Last week on September 12th, Apple released more details on their new iPhones. The spectrum bands included in the new iPhones are important for the operators to improve performance on their networks and provide customers with a good smartphone experience.
A short summary follows:
Band 71 - As I highlighted in my last blog, this is the band covering the 600 MHz spectrum from the Voluntary Incentive Auction that T-Mobile is building out. It was not expected to be included, and indeed was left out. Not a surprise, and T-Mobile will continue with their build out plans and Band 71 will be picked up in a subsequent iPhone release.
Band 66 - This was included in all iPhone models. Band 66 includes the AWS-3 spectrum, and benefits all of the operators except for Sprint. It is also good news for Dish/Ergen sitting on lots of unused spectrum.
HPUE (High Performance User Equipment) - Apple needs to design a new power amplifier for Sprint to enable them to leverage their 2.5 GHz spectrum to match coverage of their deployed 1.9 GHz spectrum. This was not included in this release. A minor setback.
Bands 42 and 48 – Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) - AAPL supported Band 42 but not Band 48, which is a win for the early development of spectrum around 3.5GHz.
Band 14 – This is the spectrum for AT&T’s FirstNet public safety network. Not a surprise because it was awarded late in the development cycle of the latest iPhones.