T-Mobile has spent a lot of money to build its new 600 MHz Band 71 LTE network. It spent $8 billion in a frequency auction earlier this year to acquire 45 percent of the 600 MHz spectrum. If you’re a T-Mobile customer looking forward to using your handset on this better network don’t buy the new iPhones. They don’t have support for T-Mobile’s 600 MHz extended LTE network.

T-Mobile has been working hard to increase LTE coverage quality and brands it Extended Range LTE™ , which is a general term that cover multiple frequencies and bands used to increase the network’s range. T-Mobile Extended Range LTE runs on 700 MHz spectrum and was rolled out in Chicago in April 2017. The same “Extended Range LTE” term seems to encompass the 600 MHz spectrum as well, probably to make it simple for the general public.

600 MHz radio waves will go further and have better building penetration due to physics. In general, the lower the frequency, and the better the range, and the more the radio wave goes through things (penetration).

To have support for the new 600 MHz network, handsets need to be compatible with Band 71 or the 600 MHz spectrum, both at the modem level and at the front-end (antenna…) level. Only the LG V30 handset can utilize T-Mobile’s new 600MHz network at this point.

Apple’s official technical specifications page for the iPhone X and iPhone 8 reveals that they don’t have support for 600 MHz spectrum. The multi-billion dollar network that it has been building won’t be accessible to iPhone X and iPhone 8 owners.

T-Mobile’s 600 MHz spectrum network will provide improved coverage inside buildings and enhanced range for rural coverage. It will be fully available in 2020 but T-Mobile has said that certain smartphones from Samsung and LG will have support for it in the final calendar quarter of this year. We expect this to happen since the modem support already exists, and new phones will simply require some radio front-end tuning.

There will be two more generations of iPhones by the time T-Mobile’s extended LTE network fully goes live. Apple will surely add support for the network by then. In reality, it’s not a huge issue because 600 MHz is an improvement over an already excellent network, but it’s never good enough, is it?

Filed in Apple >Cellphones. Read more about iphone 8, iphone x and T-Mobile.

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