If you're running a Galaxy S7 or S7 edge on T-Mobile, today's update just made your phone a lot faster — network-wise, that is. Specifically, the second part an update promised back in September (and rolled out in October) enables connection speeds up to 256QAM for downloads and 64QAM for uploads in markets that support it.

This comes after an update was issued for the phones to enable 4x4 MIMO (multiple input, multiple output), a technology that has long been used to improved throughput on wireless devices from home routers to smartphones — essentially making the phone the world's fastest, at least in theory. While most people will never experience the theoretical peak speeds of 400Mbit/s, it's nice to know that T-Mobile continues to push its mandate of being the most technologically-forward in the U.S.

There are practical benefits to this, especially for those who aren't in markets densely populated by T-Mobile towers. Because 256QAM connections rely on having a very low signal-to-noise ratio between the phones and towers, people are going to experience these faster speeds on less crowded towers, and in places where there is much less multipath — signals bouncing all over the place due to tall glass buildings and tons of interference. T-Mobile says that all of its cell sites have been updated to support 256QAM, and that 319 markets support the previously-released 4x4 MIMO. T-Mobile's LG V20 should also support both of these network improvements, but only supports 3x carrier aggregation out of the box, according to Cellular Insights.

The update should be rolling out to all T-Mobile Galaxy S7 and S7 edge customers now, and Reddit users are noting speed test increases in the realm of 10% to 25% depending on the market. What are you seeing?

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge


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