Sony adds LTE bands 2 and 4 to the international Xperia Z Ultra C6833
As LTE networks rolls out across the globe, more and more devices begin to have LTE support. Unlike their 3G counterparts however, ‘international’ devices have struggled to be completely international.
Frequency banding was an issue for 2/3G devices for some time, although eventually manufacturers started including support for all the major global ranges meaning devices could be used worldwide without issue. Until recently it was beginning to look like the same problem could be rearing its ugly head with LTE, with networks around the world utilising wildly different frequency bands.
The EU has kept some kind of sanity over proceedings in Europe, however the biggest culprits for strange banding are the carriers in North America.
Hexaband SIM free devices such as the Galaxy S4 and original Sony Xperia Z have been available for some time. However even these find themselves unable to connect to most LTE networks in the USA and Canada. It looks like things are about to change though. Reports have been announced that Samsung’s new Exynos 5 chip features hardware support for all 20 recognised international bands and now the new international Sony Xperia Z Ultra (C6833) has been confirmed as octaband LTE compatible.
The bands on the Z Ultra are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 20. The big additions here are 2 and 4 which will open up the Z Ultra for broad use on major LTE networks in North America.
The situation in the USA is a little more complicated as most carriers have implemented their own unique LTE bands. For instance AT&T have band 17, Verizon use band 13, Sprint use 25/27 and US Cellular operate on 12. Only T-Mobile have stayed ‘open’ on band 4. The other main carriers mentioned do also use bands 2 & 4, the unique bands allow them to lock down devices they sell to their own LTE networks. In areas that are more highly saturated with access to LTE on these other frequencies, you may find a device struggles to find a band 2/4 connection too.
So, broadly speaking, the Z Ultra will be the first truly global LTE flagship device. Although you might still want to check your coverage in the USA…