4 13 17 Are the Magic Numbers
A mobile device for all of Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA needs to support the LTE frequency bands 4, 13 and 17; those are the magic numbers.
Suddenly in 2013, technology evolution has made it so that these three networks are highly inter-operable, and it is no longer much of a technical challenge to make a device inter-operable for all three. However, device makers have not yet adapted to this new reality:
- Samsung didn't do it with the Galaxy S4 nor its follow-up LTE advanced version
- LG didn't do it with the G2 super-phone
- HTC didn't do it with the One
And of course, as of yet, US service providers do not willingly sell devices inter-operable with another provider. This will lead to devices being sold elsewhere, as was pioneered by the Apple Store in 2007. However, Apple is of course a significant part of the non-inter-operable conspiracy.
Change is Good
The greatest news in this regard is that Google announced the Nexus 7 LTE on July 24th, 2013 although the promised launch date was later retracted. The promise is a first ever for the US:
one device, any service provider
The Nexus 7 is of course a tablet and not a phone. Google makes the hands-down greatest tablets in the world. However, on the phone side, their Nexus designs as of late have been peculiar. While Google finds its ways, the first inter-operable phone will likely emerge from a traditional device maker that caves in and makes a world-series phone similar to the “world phones” sold for gsm at the end of the 90's. This will be a great thing, expect it to happen in early 2014.