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Thread: Extended Range LTE & RCS announced

  1. #1
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    Extended Range LTE & RCS announced

    [Extended Range LTE = 700MHz / B13]

    Shaw Newsroom
    Oct 9 2018

    Freedom Mobile expands network coverage with the deployment of 700 MHz spectrum

    CALGARY, October 9, 2018 – Shaw Communications Inc. today announced that Freedom Mobile has begun enabling its recently-acquired Band 13 700 MHz spectrum, starting in Calgary — improving network coverage and providing subscribers with enhanced indoor LTE coverage.

    “Freedom Mobile’s Extended Range LTE leverages Band 13 700 MHz spectrum to provide customers with farther-reaching coverage and stronger indoor wireless reception than anything we’ve been able to offer to date,” said Paul McAleese, President, Wireless, Shaw Communications. “The deployment of additional spectrum is our latest step in creating an improved wireless experience that includes seamless connectivity, the latest handsets, and the high-speed LTE data plans that our customers are looking for.”

    Shaw closed the acquisition of 700 MHz and 2500 MHz wireless spectrum licences from Quebecor Media Inc. in July 2017, enabling Freedom Mobile to progressively enhance its network in Southern Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.

    The introduction of Extended Range LTE comes soon after Freedom Mobile’s rollout of Voice over LTE (VoLTE), which is now available nationally on select LG, Samsung, Sony, Motorola and Alcatel devices purchased directly from Freedom Mobile. This rollout will continue with additional Freedom Mobile handsets in the coming months, including eligible Apple devices.

    With Extended Range LTE and VoLTE, customers can expect to experience:

    • Faster call setup, reducing the time it takes for a dialed call to connect and begin ringing,
    • Simultaneous voice and data LTE, so customers can use high-speed LTE data while on a call,
    • Seamless switching between Voice over Wi-Fi and Voice over LTE without dropping the call,
    • Enhanced indoor network reception,
    • Expanded outdoor LTE coverage.

    In addition, as part of its commitment to provide customers with an enhanced wireless experience, Freedom Mobile also launched Rich Communication Services (RCS), a protocol that allows Android customers to start group chats, see when someone is typing, and view read receipts by transmitting messages over a data connection.

    More information about Freedom Mobile’s network and experience enhancements can be found at freedommobile.ca/coverage
    A Canadian tale of wireless competition, and Another
    From unjust discrimination to undue preference - a CRTC timeline

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    Coverage / Devices

    Up in Calgary first.

    Coverage
    We’re just getting started with our rollout. When it’s available in your area, we’ll post it here.
    Calgary – Available now in select areas
    BC Lower Mainland – Coming soon
    Edmonton – Coming soon
    Greater Toronto Area – Coming soon
    Southern Ontario – Coming soon


    Freedom Extended Range LTE support

    What is Extended Range LTE?

    Extended Range LTE is our farthest-reaching network coverage ever and represents a major milestone in our strategy to continually enhance your mobile network experience. The addition of Band 13 LTE, which runs on our 700 MHz low-band spectrum, will significantly improve our network coverage and provide you with an enhanced indoor LTE experience. For you, that means a better network that reaches farther and penetrates walls for better coverage in buildings, basements and elevators

    What devices support Extended Range LTE?

    Below is a list of our current Extended Range LTE supported devices.
    Most new devices added to our lineup will include support for Extended Range

    Galaxy S9 / S9+
    Galaxy S8 / S8+
    Galaxy A8

    G6 / G7 ThinQ
    V30 ThinQ
    X Power 2 / X Power 3
    Q Stylo +

    Moto E5 Play
    Moto E6 Play

    Xperia XA2 / Xperia XA2 Ultra
    Xperia XZ2

    Alcatel GoFlip

    More devices coming soon.
    Last edited by pjw918; 10-09-2018 at 01:01 PM.

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    Requirements

    Who can access Extended Range LTE?

    Access to Extended Range LTE is included with all plans, but requires a compatible device. Your device must:

    • Have LTE and VoLTE enabled,
    • Support Band 13 LTE (700MHz),
    • Be using a P6A or P6 SIM card with the latest profile.

    If using a P6A SIM no additional SIM updates are required.
    If using a P6 SIM, text "SIM" to 40001 to upgrade to the latest software.
    If using a P5 SIM, please visit a Freedom Mobile Retail location to change your SIM.

    Click here for a list of compatible Freedom Mobile devices.
    Note: Devices not purchased from Freedom Mobile may not be compatible with Extended Range LTE.
    If switching or upgrading to a compatible device, it may take 72 hours to access both VoLTE and Extended Range LTE.



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    Freedom RCS support

    What is RCS?

    RCS (Rich Communication Services) is the next generation of messaging for Android phones. Freedom Mobile has partnered directly with Google to launch RCS over Android Messages with Universal Profile. By default, and when available, messages are sent using RCS over a mobile data connection. RCS introduces a suite of popular chat features:

    • Typing indicators.
    • Read receipts.
    • Large file transfers.
    • High resolution image transfer.
    • Send messages over Wi-Fi.
    • Rich group chat support.

    Messages will seamlessly transition to SMS and MMS when required.
    RCS and MMS messages require mobile data connectivity.
    Data and SMS/MMS charges may apply.



    How do I setup RCS?

    Take the following steps to setup RCS on your Android compatible phone:

    1. Ensure the latest version of Android Messages is installed.
    2. From the home screen or app draw, tap Messages.
    3. Tap the Menu icon.
    4. Tap Settings.
    5. Tap Advanced.
    6. Tap Chat Features.
    7. You will be required to opt-in to the RCS service if you have not already. Follow the prompts to opt-in to the RCS service.
    8. Some phones will ask to stop optimizing battery usage for the messages app. This is required for RCS. Follow the prompts to stop optimizing battery usage.
    9. Ensure “Enable chat features” is in the ‘ON’ position.
    10. Enjoy! RCS should now be enabled.

