5:44 PM MDT
     
    Update 2: S4GRU's technical editor here again. It is Monday, October 19, and today is the day. Many of the Nexus 5X first preorders started shipping this morning for delivery later this week. You also may have caught the Nexus 5X television commercial that Google ran multiple times during the NFL broadcasts yesterday.
     
    In light of the first handsets shipping today, S4GRU wants to publish a second update to this article, confirming the correct Sprint SIM card and covering fully the tested FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) ERP/EIRP RF figures, which recently received a Class II Permissive Change filing.
     
    As we speculated a few weeks ago, the correct Sprint SIM for the Nexus 5X is the same 4FF nano SIM as for the 2015 Moto X aka Style aka Pure Edition. It is the latest version Sprint CSIM, so network activation for both LTE and CDMA2000 will be via the SIM. The SIM can acquired for free at a Sprint corporate store with repair center or from Sprint International support online chat. As unlocked, third party handsets are still somewhat rarities on Sprint, some S4GRU users have reported difficulties in obtaining the correct SIM from those official Sprint channels. Your mileage may vary. If you prefer to purchase the correct SIM yourself, you typically can do so at Best Buy Mobile. More detailed info about SIM procurement is available in our newly opened Nexus 5X user thread.
     
    In our original publication of this article almost a month ago, I included a sidebar with some brief discussion of RF power output. It hit just the highlights. As the Nexus 5 still to this day has been known for its solid RF performance on the Sprint network, S4GRU wanted to do a full LTE ERP/EIRP rundown of its Nexus 5X younger sibling in this update. This is especially true in light of the aforementioned Class II filing -- disclosing some "Antenna/PCB adjustments" to the Nexus 5X -- subsequent to the original filing and our original publication. Interestingly, none of the peak antenna gain figures have changed, but perhaps small tweaks below the peak gain or in the body of the handset appear to have affected ERP/EIRP slightly.
     
    For easy readability, I have put together a table to compare ERP/EIRP and antenna gain across the original filing and the Class II filing. See below:
     

     
    All of the usual disclaimers 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 in the authorization filings for the device.
     
    My previous RF analysis in the originally published article below stands. The Nexus 5X is relatively powerful in low and mid band spectrum, in which we like to see at least 17-18 dBm and 22-23 dBm, respectively. But it is not quite as powerful as we would hope in high band spectrum, which ideally should be 23 dBm or greater. However, the physical changes that warranted the Class II filing do appear to have reduced low and mid band output by a subtle degree -- possibly in exchange for higher and more consistent output in band 41. The RF figures seem to suggest that.
     
    To conclude, if you have ordered the Nexus 5X, watch your mailboxes and doorsteps this week. In the meantime, you can watch the Nexus 5X television commercial on YouTube.
     
     
    Update: S4GRU's technical editor here. We now have the full Nexus 5X tech specs released from Google, thus can comment on a few issues not disclosed in the FCC OET authorization filings last week. Namely, international band support and SIM card form factor. In addition to the tested domestic bands listed below, the Nexus 5X also supports the following international bands:
    GSM 900/1800 W-CDMA band 1/8 LTE band 1/3/20 For those unfamiliar, band 1 is IMT 1900+2100 MHz, band 3 is DCS 1800 MHz, band 8 is GSM 900 MHz (or what SoftBank calls the "Platinum Band"), and band 20 is EU Digital Dividend 800 MHz. With those band capabilities, the Nexus 5X will be usable on LTE, W-CDMA, or at least GSM in almost every country on the planet -- though that may require a local SIM card.
     
    Speaking of SIM cards -- which are technically UICC now, but most still call them the colloquial SIM -- the Nexus 5X as expected has a 4FF nano SIM slot. Your 3FF micro SIM from the Nexus 5, for example, will not fit. From a Sprint perspective, since S4GRU is primarily a Sprint focused educational site, this does raise another issue. USIM vs CSIM. For activation and network authentication, USIM is 3GPP only (i.e. LTE/W-CDMA/GSM), while CSIM also incorporates 3GPP2 (i.e. CDMA2000). So, on Sprint, a handset that requires a USIM needs a separate CDMA2000 activation process, but a handset that requires a CSIM activates both LTE and CDMA2000 via the SIM.
     
