AT&T received’t improve “older” telephones for brand spanking new 5G bands

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Enlarge / You should buy plenty of 5G telephones in an AT&T retailer, however solely a handful of them will make use of the provider’s most dependable frequencies.

AT&T has admitted it is not going to improve “older” telephones and tablets—some launched as just lately as June—because it rolls out its newly acquired midband 5G frequencies, going again on public statements it made as just lately as late August.

The provider instructed CNET on August 23 that it will launch a software program replace that might permit telephones just like the iPhone 12 and 13, the Pixel 6, Galaxy S21 fashions, and low-cost Motorola telephones to make the most of the three.45 GHz C-band AT&T bought for roughly $9.1 billion in early 2022. Mixed with the low-band entry AT&T already provided, this may give its 5G telephones entry to each wider protection and quicker common speeds.

This was notably completely different from AT&T’s stance in January 2022, simply after it had received its hard-fought spectrum public sale. Again then, Chris Sambar, AT&T’s government vp of know-how operations, instructed CNET that 3.45 GHz assist would solely be accessible on “the most important flagship units in 2022, the large units from the large OEMs.”

AT&T’s mid-summer confidence, or confusion, got here to gentle just a little over two weeks after its reported and confirmed improve promise.

AT&T admitted to CNET final week that the checklist of units supporting its new bands was extra like 11 newer flagship units, no more than 30 current fashions. AT&T described the appreciable discrepancy on “an inaccurate checklist… offered by mistake after which incorrectly confirmed in the course of the fact-checking” of CNET’s put up, in keeping with Jim Greer, assistant vp of company communications for AT&T.

It is unclear whether or not AT&T was unsuitable in regards to the frequency capabilities and {hardware} contained in the telephones it bought, if FCC certification was a difficulty, or if AT&T merely deserted its work to make “older” telephones viable via a software program replace.

The iPhone 13 makes use of a Qualcomm SDX60M modem, whereas the iPhone 14 is possible sporting the X65, the identical chip as within the Samsung S22 fashions. A PC Journal put up from February famous that the X65 might attain and mix AT&T’s frequencies from the decrease and higher components of the n77 subsection of the C-band, offering 85 MHz of area in comparison with 45 MHz on an X60 chip.

These with 5G-capable telephones on AT&T will nonetheless have entry to the provider’s 3.7 GHz C-band, together with mmWave and low-band frequencies. Notably, AT&T continues to promote telephones and different 5G units that can by no means have entry to its prime 3.45 GHz area, some with three-year contracts.

AT&T has a wealthy current streak of mixing details and advertising in its dealing with of latest community applied sciences. The provider pushed a “5GE” icon to telephones that had been 4G-only in early 2019, proudly proclaiming that it “broke our trade’s narrative” over what really counts as 5G. After lawsuits and arbitration hearings, AT&T was pressured to drop it, if solely in promoting.

In mid-2020, AT&T emailed prospects with 3G telephones a deceptive message that left many believing their telephones would imminently cease working and required upgrading. AT&T wasn’t attributable to flip off 3G till February 2022, and a few of these prospects had telephones that might work on different frequencies past that date.

When AT&T lastly launched a 5G community, testers discovered its speeds had been notably slower than lots of its rivals’ 4G choices.

We have reached out to AT&T for touch upon this put up and can replace if we obtain a response.

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