Sunday, 16 September 2012

The iPhone 5 super slim, super LTE

Where ever you are in the word, chances are there's a iPhone 5, for you (your territory anyway). It's often said we are not all created equally, in 5's case the industrial design is outstanding and world leading. Meaning your iPhone 5 is precision and your neighbours is too.

Here's the thing, and more accurately all networks are not created equally. This has for the most part always been the same, wether you measure its size, speed, consistency, coverage or customer care.

In the UK Apple will release Model A1429 (GSM model) which will work on existing 3G networks, ticks for all the major operators there. What has been brought to an iPhone, for the first time, although not the first time to market is compatibility with the next generation network, 4G or LTE (Long Term Evolution). The UK iPhone 5 will be capable of working on 4G networks with these bandwidths (parts of the radio spectrum) band 1 (2100 MHz) , band 3 (1800 MHz) and band 5 (850 MHz). I found this info on Apples website, although not the UK one, the US one. Apple UK's site unsurprisingly has no real mention of 4G, just this statement "Next-generation mobile data and wireless connectivity.
iPhone 5 supports more networks all over the world. That includes advanced networks such as HSPA, HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA. Browse, download and stream content at ultra-fast speeds..."

The Killer feature of the iPhone 5, should be super fast network connections. In the US, where 4G is more established this maybe the case, here in the UK, we are behind the times, behind with our networks and behind with our download speeds.

For the UK, band 5 that's the 850MHz part of the signal spectrum is already being used, as far as I can tell too, there are no plans to free any or part of this band up presently.

Band 1 (2100 MHz) is I believe currently being used by all 3G networks and may become available to O2 and Vodafone, in the long run.

Band 3 (1800 MHz) In November 2911, Everything Everywhere, now EE asked Ofcom to consider a change in use for it's 1800 MHz band, the change now granted will allow EE to launch 4G comparatively quickly by its rivals standards. So here in the UK, EE customers will shortly be able to enjoy 4G speeds. The 3 network has purchased a small part of EE's band, allowing EE to comply with the terms of granting them 4G. Three will launch its 4G network sometime in 2013.

Ofcom's 2100 MHz auction, due sometime next year will provide more scope for UK 4G, but is currently not supported in iPhone 5. Could it be when these bands become live, Apple will release another model iPhone compatible with theses frequencies?

So at the moment 4G in the UK is in its infancy and therefor it's tricky to predict who will have the best 4G network. Or wether its worth jumping to EE, to take advantage of quicker speeds, knowing for the start anyway 4G service will be patchy, like 3G was when it started.

While we wait for 4G, I would like to know what UK networks support DC-HSDPA (which stands for dual-cell high speed packet access), then we could all make a more informed choice about which network to choose.

After searching online for that very question I found this cnet article, posted in May
Let's assume for a moment say, O2 has a usable DC-HSDPA network, what will my iPhones network indicator display 3.5G or H for DC-HSDPA?

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