    At this point, we do not have any info from LG, Google, or Sprint whether the Nexus 5X will require a USIM or CSIM for activation on Sprint. My educated guess is a CSIM -- just like the 2015 Moto X aka Style aka Pure Edition a few weeks ago. But that remains to be seen. Expect some uncertainty for the first few days, but rest assured, it will all get sorted out shortly. And S4GRU will be here to provide information as it emerges. If warranted, we may write another update to this article. You also can follow along in The Forums in our Nexus 5X thread.
     
    Original article:
     
    Two years ago, on a September day forever historic for S4GRU, we discovered and announced to the world the then unrevealed 2013 LG Nexus 5, as its FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) authorization documents made a surprise reappearance, and we noted that the backplate photos included in the filings matched up remarkably well with recent images of a mystery device being used at Google. Indeed, we proved to be right about the LG-D820 and got a nice scoop on the rest of the tech press.
     
    Today, S4GRU comes forth to herald what appears to be the long anticipated successor to the 2013 Nexus 5. The authorization filings for the LG-H790 have been uploaded late today in the FCC OET database. For the write up on the Nexus 6P, click here.
     
    Dimensions:
    Overall (Length x Width): 146.9 mm x 72.5 mm Overall Diagonal 159 mm Display Diagonal: 133 mm Supported Domestic Airlink Technologies:
    GSM 850 / 1900 W-CDMA Band 2 / 4 / 5 CDMA2000 Band Class 0 / 1 / 10 LTE Band 2 / 4 / 5 / 7 / 12 / 13 / 17 / 25 / 26 / 29 (Rx only) / 41 A Category 6 UE with support for 2x carrier aggregation on the downlink.
     
    And the supported Carrier Aggregation profiles are as listed (Band #+Band #):
     
    Inter band:
    2+13
    4+13
    13+2
    13+4
    2+4
    4+2
    2+17
    17+2
    4+17
    17+4
    2+29
    4+29
    2+5
    5+2
    4+5
    5+4
    2+12
    12+2
    4+12
    12+4
    4+7
    7+4
     
    Intra band:
    2+2
    4+4
    41+41
     
    Carrier aggregation on Verizon? Check.
    Carrier Aggregation on ATT? Check.
    Carrier Aggregation on T-Mobile? Check.
    Carrier Aggregation on Sprint? Yup!
     
    To follow up with some brief RF analysis, let us bring in S4GRU's technical editor...
     
    This expected Nexus 5X is clearly tuned for low and mid band spectrum. That would be primarily Cellular 850 MHz, SMR 800 MHz, PCS 1900 MHz, and AWS-1 1700+2100 MHz. For Sprint purposes, only PCS and SMR are relevant, comprising the CDMA2000 band classes 1 and 10, the LTE bands 25 and 26, respectively. Since LTE is the going concern, know that band 25 maximum EIRP at 26 dBm is excellent, the same for band 26 maximum ERP at 23 dBm.
     
    Unfortunately, high band spectrum does not fare quite as well. The high band antenna covering BRS/EBS 2600 MHz spectrum has a disappointingly low gain of -2.6 dBi. And that seems to be reflected in the band 41 maximum EIRP of 19 dBm, which is low to average, at best.
     
    As this almost obviously is the Nexus 5X -- that we know will be a very interesting device to our readership -- we may do a complete RF testing analysis article down the road. But S4GRU wanted to get the highlights out to everyone right away.
     
    With Google's September 29 reveal event just four days away, this FCC OET authorization comes right on time. The recent Amazon India leak of the Nexus 5X indicated an identification of LG-H791, and now we have an LG-H790. The 2013 Nexus 5 North American variant was LG-D820 and international model was LG-D821, so the number correlation is there.
     
