AT&T drops promise to support 3.45 GHz on older phones

facepalm: AT&T has cleared up some confusion about 5G device compatibility, and that’s not good news for some users. Several new phones like the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, Galaxy S21 and Pixel 6 won’t support the mid-range spectrum after all.

According to Ars Technica, AT&T last month CNET that it will release a software update allowing select “older” phones to use the newly acquired 3.45GHz C-band spectrum.

AT&T acquired the spectrum during an FCC auction in January, which turned out to be the third largest auction in FCC history. Telecom led the pack with 1,624 licenses acquired for a total of $9.08 billion. Dish Network (trading as Weminuche LLC) came second in the auction, spending $7.33 billion on 1,232 licenses. T-Mobile took bronze, agreeing to shell out $2.9 billion for 199 licenses.

Shortly after the auction, AT&T CEO Chris Sambar said CNET that “major flagship devices in 2022, large devices from major OEMs, will have 3.45GHz support starting this year and going forward.”

As you can imagine, this was fresh news when AT&T expanded device support in August. Unfortunately, this was all a big mistake.

AT&T spokesman Jim Greer recently confirmed at Ars Technica that only devices 2022 and newer can be certified by the FCC to use 3.45 GHz. Previous statements about support for older phones were “provided in error and then incorrectly validated,” Greer added.

The updated list of compatible devices provided by CNET includes the Galaxy S22 family, Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy Z Fold 4, and iPhone 14 family.

Greer’s statement seems to place the blame for the lack of support on the FCC and its processing of certificates.

It’s worth clarifying that those with AT&T’s 5G phones will still be able to use its 3.7GHz C-band, as well as low and millimeter frequencies. The 3.45 GHz spectrum will simply help AT&T create a more powerful mid-range network for devices that can connect to it.

AT&T told CNET it is providing store teams with information about its 3.45GHz network and which devices support it, but it’s not clear how much of that information will reach customers and influence their purchasing decisions.

Image credit: Christian Hansen, Shiva ID

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button