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U.S. Wireless Operators Dish in on the Galaxy S9's Spectrum Band Compatibility

We're finally taking a glimpse at Samsung's latest flagship Android smartphones-- the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. The two devices were unveiled at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 held in Barcelona over the weekend. And as soon as the device was announced, the top wireless carriers in the country started to make their own announcements with regards to the price and availability of the smartphone.

Although many are focusing on the newest features of the Galaxy S9 and S9+, there is one thing that many fail to pay attention to: the kind of network technology equipped in the flagship smartphone. Considering Samsung is recognized as a leader in implementing new wireless network technology, it's important to see what the smartphone manufacture has lined up its sleeve with the spectrum bands and technology it will be deploying. Not to mention, Samsung tends to come up with iterations of its devices specific to the technologies and spectrum bands of individual operators.

Looking into the wireless network technology that the Galaxy S9 could be built around with, it's surprising to see that Samsung has not yet unveiled a lot of information about the S9 variant for the US. Adding to this, the different wireless operators in the country have not yet commented about the issue beyond the information available on their press releases.

Samsung detailed some specs about the Galaxy S9 and S9+ on its website with a note that these two devices come with "Enhanced 4x4 MIMO/CA, LAA, and LTE Cat. 18." In addition to these, they come with high-end Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and location capabilities (GPS, Glonass, Galileo, and BeiDou). A problem, however, may arise with US users since Samsung tends to build a stock-keeping unit that is specific to the characteristics of a region. Thus on its page, Samsung claims that this "may differ by country and carrier."

One thing to note though is that there was no mention of 3.5 GHz CBRS band being used in the US. This is why the different carriers have highlighted varying network elements when they announced their plans of selling the new Samsung flagship smartphone.


The Magenta network noted that the S9 and S9+ they would be offering would support the 600 MHz wireless network it has. This is still a growing spectrum band since T-Mo is currently the only major wireless operator implementing this. The Galaxy S9's support for 600 MHz shows how T-Mobile is committed to this spectrum band.

The wireless network shared that the two latest flagship devices “have state-of-the-art hardware that can tap into advanced LTE technologies on the T-Mobile network — including the trifecta of 4x4 MIMO, carrier aggregation and 256 QAM, as well as License Assisted Access (LAA). The Un-carrier has now deployed the trifecta of LTE-Advanced technologies in nearly 5,000 cities and towns across the country, and since the Galaxy S9 and S9+ rock the latest Snapdragon 845 chipset from Qualcomm, they can hit a blistering 1.2 Gbps in laboratory tests, a 20% increase in peak theoretical speed over the Galaxy S8.”


In its own release, Sprint commended on Samsung's inclusion of the HPUE network technology in the new smartphone. Because of this, the device will be able to experience better performance with the 2.5 GHz spectrum of Sprint. And since this spectrum plays a vital role to the long-term network strategy of the network, it's a move in the right direction.


For its part, AT&T announced the S9 and S9+ with a look into its network efforts. First responders using the Galaxy S9 and S9+ get to enjoy the full FirstNet experience with a promise on reliable, highly secure, and always-on connection. AT&T shares that the two devices are among the first Samsung models to carry a built-in Band 14 access, which is the new frequency band the network has built for FirstNet.


Lastly, Verizon gave very few network-related information in its Galaxy S9 announcement. The only thing it mentioned was that "the best streaming network meets a revolutionary Infinity Display." When pried for more information, the carrier declined to give further details. Instead, they noted that they will comment more on the issue in March, when it plans to start selling the device.

Source: Fierce Wireless

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  1. T-Mobile 4G LTE bands with the S9:
    2, 4, 12, 66, 71

  2. I'm thinking of buying the S9. Can anyone tell me on which carrier would it work the best. Thanks

    1. Depends where you live, # of lines, data needed, etc.

      Now, T-Mobile is the ONLY carrier to sell the S9/S9+ at SAMSUNG'S REGULAR PRICE ($720/$840)
      Verizon, Sprint, At&t are all jacking price up an extra $100 (give or take) for the S9/S9+

      I'm hoping there will be a pre-order special for the unlocked versions. Anyone see who unlocked versions aside from Samsung? (Samsung not giving pre-order special unless trade-in which you'd need an iPhone X to get $350 off & it goes down hill from there)

  3. Looking at the 4G LTE Bands listed on Best Buy's website for the unlocked Galaxy S9+, I don't see T-Mobile's 71 Band anywhere. I see the 66 Band but no 71.
    T-Mobile's version of the Galaxy S9+ has both 66 & 71 Bands.
    I hope this is just a typo on Best Buy's website. Please tell me they are not omitting the 71 band from the unlocked versions. Too early to ask customer no service chatbox.

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