    Should S4GRU be 5X certain that the LG-H790 is the 2015 Nexus 5X? Our track record on these matters is established. But we will let you decide...
     
    FCC: ZNFH790
  18. lilotimz
    by Tim Yu
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    Monday, January 25, 2016 - 8:30 AM MST
     
    For the past year, Sprint has commented a lot about its coming "Next Generation Network" deployment that aims to improve greatly Sprint's network capacity and coverage. Much of that speculation has been over how Sprint intends to feed backhaul to the "tens of thousands" of small cells it plans to deploy -- given Sprint's past history on getting backhaul delivered to its own macro cell sites as part of Network Vision.
     
    Last summer, Sprint began talking up its "treasure trove" of 2.5 GHz spectrum as wireless backhaul for its small cells. Many speculated on exactly how this would be done -- with some online netizens theorizing Sprint actually would use part of its 2.5 GHz spectrum in a setup like microwave backhaul.
     
    So, how exactly is Sprint going to use its 2.5 GHz spectrum as backhaul? The answer is a simple yet not often spoken about LTE Advanced technology:
     
    LTE UE Relay
     
    Over the past half a year, S4GRU staff repeatedly were told by Sprint employees that 2.5 GHz was going to be used as wireless backhaul. But there was not a lot of explanation on the technical side on how Sprint would accomplish that. That is until we discovered exactly what it was on a document sent to us almost a year ago that described several then ongoing projects being tested internally by Sprint.
     
    LTE UE Relay is a fairly recent technology introduced in 3GPP Release 10. Courtesy of a Nokia Siemens Networks white paper on the topic of LTE Relay, the following is a well made depiction of a network utilizing relay nodes in action.
     
     
     
     
     
     
    So, how does LTE UE Relay work?
     
    A way to think of a Relay Node or LTE UE Relay (i.e. a small cell using 2.5 GHz as backhaul) is as a cell repeater. Yet, there is a significant difference in how a relay node and a repeater operate. Whereas a repeater increases coverage simply by amplifying a specific frequency range -- including all accompanying noise and interference -- a relay node demodulates and remodulates the signal, then transmits its own signal.
     
    To put it in simple terms, one can think of a relay node being something akin to a Wi-Fi hotspot utilizing the LTE network for its data connection-- except in this case, the relay node is not transmitting a Wi-Fi signal but an LTE signal.
     
    Thus, wherever there is even a speck of Band 41 coverage available, Sprint can plop down a relay node and use the existing LTE signal as backhaul for a small cell unit to increase local area coverage and capacity. This is because the small cell unit transmits a crisp, clean, new LTE signal in the area it is designed to cover, and UEs in that area would connect to this stronger signal.
     
    As per the above image, an LTE Relay setup is quick to deploy and provides both an immediate impact on the local network and increased coverage/capacity for all compatible UEs in its coverage area -- without the need to wait for traditional backhaul, which could takes many weeks or months and be dependent on variables outside of Sprint's control.
     
    But what about downsides of using LTE UE Relay as a backhaul setup?
     
    For one, the speed of the LTE signal that is transmitted by the relay nodes is only as fast as that of the donor site -- be it a relay node (relay nodes can be serially chained), a fiber or microwave backhaul fed small cell, or a macro cell. If there is heavy congestion on the donor site sector, then the relay will also be just as "fast" as the connections that other UEs on the donor sector get. So, if the LTE carriers on the donor site is congested and running say 2-3 Mbps, connections to the relay node would go as fast as that.
     
    Another potential issue is that a relay node may expand coverage into a hugely populated area with high load demands and by itself congest the LTE carrier that is providing the backhaul connection to the site. Even though the LTE carrier from the donor site could be running well at 20-30 Mbps speeds originally, the extra loading from the relay node could be just enough to congest that entire sector. In such a case, using a relay may be problematic, and it might be better instead to utilize more traditional backhaul like fiber, Ethernet, or microwave.
     
