AT&T plans to sell a Windows 10 phone that’s incompatible with their network
NEW YORK CITY — Nine days ago, AT&T announced they were selling the Microsoft Lumia 950.
Turns out, an investigation shows that Microsoft’s 5.2 inch high-end Windows 10 phone is incompatible with AT&T’s LTE network.
AT&T has eight LTE bands on their network: Band 1 (2.1 GHz), Band 2 (PCS), Band 4 (1.7/2.1 GHz), Band 5 (850 MHz), Band 12 (700 MHz), Band 17 (700 MHz), Band 29 (700 MHz) and Band 30 (WCS).
However, three of the network’s LTE bands are noticeably absent on the Lumia 950: Bands 17, 29 and 30.
These are not small omissions, either. Band 17 is one of AT&T’s two primary LTE bands. That band propelled Big Orange to have the nation’s largest LTE network as of October 10, 2015. Band 29 is another important LTE band, because it penetrates indoors. It will be implemented in areas such as Northwest Maine and Gatlinburg, Tenn., where Bands 12 and 17 coverage are spotty.
Finally, Band 30, known as WCS, is now live, and is overlaying areas where Bands 12 and 17 exist. This will provide AT&T with unusual carrier aggregation, but one that will completely trounce archrival Verizon Wireless.
Sadly, though, unless there’s a new Lumia 950 (or Lumia 950 XL, for that matter) in production that I don’t know about, customers on AT&T will not be able to take advantage of this carrier aggregation.
That’s a crying shame. This, not Microsoft’s exclusion of Verizon from selling their phones, is precisely why the Lumia 950, formerly known as Talkman, will fail.