iPhone 6s LTE 30 Band and CDMA Version Megathread

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by milaround, Sep 10, 2015.

  1. milaround, Sep 10, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015

    milaround macrumors member

    milaround

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #1
    What we know:
    Updated as of 10/09/2015
    There are two different versions of the iPhone 6s (Plus). Differences emphasized in red:

    Model A1633/34
    LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30)
    TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41)
    TD-SCDMA 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
    UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)​

    Model A1688/87
    LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29)
    TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41)
    TD-SCDMA 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
    CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)​
    • AT&T and the SIM-free model use model A1633/34
    • Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile use model A1688/87
    Apple has updated the iPhone 6s technical specifications page, indicating that both models will support CDMA. The only difference is the model A1633/34 is band 30 capable, while the other is not.

    This is additionally supported by the FCC documents showing that "all models have identical PCB layout, design and functionality except A1634 has Tx and Rx filter for Band 30." This should also quell any question if model A1688/87 will have band 30 support, which it most likely will not.

    I want to get an unlocked iPhone, so which model should I get?

    AT&T owns band 30 and is planning to expand out their 2.3GHz WCS LTE network in the future, which will offer impressive speed gains for AT&T users. If you plan on using the phone with the AT&T network in the future or in a different country on a network that supports the 2.3GHz spectrum between 2305MHz and 2360MHz, then you should consider getting the A1633/34 iPhone 6s. This is likely the "best" phone as it supports the most bands.

    A1688/87 lacks band 30 support, but for the vast majority of people, it is not a big deal. Band 30 is still being rolled out, and you likely do not live somewhere that will have it anytime soon. By the time it becomes relevant, the iPhone 7 will be coming out.

    tl;dr: The SIM-free A1633/34 is the "best" phone with band 30 support and whitelisting, but it is not significant for the iP6s' generation.

    Where is AT&T rolling out their WCS LTE network (Band 30?)
    AT&T has not disclosed what markets they are rolling out to yet.

    "AT&T did not specify which markets are gaining WCS coverage, nor how quickly it will build out coverage around the country. AT&T is, however, expected to start with markets that have more capacity requirements."
    - phonescoop.com (9/10/2015)

    Relevant reading:

    Readers, help us update this post with the latest information! If you can deny, confirm, or add to any of the information on this topic, please post your source here and this information will be updated.
     
  2. milaround thread starter macrumors member

    milaround

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #2
    Here's a question I haven't seen asked yet:

    If it's possible that the AT&T model A1633 / A1634 may actually have CDMA capabilities even when it is technically listed as not (as seen with iPhone 6,) is it possible that the Verizon/T-Mobile model A1688 / A1687 supports LTE band 30?

    i.e. Is it possible that the two models are actually the same in capability?
     
  3. flur macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #3
    I'm going to guess no, it's not possible that they are identical, otherwise why would Apple make two models of the same device?
     
  4. janicewilson macrumors newbie

    janicewilson

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2014
    #4
    Many thanks for this resource!

    I'm American, but reside part-time in Cambodia and travel throughout Asia and The United States frequently. I typically purchase my iPhones in Singapore. But this year, my plan is to pre-order the "T-Mobile" version and purchase in store via the iPhone Upgrade Program. However in this thread, it was suggested that the initial offering would be SIM free, but wouldn't truly be unlocked as the initial offering would be missing bands critical to certain Asian countries.

    According to GSM Arena, I need only GSM 900, GSM 1800 and UMTS 2100 to be up and running in Cambodia, Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore for 3G capabilities, which seems to be included below. But would need LTE 1800, LTE 2600 to access 4G, which doesn't seem to be included below.

    And now for my questions:

    01 It seems from the intel you provided that any Asian country can be accessed, and that the phone would only be lacking only 4G capabilities. Is this correct? Then why have previous posters suggested that certain Asian countries could not be accessed?

    02 Would an unlocked iPhone (as opposed to a SIM free iPhone), offered later in the year have these LTE bands?

    03 Currently I use AirVoice as my carrier when Stateside. I haven't an account with any of the majors. Will I need to create such in order to pre-order?

    Your help in sorting the above would be much appreciated!

     
  5. milaround, Sep 11, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015

    milaround thread starter macrumors member

    milaround

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #5
    I'm not sure why you think LTE bands 1800 and 2600 are not included. Those are LTE bands 3 and 7 respectively, which are included on the list for both iPhone models. You should be able to access 4G. As you linked, GSM arena shows this.

    The post you referenced:
    He is talking about the iPhone 6, and assuming that the same situation will apply to the iPhone 6s. What he is referring to as "the Apple 'unlocked' version" is the "sim-free" model that was offered a few months after the launch of the iPhone 6.