    So, what is the point of writing all that?
     
    Recently, an attentive S4GRU member discovered a post on LinkedIn, and an attached image caught the attention of S4GRU staff.
     
     
     
     
     
    Image Credit: Omar Masry
     
    It is not that it is a small cell setup that caught our eye but that subsequent comments noted there were no fiber connections at all, it utilizes a Nokia Flexi Zone pico cell, and it resides in the Boston, MA region.
     
    Among the major operators in the US, there are only two users of Nokia Networks equipment: Sprint and T-Mobile.
     
    T-Mobile only recently has commenced talk about deploying small cells of such type. To deploy a small cell without traditional fiber backhaul while utilzing a relay antenna and not even talk about it would be a departure for T-Mobile, which is known for issuing many press releases on new LTE Advanced technologies being implemented on its network. Furthermore, the Northeast is an Ericsson vendor region for T-Mobile. Nokia has no business doing anything there, leaving the other potential user as Sprint.
     
    There was some speculation on why Nokia would be deploying their LTE Band 41 small cell equipment in an Alcatel-Lucent vendor region -- considering Alcatel-Lucent and its partner AirSpan have their own Band 41 equipment designs. But Sprint has said that the deployment would be unconventional and utilize non traditional methods of deployment, so this must have been part of that strategy. Nokia Networks also is in the process of acquiring Alcatel-Lucent. That may be a factor but is a topic for another day.
     
    [Edit: Nokia has completed their purchase of Alcatel-Lucent so mystery solved.]
     
    What was discovered is that Mobilitie has been applying for permits to deploy wooden poles in Salem, MA and presumably other cities as part of the Next Generation Network small cell densification project. The ever watchful eyes of an S4GRU Ohio based sponsor group member base quickly went to work and discovered an application by Mobilitie that gives a full rundown of what exactly the company seeks to install.
     
    Note the permit application engineering details and the pictures from the LinkedIn post.
     
    See the similarities?
     
    In addition to the near exact matching of details from the proposed setup in the filing and the pictures in the LinkedIn post, the application by Mobilitie, which is widely rumored to be Sprint's primary small cell deployment partner, also provided a site cascade ID: BS90XS933.
     
    As per S4GRU sponsor maps detailing nearly all of Sprint's macro sites across the nation, here are a few examples of Sprint macro cell cascade IDs in the Boston market: BS03XC063, BS23XC461, BS60XC325.
     
    Gee whiz! I wonder for whom Mobilitie could be deploying these wooden poles and smell cell setups.
     
    Here is the LinkedIn image labeled according to details found in the application by Mobilitie.
     
     
    As with everything Sprint does, this relay technology is not one magical fix it all for Sprint's network. Sprint has much to do to continue to improve its network and brand image.
     
    LTE UE Relay is a very new technology not without its cons. Yet, it is an interesting direction Sprint is going with regards to backhaul to the projected tens of thousands of small cells deployed as part of the Next Generation Network.
     
    Of course, what is more important than the theoretical talk is the discovery above of practical setup and engineering documentation. There is solid proof now that Sprint has started at least one portion of the long awaited and much talked about Next Generation Network deployment.
     
    So, keep an eye out for such local permit applications by Mobilitie and potentially other unnamed partners, and observe your surrounding environments. One or more such small cell setups just may pop up near you without warning soon...
     
    Sources for tech talk: 1, 2, 3
  19. lilotimz
    by Tim Yu and Andrew J. Shepherd
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 6:25 AM MST
     
    Call it a comeback. The band, the PCS band is getting back together. Pun intended. You will understand soon.
     
    After a two year absence, the popular one, two, three part "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" article series is back for an encore. For full comprehension, refer back to those articles -- and others linked throughout this article. We will lead you in the direction of learning. No worries.
     
    But now with a lead writer duo and a change in artistic direction, the topic of this article has shifted from engineering screens to band 25 expanded bandwidth primary carriers. The frequency focus, though, remains the same.
     