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    Do RCS features work while roaming?

    RCS features will work so long as you are connected to Wi-Fi, or have a mobile data connection, regardless if you are roaming or not. Messages may be converted to SMS/MMS. Preferences can be customized within the Android Messages advanced settings. Data and SMS/MMS charges may apply.


    Once RCS is activated, can I message over WiFi?

    Yes, as long as the recipient also has an RCS enabled Android phone. Android Messages will convert messages to SMS/MMS when RCS features are not available. Data and SMS/MMS charges may apply.

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    So basically another useless band/feature for BYOD users.

    Must admit Freedom's blacklisting of BlackBerry devices from LTE, no VoWiFi or VoLTE for non Freedom/Apple devices is getting ridiculous.

    As a BYOD customer looking to upgrade to a Key2 (I know LTE works on it), it seems ridiculous that they cripple my usage while I pay the same as someone on a device that they subsidize by hundreds of dollars over two years.

    Sent from my Passport using HoFo mobile app

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    My KEYone works on LTE since the oreo update, doesn't the Key2 work on band 13? It should already work on band 66

    Sent from my [BlackBerry Keyone] using HoFo mobile app
    Lucky Albertan who has the promo loyalty $50 8gb lte plans = $33 each with discounts. And am not moving to new plans without my 1GB data roaming Canada and USA. Love for the Blackberry KEYone

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    Ok, so how do I know if RCS is working?

    Sent from my LG-H933 using HoFo mobile app
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirtate View Post
    Ok, so how do I know if RCS is working?
    - you need the latest Android Messages installed, 3.6 or higher
    - 3.6 was uploaded to the Play Store just this morning, Thu Oct 11
    - the RCS rollout is happening over several weeks (see below tweet)
    - Care says it works with FM & Rogers customers only, at this point

    - when installed and opened for the first time you'll be prompted to set your default messaging app to Messages (very unique, typically Google)
    - you should see a (blue) Start Chat button on the lower right of the Messages screen (you may have to restart after install)
    EDIT - you should see Advanced / Chat features in the Settings menu (as above FM FAQ) when Google RCS is available to your device
    EDIT - set Enable Chat features to On (Use data for messaging when available) (as above)

    On my G6 I have the Start Chat button, but do not have Chat features under Settings / Advanced. MMS-type messages will send over WiFi data alone (airplane mode, WiFi Calling Off), but not text messages.

    Messages will drop back to cellular SMS & MMS if your contact does not have RCS enabled (or is on iOS)

    --
    Standard SMS/MMS delivery reports.
    - you will not have access to MMS delivered/read receipts if regular MMS is used by Messages
    - SMS 'delivered' receipts have always been deceptive, they are an acknowledgement returned by the SMS Centre, regardless of whether your contact has actually received the text, even if that phone is dead/off or in airplane mode
    - MMS delivered receipts are returned only when the message has actually arrived on device (permissions need to be set on both ends; Messages does not give you that option), and the read receipts only when the message has actually been opened by the recipient
    - FM's current MMS vendor/implementation is sketchy and doesn't return these for messages received @FM, other WSP's do

    If you decide to stick with standard messaging, Textra is highly configurable and well reviewed (Messages not so much).
    There are no 3rd party SMS/MMS backup solutions that can include RCS messages, Google hasn't released an API.

    You can follow Google RCS developments here.
    .
    Last edited by pjw918; 10-11-2018 at 07:48 PM. Reason: Settings / Advanced / Chat features; gradual rollout, patience!

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    I figured that out this morning when the update occurred...


    Thanks!

    Sent from my LG-H933 using HoFo mobile app

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    Google RCS ...rolling out to all compatible devices over the coming weeks
    @FreedomMobile

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    Not fully true, compatible BYOD iPhones, Pixels, Canadian Samsung/LG models should work with VoLTE/band 13 without issue.

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    Fully true in that unless it's a model sold by Freedom it won't work. If it's not on their list, band 13 won't work. At that point what's the point in buying outright instead of through Freedom?

    For iPhones they don't have a choice either. Apple wouldn't let them treat any of their devices differently.

    I'm still on an older phone that has bands 4, 7 and 13 for LTE available, however with Freedom's settings over the last number of months instead of seeing improved service, the spectrum available to me has been cut through the LTE refarming and locking out of LTE from BlackBerry devices.

    I know the newer devices can get LTE, but the big one was band 13, but now that's locked too. I don't care as much about VoLTE, it would be a nice to have, but to not have access to data in tough to reach spots because I'm locked out of band 13 sucks.

    I'm looking at a Key2 or Key2 LE, both newer phones, but it sucks knowing that even though they have the correct bands, they will be crippled by Freedom even though I pay more than the next guy getting his device subsidies.

    Sent from my Passport using HoFo mobile app

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    I get what you're saying. Main reason it's being done, I believe, is so people without VoLTE compatible phones don't run into a situation where they have an LTE connection (on band 13) but when they try to make a call they are unable to, as Freedom has no low band 3G spectrum that would have the same coverage as band 13 does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markf_2 View Post

    For iPhones they don't have a choice either. Apple wouldn't let them treat any of their devices differently.

    Sent from my Passport using HoFo mobile app

    Of course not. They are a trillion dollar company after all. I got all my devices straight from Apple in Toronto. VoWiFi worked the instant I set it up.

    But you bring up a valid point with device subsidies.

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