    With the iPhone 6, Apple initially released two different models and officially listed them as follows:

    Model A1549 (GSM)*
    Model A1522 (GSM)*

    UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
    LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29)
    Model A1549 (CDMA)*
    Model A1522 (CDMA)*

    CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
    LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29)

    Then in January the following year, Apple released a third model dubbed "sim-free"

    Model A1586*
    Model A1524*

    CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    TD-SCDMA 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
    GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
    FDD-LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29)
    TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41)

    As you can see, the initial two models lacked world compatibility on certain networks, particularly on China’s advanced TD-LTE and TD-SCDMA networks. The sim-free phone included these bands and was the ideal choice for international travelers. However there was a chance that the sim-free iPhone 6 may not be fully compatibility with carriers in the US, being possibly restricted to 2G or 3G on some popular networks. You can read more about the history here.

    This information spread under the generalized message that sim-free phones work in Asia while the others are limited. So when talking about the iPhone 6, the poster you referenced is correct, though imprecisely. However, when talking about the iPhone 6s, he does not really know and is projecting information from the old iPhone to the new one.

    So, when it comes to world travel, both models of the iPhone 6s are already well-equipped for networks in Asia. The only difference between the two iPhone 6s models are the CDMA and LTE 30 band (although even that is up for debate with evidence showing the possibility of CDMA capability on both.)

    As related to the previous answer, the current iPhone already has these bands, so yes. There should be no need for you to wait for a possible "sim-free" version, as the iPhone 6s already supports the bands you need. I recommend an unlocked model A1688 / A1687 for the officially present CDMA capability.

    We don't know yet. I would assume that paying in-full would not require account info for T-Mobile, but I have not found any information yet about which carriers require what information for pre-order. Please post here if you find any information about this.
     
  6. janicewilson macrumors newbie

    janicewilson

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2014
    #6
    (Smooch!) Thank you! Your response was crystal clear and incredibly helpful! (I've only now understood that GSM Arena referenced MHz and not bands!)

    I'll absolutely post in this thread if I discover anything re required pre-order intel.

    Again, your time and response is most appreciated! You're awesome!


     
  7. tworth23 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    #7
    Hey what's up. The A1633 and 1644 are Att and T-mobile. The T-Mobile will have LTE band 30
     
  8. milaround thread starter macrumors member

    milaround

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #8
    This source says otherwise.

    AT&T confirmed that it's selling the model (A1633/34) with its new Band 30
    All the other carriers are selling model A1687/88, an Apple retail rep told me. T-Mobile confirmed it is selling the 1687/88, as well.
    Where is your source?
     
  9. UPBaylor macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    #9
    So, what's the general speculation about the capabilities (or, lack thereof) of any later released truly SIM-free model?

    Would you guess that it will have ALL the bands and not leave out CDMA or Band 30?
     
  10. milaround thread starter macrumors member

    milaround

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #10
    It's unclear at this point, as the the current two iPhone 6s models support the bands that were added with the iPhone 6 sim-free. There's also suspicion that both iP6s models may be CDMA capable, even though it's not officially listed as so; in which case with virtually all bands already covered, what would be the advantage offered by Apple introducing a sim-free iPhone 6s?

    While possible, there hasn't been any mention of model A1687/88 supporting band 30. It's really all guesses at this point; we'll have to keep looking for definitive evidence before we can say for sure. Post here with a source if you find more information!
     
  11. tworth23, Sep 11, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015

    tworth23 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    #11
    Here's link to Apple iPhone 6s specs. The A1633/34 don't have CDMA bands so T-Mobile will be using either 33 or 34. The A1687/88 have CDMA which would be relegated for sprint/Verizon

    http://www.apple.com/iphone-6s/specs/
     
  12. milaround, Sep 11, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015

    milaround thread starter macrumors member

    milaround

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #12
    Yes, A1633/A1634 allegedly do not support CDMA, but both A1633/A1634 and A1688/A1687 do support GSM. So T-Mobile could use 1688/A1687 without any problem. Just because certain hardware is built in, does not mean a carrier must or must not use it.

    I understand your logic, but the facts are:
    1. It is completely technically possible through confirmed information for T-Mobile to use either model.
    2. We have a published source quoting a T-Mobile representative claiming T-Mobile using A1688/A1687.
    So the current data still points to AT&T using model A1633/A1634, and Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint using model A1688/A1687.

    If you do not have any evidence, you are just guessing. Please post a source if you make a claim.
     
  13. tworth23 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    #13
    http://www.apple.com/iphone-6s/specs/
     
  14. tworth23 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    #14
    Att will be using either A1633 or 1634 not both. There are 4 models and 4 carriers
     
  15. sicariis macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    #15
    One is a 6s and the other is 6s Plus. So ATT will be selling both the 1633 and 1634.
     