    Perhaps also long overdue, Sprint finally has entered the spectrum alignment game of musical chairs that VZW, AT&T, and T-Mobile have been playing for a while in the AWS-1 and PCS bands. In this case, Sprint and AT&T are the dance partners. More on that after some PCS band background.
     
    The PCS 1900 MHz spectrum alphabet is not quite what might be expected to the uninitiated. Sequentially, the band runs A, D, B, E, F, C, G. Without delving too much into the 25 year old history and politics of the band, that alphabet is a product of block sizes -- PCS A/B/C blocks are 30 MHz (15 MHz FDD), PCS D/E/F blocks are 10 MHz (5 MHz FDD) -- and spectrum caps at the time of FCC auctions in the 1990s that allowed licensees to obtain up to 45 MHz of total spectrum in urban markets, 55 MHz of total spectrum in rural markets. The spectrum cap, by the way, is long gone, replaced with a spectrum screen by a free market frenzy FCC administration over a decade ago.
     
    For the time being, set aside the PCS G block, which is 10 MHz (5 MHz FDD). It was created much later, never auctioned. Rather, it was compensatory to Nextel for spectrum losses incurred in rebanding Public Safety SMR 800 MHz. Sprint now holds all PCS G block licenses nationwide.
     
    So, back to the 1995-2003 era, a Cellular 850 MHz incumbent with a Cellular A/B block 25 MHz (12.5 MHz FDD) license in Chicago, for example, could not acquire also a PCS A/B/C block license -- that would push it over the 45 MHz urban market total spectrum cap. But that incumbent could acquire also a PCS D/E/F block license and stay under the cap.
     
    Along the same lines, a new entrant into a market could acquire one PCS A/B/C block license and one PCS D/E/F block license for 40 MHz of total spectrum that could be contiguous within the convoluted A, D, B, E, F, C, G alphabet. That possibility, though, did not come to pass much at FCC auction 20 years ago. Spectrum contiguity was not all that important for GSM, IS-136 TDMA, and cdmaOne/CDMA2000, not even so much for W-CDMA. But with LTE, circumstances have changed.
     
    That is a lot of abstract information. To put a face to the name, see a visual representation of the entire PCS band plan, followed by three exploded views of just the adjacent PCS C and G blocks:
     

     
    The uplink runs 1850-1915 MHz, the downlink 1930-1995 MHz, separated by an 80 MHz FDD offset. In the figures below the full PCS band plan, see the three exploded views of the PCS C and G blocks -- soon to be the focus of this "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" article.
     
    The first of the three exploded views above shows the intact PCS C 30 MHz (15 MHz FDD) block -- this is relatively rare among licenses. Long story somewhat short, most PCS C block licenses had to be auctioned by the FCC multiple times, as many original Designated Entity entrepreneur/minority class winners found that they ultimately could not afford their licenses and construct networks. A quote from a previous S4GRU article:
     
     
    So, for reauction, most PCS C block licenses were disaggregated into smaller, easier to afford blocks. Note the PCS C1/C2 15 MHz (7.5 MHz FDD) blocks and PCS C3/C4/C5 10 MHz (5 MHz FDD) blocks in the second and third exploded views of the PCS C and G blocks.
     
    That whole PCS C block medley will come into play up next. Just be sure to note in the band plan diagrams the spectrum contiguity of the PCS C + PCS G, PCS C1 + PCS G, or PCS C5 + PCS G block combinations.
     
    A few weeks back, S4GRU received whispered word and saw PRL change indications that Sprint internally was discussing and prepping for spectrum swaps, whereby Sprint would trade some less strategic PCS holdings in return for PCS C block spectrum that is contiguous with its PCS G block. This type of deal would grant Sprint contiguous PCS holdings to expand LTE from a 5 MHz FDD carrier to a 10 MHz FDD carrier -- or even beyond to a 15-20 MHz FDD carrier in the future when CDMA2000 is significantly pruned or decommissioned.
     
