With the terrible situation in Puerto Rico, Apple is now working to do something about it. The company is working with wireless carrier AT&T to extend and activate cell service for users in Puerto Rico. LTE Band 8, a provisional LTE band that has recently been approved, will be activated in Puerto Rico.
LTE Band 8 has not been activate in the US and Puerto Rico and has not been licensed, but through this, iPhones will be allowed to connect to Google’s Project Loon balloons in the area. Since LTE is not licensed in Band 8 yet, many phones are not equipped to use the band.
With the iPhone, if you have a device that’s iPhone 5c and up running iOS 10 or higher, you can download a carrier setting which will allow you to take advantage of the cellular service via Project Loon. LTE Bank 8 is a 900 Mhz band, meaning better overall range over lower frequency. This helps device get cellular service at longer ranges, and better overall performance.
The service is already live. Apple says that it will prompt users to download carrier settings this week. “We are working with AT&T to activate cellular service for iPhone users in Puerto Rico as the island recovers from Hurricane Maria,” according to 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.”