AT&T, Sprint and Verizon say no to download booster feature on Galaxy S5


The highly touted "download booster" feature in the new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone, which bonds both Wi-Fi and LTE radios together to accelerate the download of large files, has apparently been disabled by some carriers.

In the United States, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon have all shipped the S5 without the feature, with few explanations offered. AT&T responded with a statement only after an initial report that was published on FierceWireless, noting that "We are evaluating Samsung's download booster feature. We thoroughly test new software, features and functionality to ensure that it meets our standards for a quality user experience."

Of course, it is worth noting that the Galaxy S5 smartphone implements 802.11ac Wi-Fi capabilities using Broadcom's 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi chip over 80MHz of channel bandwidth. This allows for up to an 867Mbps PHY rate, which means LTE is the inferior option and hence unlikely to be of much help in most circumstances around the home and office.

Indeed, ExtremeTech noted that the cellular connection will only be used if "there's a significant gain to be had; if you're downloading at 50Mbps over Wi-Fi, it won't use your 5Mbps LTE link." And then there's the problem of cellular data cap that almost everyone is under. Ars Technica adopted a more practical stance relating to data caps by observing how an average LTE user with a 2GB data cap could "blow through [their] monthly allowance in 15 minutes."

Considering the limited benefits, the disabling of the download booster appears more of a desire to reduce the likelihood of users unknowingly exceeding their data caps--and racking up angry calls to the support lines--than any sinister motives.

For more:
- check out this article at Ars Technica

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AT&T, Sprint and Verizon omit download booster from their Samsung Galaxy S5 variants [FierceWirelessTech]
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