    For a visual depiction of one previous example of LTE in the PCS G block expanded into the contiguous PCS C block, thus going from 5 MHz FDD to 10 MHz FDD, see a graphic of what already has happened with earlier, unrelated spectrum transactions in Columbus, OH:
     
     
    Compare to the exploded views earlier in this article of the PCS C and G blocks. And read our Columbus 10 MHz FDD discovery article for further background.
     
    Then, for those aforementioned spectrum rearrangement rumors to come to fruition, we did not have to wait long at all. In what may be the first of many such spectrum deals, Sprint and AT&T filed with the FCC last week applications to swap PCS spectrum in several Basic Trading Area (BTA) markets:
     
     
     

     
     
    In summary, both Sprint and AT&T make out pretty well in this deal. Both parties will be able to improve their respective PCS spectrum contiguity. It is a quid pro quo.
     
    All spectrum Sprint acquires will be PCS C block, while all spectrum AT&T acquires in exchange will be PCS A, B, D, or F block. The important takeaways are that Sprint will be able to expand LTE from the PCS G block into the PCS C block for a 10-15 MHz FDD carrier -- but that Sprint will have to eliminate or relocate CDMA2000 operations in the aforementioned blocks shipped off to AT&T.
     
    For Sprint, all of the listed markets then will have 20 MHz (10 MHz FDD) of contiguous PCS spectrum, quite a few 30 MHz (15 MHz FDD) or even 40 MHz (20 MHz FDD) of contiguous PCS spectrum. Sprint will be able to expand LTE carrier bandwidth -- instead of adding a 5 MHz FDD band 25 second carrier -- as well as reduce CDMA2000 carrier guard band spectrum usage to a minimum.
     
    The FCC approval of these applications is in zero doubt. It will be a rubber stamp. All transfers are relatively even spectrum swaps and in the public interest. But carrier reconfiguration will not happen right away. Sprint and AT&T have set up spectrum leases for each other in the interim. For Sprint, it will have to pare down and/or relocate CDMA2000 carriers to the acquired PCS C block spectrum. That is the reason behind the PRL updates, which will aid CDMA2000 acquisition once any carriers change frequencies.
     
    S4GRU loves to encourage engineering screen watching -- just as we have done in the previous "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" articles. The more you know. See the three articles linked at the beginning of this article.
     
    Now, for those in markets listed in this transaction, watch for LTE EARFCNs to switch from 8665/26665 to 8640/26640. The latter is a clear sign of 10 MHz FDD. S4GRU tracks these in its EARFCN thread, which we update periodically. Additionally, original CDMA carrier channel assignments will vary considerably, but watch for any carriers in band class 1 to shift to the 900-1200 range.
     
    Full disclosure, not all counties in the listed BTAs will be affected the same -- because of existing spectrum partitions and disaggregations. Those in outlying areas may not benefit, but all titular BTA cities will gain 20-40 MHz (10-20 MHz FDD) of contiguous PCS C block + PCS G block spectrum and should deploy at least 10 MHz FDD band 25 in the coming months.
     
    With that said, Sprint finally gets back into the game of horse trading spectrum with a competitor -- instead of sitting on the sidelines watching the others do these deals to their own benefit all the time. T-Mobile defines its band 4 "wideband" LTE as 15-20 MHz FDD. Sprint already has plenty of band 41 at 20 MHz TDD, more and more everyday with the WiMAX shutdown. But soon, Sprint also may have "wideband" LTE in band 25. We shall see. Expect to hear it here first.
     
    S4GRU had the heads up on previous 10 MHz FDD possibilities already four years ago -- exactly four years to the date of the Sprint-AT&T spectrum transfer applications at the FCC last week. Coincidence?
     
    For a more detailed look at the pluses and minuses of the spectrum swaps in the noted markets, see our S4GRU spreadsheet.
     
