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Thread: Why does T-Mobile disable 3G UMTS Band 8 (900 MHz) on its phones?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jet1000 View Post
    You didn't answer the question. You accused T-Mobile of blocking the band, how do you know the devices are just being made without the band included?
    Based on official specs of T-Mobile devices...

  2. #32
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    Band 8 (UMTS or LTE or 2G, for that matter) is not being "disabled" by TMO (if your phone supports it, and many do). You are simply not going to see it in the USA or Canada because the government has not allocated it for ANY carrier to use, here.

    That said, I did read once that there was a small 900 Mhz network in Washington DC for foreign dignitaries to use. Also, Google was allowed to test Band 8 temporarily for their balloon coverage in Puerto Rico, after the hurricane.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFK View Post
    Based on official specs of T-Mobile devices...
    Right, the specs don't show the band 8 in the phone. It doesn't show that T-Mobile has disabled the band which is what you asked about in your original post.

    I think many of their devices are just sold with domestic bands with the exception of UMTS 2100 (as you mentioned.) It's likely a determination made by the manufacturer to save costs and not a T-Mobile decision. T-Mobile includes Simple Global which is free roaming and texting in 140 countries, so it's to T-Mobile's advantage to have more international bands in the phone so that their customers can use this benefit. That being said, they know that many of their customers don't travel internationally, so they know that inexpensive phones are important to offer as well.

  4. #34
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    Long story short if your phone doesn't work anymore just switch to someone where it works. Can only save some money anyways as the MVNOs tend to be cheaper anyways.

    Sent from my SM-N920P using Tapatalk
    Helio Touch...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroSignal View Post
    Really? Not activated here.

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    Are you using an app or code to access this? Thanks Ron.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QkTreasures View Post
    Are you using an app or code to access this? Thanks Ron.

    Sent from my LG-H932 using HoFo mobile app
    It's an app on my phone, albeit it's hidden I doubt it's on LG phones, I don't even think LG phones have a code to select bands, last one I had didn't anyway, only the ability to change RAT selection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninja_unmatched View Post
    Galaxy Tools

    Sent from my SM-N920P using Tapatalk
    Does it work on all Android phones were only Samsung Galaxy phones?

    Sent from my LG-H932 using HoFo mobile app

  8. #38
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    I wouldn't think it's disabled -- as in permanently. It will always be present in the radios and has been for ages, likely provisioned when it's present - it was the old quad-band and later penta-band holy grail people sought after in the early 00s. But in the US and Canada, 900 mhz is not approved for commercial cellular use and is instead reserved for the military, leaving only 26 mhz of unlicensed spectrum... which is where most baby monitors, and a lot of older cordless phones exist. In some areas, it's quite illegal to use 900 mhz (Arizona, New Mexico I'm thinking?). It would need to be blocked on all carriers in the US and CA, there's nothing being broadcast on it anyhow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mframe View Post
    Band 8 (UMTS or LTE or 2G, for that matter) is not being "disabled" by TMO (if your phone supports it, and many do). You are simply not going to see it in the USA or Canada because the government has not allocated it for ANY carrier to use, here.

    That said, I did read once that there was a small 900 Mhz network in Washington DC for foreign dignitaries to use. Also, Google was allowed to test Band 8 temporarily for their balloon coverage in Puerto Rico, after the hurricane.
    AT&T is currently using Band 8 LTE in PR for a while as they rebuild the Network. iPhone 5s and up have had a Carrier Update to add Band 8 on them.

    Sent from my LG-M150 using HoFo mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by tsalisbury0 View Post
    AT&T is currently using Band 8 LTE in PR for a while as they rebuild the Network. iPhone 5s and up have had a Carrier Update to add Band 8 on them.
    I think this may be a bit out of date. Both AT&T and T-Mobile were both working with Project Loon, who received special permission from the FCC to use their balloon-based LTE service over PR. Their equipment, intended to bring LTE to 3rd-world countries was only set up to use LTE band-8. AFAIK, that authorization has ended. Almost 99% of pre-hurricane cellular service has been restored in PR.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2018...n-puerto-rico/
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  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by mframe View Post
    Band 8 (UMTS or LTE or 2G, for that matter) is not being "disabled" by TMO (if your phone supports it, and many do). You are simply not going to see it in the USA or Canada because the government has not allocated it for ANY carrier to use, here.

    That said, I did read once that there was a small 900 Mhz network in Washington DC for foreign dignitaries to use. Also, Google was allowed to test Band 8 temporarily for their balloon coverage in Puerto Rico, after the hurricane.
    Unlocked phones, often even the SAME model, do have this band included for HSPA/UMTS. Yes, t-mobile disables a lot of bands they don't need, in order to prevent people switching; ALL carriers do. Problem is, as the "uncarrier" who encourages people to pay full price for phone, should NOT castrate the phone to prevent its proper working as it was designed to do.

    Bigger Q is, WHY do people continue to buy carrier flavored phones when plenty of unlocked choices are available ? Often the same models are available for the same price unlocked (eg galaxy S9) with more world bands (for roaming). Examples- oneplus, xaomi, motorola, essential and so on and so forth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvaar View Post
    ........Bigger Q is, WHY do people continue to buy carrier flavored phones when plenty of unlocked choices are available ? Often the same models are available for the same price unlocked (eg galaxy S9) with more world bands (for roaming). Examples- oneplus, xaomi, motorola, essential and so on and so forth.
    1. People change only slowly and still believe that you have to use the phone that the carrier sells.
    2. With crippling also come optimization. People find that some carrier-agnostic phones just don't work as well with their carrier as carrier-branded devices. This has been true particularly in the last few years where to get T-Mobile's flavor of VoLTE and all T-Mobile's bands and features (e.g. Hotspot) you had to get a T-Mobile device. (I still don't know how to set up a Hotspot on my wife's Nexus 5x.)

  13. #43
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    In most cases they are not the exact same model, they may be called the same but they have different FCC registrations. European vs North American vs Global editions. There could be half a dozen variations so you have to be careful buying some unlocked models (especially cheaper models) as they may not have all the bands for the region. The carriers have no incentive to remove non-us bands UNLESS they need the slot for a US band which is not present in the default configuration. This is less common now but if the chipset used in the device allows for say 4 active bands on say LTE which LTE bands are you as the carrier going to pick? The manufacturer may have a version with the advanced chipset which can do 8 but that would cost say $50 more per handset so the carrier doesn't buy it.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvaar View Post
    Yes, t-mobile disables a lot of bands they don't need, in order to prevent people switching;
    T-Mobile doesn't disable any bands. The devices come straight from the manufacturer without the bands. The manufacturer can save money by not including the bands. Since North America doesn't use Band 8, not having it doesn't stop anyone from switching. And since T-Mobile regularly promotes Simple Global service with free data and texting in 140 countries, the more international bands that are on the phone, the better the experience will be for traveling customers. But T-Mobile also has its share of customers who don't leave the country and who are looking for an economical phones without all of the international bands. Thus they sell devices to those customers too.

    Problem is, as the "uncarrier" who encourages people to pay full price for phone, should NOT castrate the phone to prevent its proper working as it was designed to do.
    Send your complaints to the manufacturer about the castrating. It's not a T-Mobile issue.

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    Just an FYI

    The TMobile branded Alcatel 768 on my postpaid service almost quit entirely. It simply would not hold a connection. (I just replaced it with the Alcatel GO}

    Switching my unlocked non-carrier phone off LTE, the signal is weak but I can use it.

    Apparently, TMO is working on the tower we connect to at home. The Alcatel worked until the tower showed up with band 2. (LTE Discovery app)

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