AT&T backtracks on its promise of 3.45GHz support on older phones


palm face: AT&T has cleared up some confusion regarding the compatibility of 5G devices, which is not good news for some users. Many new phones like the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, Galaxy S21, and Pixel 6 won’t support the mid-range spectrum after all.

As Ars Technica tells, AT&T told last month cnet They will release a software update to allow “old” phones to be selected to take advantage of the newly acquired C-band spectrum at 3.45GHz.

AT&T picked up Spectrum during the FCC meeting Spectrum Auction back in January in what proved to be the third highest auction in FCC history. The telecommunications company topped the group with 1,624 licenses totaling $9.08 billion. Dish Network (Bid Weminuche LLC) finished in second place in the auction, spending $7.33 billion on 1,232 licenses. T-Mobile took the bronze, agreeing to shell out $2.9 billion for 199 licenses.

Shortly after the auction, Chris Sambar, CEO of AT&T Tell CNET reports that “major hardware in 2022, big hardware from major OEMs, will have 3.45GHz support starting this year and moving forward.”

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

AT&T Representative Jim Greer recently confirmed To Ars Technica, only 2022 and later devices can be certified by the FCC to use 3.45GHz. Greer added that previous statements made about support on older phones were “presented in error and then incorrectly confirmed”.

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

Greer’s statement appears to blame the lack of support on the FCC and its handling of certification.

It’s worth noting that those with 5G phones on AT&T will still be able to take advantage of the 3.7GHz C-Band as well as the low-band and low-band frequencies. The 3.45GHz spectrum will simply help AT&T create a stronger mid-band network for the devices it can take advantage of.

AT&T told CNET it provides information to storage teams about its 3.45-GHz network and the devices it supports, but it’s unclear how much of that will pass on to customers and factor in their purchasing decisions.

Image credit: Christian Hansen, Shiwa ID


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