    Source: FCC
  20. lilotimz
    by Tim Yu
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    Friday, March 4, 2016 - 8:25 AM MST
     
    A little over two weeks ago, S4GRU published an article detailing a multi-market PCS 1900 MHz swap between Sprint and AT&T that increased spectrum contiguity for both operators in several markets. In that article, we mentioned how that spectrum swap might be the first of many, as there are numerous other markets in which Sprint and other licensees could mutually benefit by realigning disparate spectrum holdings into larger contiguous stretches for more efficient LTE spectrum utilization.
     
    And late last week, that expectation came to the fore. It was discovered that AT&T was not the only dance partner. Rather, T-Mobile and VZW also entered the fray, as Sprint and both operators had contemporaneously filed PCS spectrum assignment applications with the FCC.
     
     
    Results of the Latest Spectrum Swap
     


     
     
    As seen in the embedded screenshot, Sprint primarily is targeting additional spectrum in the PCS C block. Detailed in our last article, the PCS C block is adjacent to the PCS G block in which Sprint's existing 5 MHz FDD Band 25 LTE carrier is deployed. These swaps pave the way in a greater number of markets for expansion from that 5 MHz FDD carrier to a 10-15-20 MHz FDD carrier and subsequent higher maximum speeds in Band 25.
     
    In total, about 50 million POPs so far will be affected by the spectrum transactions in these pending agreements among Sprint and AT&T, T-Mobile, and VZW. Furthermore, this may not be where the story ends. Once the FCC approves these applications, other PCS spectrum realignment among the big four operators may follow. Sprint also may pursue spectrum deals with smaller operators.
     
    Stay tuned. S4GRU will have the scoop.
     
    Source: FCC (VZW), FCC (T-Mobile), S4GRU (AT&T), S4GRU Spreadsheet
  21. lilotimz
    by Tim Yu
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    Friday, April 8, 2016 - 3:40 PM MDT
     
    Over the past week, S4GRU members in multiple Sprint markets have discovered new EARFCNs and corresponding GCI endings that identify new Band 41 LTE carriers.
     
    The EARFCN is the center frequency of an LTE carrier that, along with the carrier bandwidth, identifies the carrier placement and occupied spectrum.
     
    As Sprint is doing intraband contiguous/adjacent carrier aggregation -- 20 MHz TDD Band 41 carriers are lined up right next to one another with no gaps -- Band 41 EARFCNs are highly predictable in a given market by knowing the location of at least one carrier.
     
    Say the ever popular EARFCN 40978 is the first carrier.
     
    You add 198 (19.8 MHz) to it to get EARFCN 41176, which is the second Band 41 carrier.
    Thus, it stands to reason if you add 198 to that EARFCN, you will get the third Band 41 carrier so 41176 + 198 = 41374, the EARFCN for the third Band 41 carrier.
     
    Or, in some other markets, 41078 is the first Band 41 carrier. In this case, it goes like this: 41078 + 198 = 41276 + 198 = 41474
     
    Alternatively, say a market has EARFCNs 40056 and 40254. Adding 198 would bring us to EARFCN 40452, but that is not possible due to the BRS/EBS 2500-2600 MHz band plan -- there are spectrum gaps around 2570 MHz and 2610 MHz that Sprint cannot utilize. See the band plan:
     

     
    Thus, in the case of EARFCNs 40056 and 40254, not addition, but use subtraction: 40056 - 198 = 39858, which would be the third Band 41 carrier.
     
    The GCI is the unique cell sector identifier of a LTE carrier.
     
    Generally speaking, Sprint's GCI patterns are standardized market by market and network wide, making for an easy method to identify each LTE carrier within a given band. In the case of Band 41, GCIs ending in 00/01/02 (Samsung) or x1/x2/x3 (ALU/NSN) indicate a connection to the original and first Band 41 carrier. GCIs ending in 03/04/05 (STA) or x9/xA/xB (ALU/NSN) denote the second Band 41 carrier.
     
