We recently made an explanatory article showing how you, with your current iPhone, can do a simple test and see which band (3, 7 or 28) it uses most to connect to 4G. That way, you have enough background and information to make the decision whether or not it is worth buying an iPhone XS, XS Max or American XR, which does not have 700MHz APT support.
As we said, the fact that your current iPhone connects to band 28 often does not mean that you will not have 4G if you buy an American XS / XS Max / XR, since this device can, yes, pick up the signal from another nearby antenna that uses bands 3 or 7. Obviously, these antennas may even have the weakest signal, they may be further apart, resulting in a connection not so good. But the fact is that you will hardly lose access to the 4G signal due to the absence of the band 28.
One thing is for sure: you will not have access to what some operators call 4.5G. If you have no idea what this is about, I'll explain.
Before explaining what 4.5G, we need to understand what 4G itself. This technology, obviously, provides higher speeds than the old 2G and 3G networks, as well as having a greater spectrum efficiency, which in practice means allowing more devices to connect to the same network without losses. In addition, 4G has a lower latency (the time it takes for a data packet to go from one designated point to another).
It is worth noting, as the Tecnoblog informed that here in Brazil 4G is synonymous with LTE (acronym for long term evolution, or long-term evolution). In the United States, operators have chosen to use the name 4G for HSPA + networks, which in Brazil are known as 3G + or 3G Plus (because here we like to invent fashion). So what we know here as 4G is called 4G LTE. In short: 4G here is the same as LTE l.
Calm down, we'll reach 4.5G; before him, the 4G + (applause for the operators' marketing departments, really!). The big one, in fact, the only difference from it to 4G is the ability to connect to two bands / frequencies or spectrum bands and this technology is called LTE Advanced and also known as carrier aggregation (or carrier aggregation). Simply put, 4G + increases the data transfer capacity between the device and the antenna.
You see, there is no point in being in a region covered by two different frequencies to use 4G +. In addition to the operator having to necessarily support the technology, you need a device compatible with it. The good news is that Brazilian operators and all iPhones starting from the 6s model are compatible with LTE Advanced.
And finally we come to 4.5G which, as you might imagine, is an improved 4G +. Also known as LTE Advanced Pro, this evolution has three characteristics: the fact that it combines three different frequency bands / bands (multiplying the data speed, since you have access to more than one network at the same time); MIMO 44 (which allows communication between the device and the operator with four transmitting and four receiving antennas); and 256QAM modulation (which allows for greater spectral efficiency, transmitting more data simultaneously).
In theory (always it), a 4.5G network can be up to 10x faster than a 4G, depending on the operator and the region. And these variations happen because 4.5G is not a standard approved and established in the world, like 4G or the future 5G. We are talking about implementations and improvements following the standard of 4G networks and, therefore, there is no consensus in the industry around this type of network, as pointed out by TechTudo.
In addition to an operator that supports this technology, you also need a device with such capacity. Here, again, the four largest Brazilian operators offer 4.5G networks, as well as iPhones 7 or higher.
What to do to use 4G + or 4.5G?
You basically don't have to do anything. It is enough to have a plan in an operator that offers the service (basically all the major ones in Brazil) and to have a compatible device (in the iPhone case, as I said above, minimally the 6s for 4G + and the 7 for 4.5G). As always, even if the operator offers the technology, everything depends on the region for the region. But basically that. ?
What about the American XS, XS Max and XR iPhones?
As I said above, 4,5G combines the three bands currently available in Brazil for mobile phone networks (3, 1,800MHz; 7, 2,600MHz; and 28, 700MHz APT) to offer this higher speed. So, of course, the American XS, XS Max and XR iPhones * no * support 4.5G here because * no * connect to band 28.
Obviously, the Brazilian, European and Asian models have support for the three bands and connect to a good LTE Advanced Pro networks available in Brazil in regions where operators already have the three bands available and support this technology, that is.
How to see if your iPhone is using 4G + or 4.5G
We need to summon the Field Test Mode iPhone for this task:
- Open the Phone app;
- In the Keyboard tab, type * 3001 # 12345 # * and send a call;
- Comes LTE CA Status;
- If nothing appears, wait a few seconds / minutes.
The CA rightly the initial for carrier aggregation. In this option, all bands are listed (in the line dl_rf_band) which you are connected to at the exact moment of the test.
In my example above (here at home and using an iPhone X approved by Anatel), the device always connects to a maximum of two bands. That is, here in my region, I * can't * access 4.5G, only 4G +.
On the other hand, note that in the two examples I am connected to band 28 if I had an iPhone XS, XS Max or American XR, I would probably only have a 4G connection and 4G +, since the devices in question * do not * connect to band 28 (700MHz APT).
That is, if there is only one there, a sign that you are on 4G; two, on 4G +; three, at 4.5G. ?