Apple, AT&T partner to activate Band 8 to help improve communication following Hurricane Maria

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Date: Monday, October 23rd, 2017, 05:56
Category: iOS, iPhone, News, wireless

This could definitely come in handy.

Apple and wireless carrier AT&T have joined forces and are apparently enabling LTE Band 8, a provisional LTE band that’s been approved but not activated or licensed in the United States or Puerto Rico, to help with communications within the territory following Hurricane Maria.

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.


Apple offered the following statement:

“We are working with AT&T to activate cellular service for iPhone users in Puerto Rico as the island recovers from Hurricane Maria. Apple engineers have created a special carrier settings update which users connected to Wi-Fi or who are connected to a cellular network will automatically be prompted to download throughout the week. The update allows iPhone customers with iPhone 5c and later models running iOS 10 or higher, to connect to a provisional band on the AT&T network so they can be in touch with loved ones and get services in this time of need.”

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, the iPhone handsets can use use Band 8 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.

As of now, it’s estimated that that up to 75 percent of Puerto Rico is without cellular service or Wi-Fi connectivity.

Hopefully this helps people stay in touch and if you have a chance to test it out, please let us know about your experience on your end.

MacRumors and TechCrunch

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