    It stands to reason that -- if this second carrier pattern were to continue to the third Band 41 carrier in Samsung markets -- we would expect to see GCIs possibly ending in 06/07/08. Long story short, this theory is supported by evidence. See below SignalCheck Pro logs and numerous in app screenshots:
     
    This log is from my Nexus 5x. I traveled for a hour around Sacramento, searching for the third Band 41 carrier. Note the GCI endings for the Sprint Band 41 entries:
     

     
    The following is from site member bmoses in Des Moines. Note the 07 GCI ending and EARFCN:
     


     
    Below is from a S4GRU member in the Colorado market:
     

     
    One more from the Cincinnati, Ohio Market:
     

     
    The following is from yours truly in Sacramento:
     



     
    And these below are from Fremont, CA, near San Jose:
     


     
     
    See those EARFCNs and GCI endings? Look at the calculations from the top of this PSA. Everything is as we would have predicted for a third carrier.
     
    With the end of the WiMAX injunction and the decomissioning of the last active Clearwire WiMAX markets that held up huge swaths of leased EBS and licensed BRS spectrum, Sprint finally has the capability to show off its deep spectrum pockets in numerous markets. This has been long awaited and should definitely give a huge boost to Sprint data speeds in numerous markets where spectrum for additional Band 41 carriers now is available. Of course, there still is the issue of actually connecting to and using this third Band 41 carrier.
     
    From firsthand reports and personal use, this third Band 41 carrier is not currently carrier aggregation enabled. Thus, 2x/3x CA devices may not connect to it to use data right now. By default, these devices will have CA enabled, causing them to utilize only the first and second carriers that they can aggregate. For the time being, in order to reliably connect to this third carrier, a non CA triband device or a 2x/3x CA setting disabled triband device may be required. Regardless, this appears to be just a minor issue from the initial rollouts that should be resolved soon.
     
    Source: S4GRU member reports
  22. lilotimz
    Tim Yu
    Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
    September 5, 2017 - 6:45 PM PDT
    It is that time of the year for flagship phablets and LG has returned to us with their brand new V30 smartphone. Unlike the LG G6, LG was not conservative with the specifications on this one.

    Many other tech sites and forums have already broken down the V30 but here at S4GRU we are more interested in network technologies and the V30 is definitely no slouch in this regard.
    Supported Technologies
    GSM 850 / 1900
    WCDMA Band: 2 / 4 / 5
    LTE Band: 2 / 4 / 5 / 12 / 13 / 17 / 25 / 26 / 41
    4x4 MIMO on Band 25 and Band 41 up to 10 streams
    256 / 64 QAM DL-UL
    HPUE 
    2xCA B25
    2xCA B41
    3xCA B41
    4xCA B41
    That is right.
    The LG V30 is the first device confirmed to support 4 carrier aggregation on Band 41.
    No other device out there, including the ever more popular Galaxy S8 or Note 8, are confirmed to at least technologically support 4 carrier aggregation for Band 41 (though maybe a re-certification & software update can fix that). In addition, the LG V30 is also a "Gigabit Class" device that supports 4x4 MIMO over Band 41 for up to 10 total MIMO streams which the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 does not support (the GS8 and Note 8 are not "Gigabit Class" devices on Sprint).
    Furthermore, note the inclusion of LTE Band 13. One may think this mean LTE roaming on Verizon may be in the cards, but recently Sprint consummated a partnership with Open Mobile based in Puerto Rico who holds Band 13 750 MHz spectrum. As the Puerto Rico market lacks SMR 800 spectrum needed for CDMA 1x 800 and LTE 800 Band 26, it seems likely that it may be a boutique Sprint market that will utilize 10x10 Band 13 750 MHz for low band coverage. An interesting development.
    So network wise, the V30 sure seems like one heck of a device that supports just about every technology Sprint is poised to utilize right now in select markets and most of the network in the near future. A potentially splendid device for the Sprint network enthusiast.
    FCC ID: LS998
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