The idea of more spectrum to be provided to wireless providers here in the US is something we all would like to see. And the Advanced Wireless Spectrum (AWS) gives that by providing more spectrum to carriers in lower bandwidths. And given the crowded airwaves, anything to reduce carriers from hitting bottlenecks is a good thing. We all want to be able to use our smartphones in the way that we choose. Obviously, wireless carriers try and restrict our use of data by creating tiered data plans and charging us more as we use more. That is an effort to make sure that everyone has a chance to use the data bandwidth. But, if they can get more spectrum to spread that around on, then the need to restrict what people are doing become less of an issue.
Various carriers who have purchased the recently made available spectrum are providing that service to selected phones. As an example, the FCC has approved the use of the iPhone 5 for T-Mobile’s AWS spectrum this past March and a different model iPhone is currently selling. So, the question is when is the popular Galaxy S3 going to see the use of AWS 4G LTE spectrum.
The short answer is the S3 is not going to be using the Verizon AWS airwaves. There are a number of links you can find to unlock your Verizon Galaxy S3 to get this. But, the Galaxy S4 will be using the AWS airwaves this year, but probably late in the year as reported by Bloomberg News this week. The great news for Galaxy S4 owners is that Verizon will be opening this up by doing a software update to the phone.
Other carriers in the US are providing AWS already for the Galaxy S4 including Cricket, C Spire, MetroPCS and U.S. Cellular. At the moment, it appears that there is a small number of smartphones using AWS airwaves at the various carriers. The value in this is they are spreading the usage of the airwaves around to reduce congestion. And that is a good thing.