Wider frequency support opens the door to more devices and carrier partnerships
AT&T announced today on its public policy blog that it will commit to lower 700MHz LTE interoperability going forward, opening the door for more devices and small carrier partners in the future. This "lower" area of the 700MHz spectrum, also referred to as Band 12, was previously unsupported by AT&T because of interference concerns with the upper portion of 700MHz, or Band 17, that it supported.
With its move towards supporting Band 12, it will now be able to offer service to a wider range of devices across a larger chunk of spectrum — Band 17 is simply a subset of Band 12 — without any side effects. AT&T says that it is actively working with OEMs to have future devices it sells support Band 12 rather than 17, and at the same time will roll out upgrades to its towers to support Band 12-capable devices it does not sell itself.