The new LG V30 certainly packs in plenty of top-notch hardware, enough to satisfy even the most demanding smartphone enthusiast. But did you also know that it’s the first phone to support T-Mobile’s new 600 MHz LTE spectrum too? Jotted way down at the bottom of the official spec sheet is mention of LTE Band 71, which potentially means a stronger and more consistent LTE signal across T-Mobile’s network in the US.
T-Mobile switched on its 600 MHz spectrum in Cheyenne, Wyoming just over a couple of weeks ago. The carrier secured around 45 percent of the 600 MHz spectrum in an FCC auction earlier this year — more than any other organization. No other carriers have deployed similar low-band spectrum yet, but it’s a technology that we’re going to hear more about over the next 12 months.
The idea is that this low-band spectrum will introduce greater capacity and coverage particularly in rural areas, where the low frequencies can cover a larger area. However, this does require new antenna designs and hardware components from smartphone OEMs too. T-Mobile previously let slip that LG and Samsung would be launching phones with support for B71 this year. Although it seems that the Galaxy Note 8 missed out, so Samsung must have another phone planned for this year. The LG V series is making a habit of supporting new network bands early. Last year’s V20 was the first to support LTE Band 66, which is now common across most flagship tier smartphones.
Earlier in the year, Qualcomm had ruled out the possibility of earlier flagship launches supporting 600 MHz capabilities. Although the company’s flagship Snapdragon 835 mobile platform features the X16 LTE modem that supports 600 MHz, OEMs also need to implement other bits of specific hardware in conjunction with it to support the new band and talk to the cell towers. Obviously this can’t be introduced into phones that are already on the market, and so the V30 is currently the only phone offering support. Although we’re bound to see more phones arrive with B71 capabilities next year.
If you weren’t already sold on the LG V30’s stellar hardware and just happen to be a T-Mobile customer, or are thinking about a switch, this is another good reason to consider LG’s latest flagship. Especially if you travel across the US a lot or currently struggle for a consistent signal.