Samsung’s newest flagships, the Galaxy S8 and S8+, will be Band 66 compatible — meaning they’ll work on Freedom Mobile’s “traffic-free” LTE network. The carrier, which is owned by Shaw and operates in Ontario, Alberta and B.C., confirmed this support to MobileSyrup today.
Freedom (formerly known as Wind) purchased AWS-3 Band 66 LTE spectrum at an auction held in March 2015. The carrier spent $56.4 million CAD on three successful bids in Southern Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia in order to create its first LTE network, which launched in November 2016. The network tested well against Canada’s major carriers in MobileSyrup‘s tests, with a 45.81Mbps average download speed.
As of now, the devices that are compatible with Band 66 LTE are the LG V20, ZTE Grand X 4, Samsung Galaxy A5, LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8.
In the U.S., major carrier T-Mobile owns a large portion of the AWS-3 Band 66 spectrum, which likely puts pressure on manufacturers to begin producing Band 66 supported devices.
Apart from Band 66 support, Samsung has yet to release full information on compatible bands. We do know, however, that the device supports 4G LTE Cat. 16, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM Bluetooth v 5.0 (LE up to 2Mbps), ANT+, USB Type-C and NFC.
Update 30/03/17: Samsung has provided us with a full list of supported bands.
2G GSM: GSM850, GSM900, DCS1800, PCS1900
2G CDMA: N/A
3G UMTS: B1 (2100), B2 (1900), B4 (AWS), B5 (850), B8 (900)
3G CDMA: N/A
3G TD-SCDMA: B34 (2010), B39 (1880)
4G FDD LTE: B1 (2100), B2 (1900), B3 (1800), B4 (AWS), B5 (850), B7 (2600), B8 (900), B12 (700), B13 (700), B17 (700), B18 (800), B19 (800), B20 (800), B25 (1900), B29 (700), B30 (2300), B66 (AWS-3)
4G TDD LTE: B38 (26o0), B39 (1900), B40 (2300), B41 (2500)
Update 11/07/17: Some users of unlocked Samsung Galaxy S8 devices on the Freedom Mobile network are now warning that phone calls or other drops from LTE are causing their devices to drop to 3G and remain there. Freedom Mobile has confirmed that Band 66 compatible devices that are not sold through the carrier are “not guaranteed” to work on its LTE network.