LTE Band 41 is said to be the key to Sprint’s 5G ambitions in the next few years — ambitions only to be fulfilled if it ever gets proper money to do so. In any case, the 2.5GHz band is also a critical short-range frequency to its current 4G network. It’s speedy if you can nab it.
But a couple of recent flagships featuring the Snapdragon 835 chipset from Qualcomm have actually dropped reception from the band more often than they should’ve. Apparently, this bug affected the Samsung Galaxy S8 and HTC U11. PCMag reports with some help from Ookla Speedtest data that a new firmware update for Sprint and unlocked units for the two devices has helped boost speeds since June.
Comparing the first calendar week of May and the first calendar week of July, Galaxy S8 average download speeds went up by 4.5Mbps to 26.4Mbps. Internal testing from Sprint showed a 7.3Mbps improvement to 28.9Mbps downloads from April 24 to June 26. No appreciable changes in upload speeds were noticed.
HTC U11 download speeds jumped to 27.9Mbps, an average gain of 8.7Mbps.
The network says that its firmware update had an 85 percent installation rate on Galaxy S8 units, but with further participation, it could gain that extra 1Mbps to knock off Verizon’s average recorded speed of 27.4Mbps on that same device and take third place behind the traditional GSM networks.
Oddly enough, according to Ookla, Galaxy S7 units on Sprint have averaged around 30Mbps for downloads in the May and July periods.