Saturday, March 10, 2012

4G band differences mean intl. 'new iPads' will be able to use AT&T's LTE network, but not their own

It's already known that the Verizon and AT&T versions of the "new iPad" will be different models, because of differences between the two networks (and Verizon said long ago, the networks would be incompatible). It's also known that the LTE coverage of the "new iPad" will be limited to North America. However, Apple has now been clarified what will happen for devices purchased overseas when they come to the U.S.: they will be able to use AT&T's LTE network.

iPad Cases
These devices will not, however, work on any LTE networks overseas. 4G LTE is only supported on the AT&T and Verizon networks in the US, and the Bell, Rogers and Telus networks in Canada.

For LTE, Apple is only supporting the 700 and 2100MHz bands with the "new iPad." In Europe, LTE is being rolled out on the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands.

claro Glam for iPhone 4/4S
Before anyone asks why the operators can't unify on all these frequencies, there are a number of reasons, including (in the U.S.) Verizon certainly doesn't want it to be easy for someone to jailbreak an iPad and use AT&T's LTE network, and vice versa, but there are also limitations because of the spectrum each carrier owns.

During the "new iPad" event on Wednesday, Phil Schiller, Apple's SVP of worldwide product marketing noted that 4G LTE bands differ from country to country, but that there's every reason to believe that they will follow the path of 3G and unify at some point in the future.

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