  16. milaround thread starter macrumors member

    milaround

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #16
    I see where you are confused. Those are not "4 models for 4 carriers" as you are thinking. Here is what we know about the available iPhone 6s models:

    iPhone 6s (GSM/Global/A1633)
    iPhone 6s (CDMA/Sprint/Verizon/A1688)
    iPhone 6s (Mainland China/A1700)

    iPhone 6s Plus (GSM/Global/A1634)
    iPhone 6s Plus (CDMA/Sprint/Verizon/A1687)
    iPhone 6s Plus (Mainland China/A1699)

    [
    source]

    So yes, AT&T will be using both A1633 and A1634 as the difference is in them being 6s or 6s Plus.

    Also for those curious, A1700/A1699 will only be sold in China with specs appearing identical to the A1687/88.
    [source]
     
  17. milaround thread starter macrumors member

    milaround

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #17
    Thank you for your correction. Also, please post here if you find a source with additional information about what carriers will be using which model. We need more information about this.
     
  18. bchreng macrumors 6502a

    bchreng

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    #18
    Now I feel torn. I'm on AT&T but would like to have CDMA support for higher resale value when I decide to upgrade my phone. I travel once a year so global compatibility would be nice but not necessary.

    Decisions, decisions.
     
  19. milaround thread starter macrumors member

    milaround

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #19
    In your case, it may be a good idea to wait until the suspicion of both models having CDMA capabilities is confirmed or disproved. With the new iP6s band coverage, you should be globally compatible most everywhere you go with either model.
     
  20. UPBaylor macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    #20
    How much resale value add does adding CDMA make? I suspect not a lot, but I don't know.

    And, like has been outlined on this thread, the AT&T phones may very well have CDMA like the 6. I'm leaning to buying the AT&T phone outright because the chance of ME benefiting from the 30 band is probably greater than any CDMA capability. If that turns out to be the case, then the AT&T phones will offer the maximum flexibility as I see it. It sounds like the 30 band is an easy roll out for AT&T so I would expect it to become available quickly even if not available today.

    I am also assuming that the AT&T phone purchased full price will either be unlocked or you can request that from AT&T immediately.

    And, if there turns out to be a serious issue, I can always return it and buy the other one.

    If I knew for sure Apple was going to release a truly SIM-free version with full capabilities (30 band and CDMA) a month or so after the launch, I'd just wait on that one.
     
  21. Florida Gator macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    #21
    I'm in the same boat. I have AT&T, but travel internationally to Asia.

    For the record, with the iPhone 6 (not iPhone 6S), the A1549 model used by T-Mobile and AT&T is fully functional on LTE networks like NTT DoCoMo in Japan. So if the international carrier you are using has a significant LTE build out, you're likely completely fine. It's the last few places that are still using CDMA EV-DO that will be an issue.

    According to the link below, there just aren't that many networks still dependent on CDMA EV-DO. They seem to mostly be in third-world countries, or small rural carriers or deprecated parts of modern networks.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_CDMA2000_networks

    Am I reading this right?
     
  22. milaround thread starter macrumors member

    milaround

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #22
    Yes, thankfully international LTE rollouts make global compatibility much more convenient, especially with the wide number of LTE bands the iP6s supports. I travel to Japan frequently and can shed some light on the situation.

    The link you provided is referring to CDMA2000, one of the two major 3G networks in Japan.
    1. W-CDMA aka UMTS: Used by DoCoMo and Softbank
    2. CDMA2000: Used by Verizon, KDDI au.

    GSM is not deployed in Japan. Thankfully, both iP6s models support UMTS, so if your iP6s were to dip out of the 4G LTE network, theoretically you would safely land on a 3G W-CDMA/UMTS network.

    CDMA2000 and really 3G networks in general are being phased out in favor of 4G+ network rollouts. So as long as the country you are in has an available 3G network supported by the iP6s to fallback on in leu of LTE coverage, you should be fine.
     
  23. citivolus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    #23
    Sorry if I missed this but where geographically in the United States is AT&T supposedly rolling out support for Band 30?
     
  24. milaround thread starter macrumors member

    milaround

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #24
    AT&T has not disclosed what markets they are rolling out to yet.

    "AT&T did not specify which markets are gaining WCS coverage, nor how quickly it will build out coverage around the country. AT&T is, however, expected to start with markets that have more capacity requirements."
    - phonescoop.com (9/10/2015)
     
  25. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #25
    Band 30 probably will barely be rolled out anywhere even by this time next year. I wouldn't be too concerned about having a phone with that Band.
     

Share This Page