Earlier this month, the FCC mandated that large carriers such as AT&T and Verizon had to share their data networks with smaller regional carriers—they are already required to share voice networks—such that roaming deals are priced reasonably. As part of this mandate, was a push for interoperability across different bands of the 700MHz network and their associated hardware so that smaller carriers can roam on the different networks of the larger carriers. AT&T and Verizon are not too pleased and cite expense and increased handset size as making this an unfavorable direction.
It’s something that smaller carriers, such as Cellular South, look forward to because it will make roaming more affordable. A handset that has a universal chip would work on all networks regardless of what band it’s running on in the 700MHz spectrum. There are currently three major bands of the 700MHz spectrum including Verizon’s C Block (class 13), AT&T’s C and B Blocks (class 17) and smaller carriers A, B, and C Block (class 12).
Qualcomm is planning on a chipset to support class 12 but says that their chips can only support up to two bands below 1GHz and three bands above 1GHz. According to the chip maker, it will be very difficult to support the right combination of bands to allow roaming between AT&T, Verizon, and the smaller carriers. In fact, it’s so complicated it could take years to develop. It’s not certain when and if the FCC will make a decision regarding this issue.
What appears to be the Sprint Samsung Nexus S 4G (see our hands-on) has shown up on the FCC page, bringing things that much closer to a release. It’s a Samsung device, with CDMA and WiMax radios, and going by the device outline we’re pretty sure that the SPH-D720 will turn out to be Sprint’s version of the latest Googlephone. This news should make a lot of people on the “Now Network” awful darn happy, and the rest of us a little bit envious of a sweet vanilla Nexus that can get 4G speeds.
Hit the source link to read all the technical stuff, and jump in the forums to share some of that excitement you’re feeling.
Sony Ericsson’s XPERIA Play has crossed the FCC in CDMA form, on its way to a Verizon launch in the US. The gaming smartphone seems to have a surprise onboard too, with a SIM card slot noticed alongside the regular CDMA radio. Of course, a SIM slot means one of two things: LTE or World Phone functionality.
Verizon’s 4G LTE devices require a SIM card for network identification, though if Sony Ericsson has upgraded the XPERIA Play for the carrier’s LTE network then we’d be surprised that they haven’t made more of that fact in advertising the handset. Perhaps more likely is World Phone functionality, which would allow Verizon XPERIA Play owners to take their CDMA device abroad and use it on GSM 3G networks.
Otherwise, things look roughly in line with the GSM-only version of the XPERIA Play which we reviewed last week. Hopefully Sony Ericsson do some tweaking to the display before it arrives in the US, though, since poor screen brightness was one of our key complaints.