Apple and AT&T render active LTE Band eight to give iPhone users in PR cellular service by Loon Balloon

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Source:   —  October 20, 2017, at 8:44 PM

To make better what's a terrible connectivity situation there, it’s going to enable a provisional band of LTE that's been recently approved, but not activated in the US and Puerto Rico, where it's not been licensed.

Apple and AT&T render active LTE Band eight to give iPhone users in PR cellular service by Loon Balloon

Apple has been working with AT&T to prolong and render active cell service for users in Puerto Rico. To make better what's a terrible connectivity situation there, it’s going to enable a provisional band of LTE that's been recently approved, but not activated in the US and Puerto Rico, where it's not been licensed. This will authorize iPhones to connect to Google’s Project Loon balloons in the region.

Because LTE isn't licensed on Band eight, many phones haven't yet been equipped for utilize with it, though some newer radios are able to connect to it and utilize it. Apple devices from the iPhone 5c and up and running iOS ten or higher can download a carrier setting and start using it right away.

LTE Band eight is a 900Mhz band, which means that it's much improved range over lower frequency bands. This will assistance devices reach further cell towers, disseminate the load among those presently accessible towers and penetrate buildings and other obstructions better.

Apple says that users will be prompted to download the carrier settings this week. The service is already live.

“We are working with AT&T to render active cellular service for iPhone users in PR as the island recovers from Hurricane Maria,” read an Apple statement. “Apple engineers have created a special carrier settings upgrade which users connected to Wi-Fi or who are connected to a cellular network will automatically be prompted to download throughout the week. The upgrade allows iPhone customers with iPhone 5c and later models running iOS ten or higher, to connect to a provisional band on the AT&T network so they can be in touch with loved ones and obtain services in this time of need.”

To obtain the new carrier settings, go to Settings>General>About now. You'll necessity to have either WiFi or a cellular connection to grab the file. Once it’s installed, your iPhone will automatically get advance of Band eight LTE where available.

Though much of PR is still without power, this should enable the currently operating cell towers to serve more users at a greater distance. LTE band eight was recently approved by the FCC for utilize there. And, with many cell towers down, people will also still be able to connect to Google’s Project Loon balloons that are deployed in Puerto Rico.  The Loon deployment was detailed in a  breakdown by Project Loon head Alastair Westgarth today here.

I’m reaching out to AT&T as well to look if they’re working with extra manufacturers to allow Band eight access as well as other hardware makers love Samsung and Google. Some Android devices should be compatible with Project Loon as well including most recent Samsung models.

Featured Image: Mario Tama/Getty Images

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