Apple and AT&T Team Up to Improve Cellular Service in Puerto Rico With LTE Band 8 Activation

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple and AT&T have been working together to improve cellular connectivity for iPhone users in Puerto Rico who have been largely without cellular service since Hurricane Maria hit a month ago.

    The two companies are enabling LTE Band 8, a provisional LTE band that's been approved but not activated or licensed in the United States or Puerto Rico, reports TechCrunch.


    LTE Band 8 will work with the iPhone 5c and up on iOS 10 or higher in Puerto Rico following a carrier update. Band 8 is a 900Mhz band with improved range to better reach cell towers that are located further away.
    iPhone owners in Puerto Rico will need to go to Settings --> General --> About when connected to Wi-Fi or cellular to download the carrier update.

    Once the new carrier data has been installed, iPhones will be able to use Band 8 where available to connect to cellular towers and Project Loon balloons being deployed by Google to improve cellular service in Puerto Rico.

    Project Loon balloons support basic communication and internet activities for sending text messaging and accessing information online over LTE.


    Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria on September 20, much of Puerto Rico continues to be without power, and millions are also without running water. Many areas are also without cellular service and Wi-Fi connectivity with up to 75 percent of antennas currently down, making it difficult for families to stay in touch.

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: Apple and AT&T Team Up to Improve Cellular Service in Puerto Rico With LTE Band 8 Activation
  2. macTW Suspended

    Oct 17, 2016
    NorCal could use project loon too. Much of the infrastructure near the fires has fallen or burned.
  3. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    Nice did the update. Getting 1.4- 2mb IDK what band I'm using of course.
    If it wasn't for this post I wouldn't know I needed to go to the about section. The download was automatic once I got there.
    Appreciate it MR!
    --- Post Merged, Oct 20, 2017 ---
    I believe project loon was tested originally in PR a few years ago.
  4. macTW Suspended

    Oct 17, 2016
    Very interesting to watch this work. This is Project Loon’s first clustering project, and it could be revolutionary if it works well.
  5. macTW Suspended

    Oct 17, 2016
    They deployed and covered but didn’t use their algorithms to cluster over a location as specific as the island.

    But I know many who need service in California. It’d be interesting to see dual deployments, if possible.
  6. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    What I'm saying is that they tested them prototypes originally in PR AFAIK.
    But yes the balloons were all over the place the next day after they deployed them here in PR after they got approved post hurricane Maria.
  7. sevvere Suspended


    Oct 20, 2017
    Does anyone knowledgeable know why this could not be implemented on android phone too?
  8. TheTruth101 Suspended

    Mar 15, 2017
    I went to church yesterday. We had some doctors in Puerto Rico, they went there to assist. They say the situation is terrible. They were supposed to come back yesterday but the plane was filled with people injured (a big plane) and they had to stay. The emergency power plants of the airport stopped working yesterday too. Those plants are meant to work for a few days or a few weeks. The airport has no power and they were left in the dark. They say FEMA has not being around that area. They are the only doctors to arrive. They do not know what they are going to do or when they are coming back. No power, no communications...
  9. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
  10. wikiverse macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2012
    Private companies co-operating to benefit people where the Government has failed.

    'Evil Capitalism' at work again.
  11. macTW Suspended

    Oct 17, 2016
    Peru didn’t require them to use their machine learning algorithms for location hovering. I don’t know the details as to why, but this is supposedly the first time they’ll be fighting the wind and weather to stay in place.
  12. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    AT&T shocks me with this effort considering how poor their home internet service is. I'll be watching this one and hope for the best.
  13. BeforeTheMeds macrumors 6502


    Jun 26, 2016
    Edomx, MX
    The government did not really fail, It was the truck drivers.

    Relief workers haven't been able to distribute the goods, in part because only about 20% of Puerto Rico's truck drivers have reported back to work since Hurricane Maria swept through, according to a representative for Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

    That's why the mayor was standing in front a mountain of pallets of supplies the government took in and lying.
  14. sevvere Suspended


    Oct 20, 2017
    Is this a band only found in iPhones but not available in other phones powered by android?
  15. avanpelt macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    You must not have AT&T Fiber. I’ve had it for over two years now and it’s fantastic. Not a single outage in over two years and I routinely have >900 Mbps up and down. All for $70/month. Can’t beat it, in my opinion. Of course, the footprint of AT&T Fiber is much, much smaller than AT&T’s much slower service. As for the $20/month service AT&T offers, that is garbage.
  16. elfxmilhouse macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    Northeast USA
    there are most likely other phones that support the band. the issue with android phones is that the hardware and software is very fragmented. this means each manufacturer would have to coordinate this for each of their phone models. its the same reason why when google releases a new android version every phone gets it a a different time.

    apple does more of their stuff in house and has way more control over the hardware and software so its easy for them to do this on a large scale.

    in short, on a technical level im sure there are plenty of phones out there that are capable but its up to the companies to consider the cost of rolling something like this out.
  17. scott523, Oct 20, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017

    scott523 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2006
    Saint Charles, MO
    Not bad, two Project Loon balloons currently floating over Puerto Rico.

  18. caligomez macrumors regular


    Feb 8, 2011
    San Juan, PR
    Yessss!! Thank you Apple and (I can't believe I'm going to say this..) AT&T!

    It took me more than 30 minutes to open this link, and I live in downtown San Juan! Every little effort helps! Things are tough enough, so internet access keeps us informed and entertained. Woot!
  19. s15119, Oct 20, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2017

    s15119 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2010
  20. Pbrutto macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2015
    Eastern PA
    This is the kinda stuff we should do all the time for those in need, good job all!
  21. Internet Enzyme macrumors 6502a

    Internet Enzyme

    Feb 21, 2016
    Am I the only one who completely forgot that the iPhone 5c every existed? What a stupid device.
  22. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I think they pushed the update to everyone not just users in PR.
  23. zorinlynx macrumors 603


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    I'm guessing the carrier update came with iOS 11.1 beta 4 because I don't have one pending to install when I go to About?

    What version are ya'll who got the update seeing? I'm on AT&T 30.0.

    Not that it matters as I'm not in PR, just curious.
  24. niji Contributor


    Feb 9, 2003
    i love seeing this kind of initiative and cooperation between 2 of the greatest corporate giants on the planet.

    has anyone seen any kind of more detailed time line for when it might be actually be able to used by people in the need on the ground?
  25. Huracan macrumors 6502


    Jan 9, 2007
    Sad to see this turn into a political fight. For those against helping Puerto Rico, what is your other choice, an independent Puerto Rico? As long as Puerto Rico is a US territory the US has a responsibility to it and its citizens, regardless of mayors or governors. To have a president who only seems to be willing to help states that voted for him is a disgrace. Good to see that private citizens are stepping up to help when the administration is refusing to do for racial, cultural or whatever grudge the president has.

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