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Apple and AT&T are Partnering to bring Band 8 LTE to those in Puerto Rico

Apple and AT&T are Partnering to bring Band 8 LTE to those in Puerto Rico

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As many know, Puerto Rico is still struggling to get back on its feet after two horrific hurricanes hit the island over the last few weeks and months. Apple and AT&T are partnering to try and get those still stuck on the island connected to love ones and find sources of information to stay safe and find basic necessities. Here’s what you need to know.

TechCrunch first reported the development, and Apple later confirmed it telling Techcrunch:

We are working with AT&T to activate cellular service for iPhone users in Puerto Rico as the island recovers from Hurricane Maria,” read an Apple statement. “Apple engineers have created a special carrier settings update which users connected to Wi-Fi or who are connected to a cellular network will automatically be prompted to download throughout the week. The update allows iPhone customers with iPhone 5c and later models running iOS 10 or higher, to connect to a provisional band on the AT&T network so they can be in touch with loved ones and get services in this time of need.
— Apple Representative on Carrier Update

LTE Band 8 has a improved rage over traditional LTE allowing it to reach more devices and distribute its load of data across a number of cell towers. Now, how are they going to get cell service to people with so many power lines and cell towers destroyed? Great question! Last week Alphabet started to launch weather balloons with cellular connection equipment attached to them, allowing a series of balloons to act as mobile cell towers. The initiative (which we wrote about yesterday) is called Project Loom, and AT&T is the primary sponsor of the project, making AT&T the best choice for Apple to partner with to increase the ability for people on the ground to have basic communications.

The carrier update has already been made available for those in Puerto Rico. The only potential problem is that users will need Wi-Fi or cell service to download the update. So, if you are in contact with anyone in Puerto Rico, or if you are reading this and are living in Puerto Rico be aware of the update! This could help save lives.

This is simply a classy move on Apple, AT&T, and Google’s part. Sure, they could have asked for more money, or not have done anything at all, but instead they are using technology to help air fellow humans. It is as simple as that. Please share this article so those affected by the hurricanes have a higher chance of being made aware of the update! As a world, we are all in this relief effort together, and the more we do as a whole the better the outcome will be.

What do you think of this deployment of technology? Do you think we should be using even more technology to aide those on the ground? Let myself and other readers know below, but most importantly make sure to share this article as it could help save a life or connect family members.

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