Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

BLOG: iPhone 5: A catalyst for LTE roaming?

Bill Dudley, Group Director, Operator Services at Sybase 365 | Sept. 18, 2012
This device will help sow the seeds for LTE roaming.

Like many of you, I watched a live blog of the iPhone 5 announcement.  I do like the improvements and for once, most of the rumours were true.  I won't go into things like the larger display, camera, and docking connector changes.

At first, I was disappointed that there was not an NFC chip - something competitor Samsung has included in the Galaxy III.  Of course there are others as well. But for lack of a ubiquitous Point of Sale capability, this is still likely a little used feature and a critical mass of consumers using a common NFC technology is still several years away. But, Apple will introduce Passbook in iOS 6.0 and this will help build that critical mass of consumers - first using it for tickets, boarding passes, coupons and probably other CRM-related materials. It will likely be a short jump to "mobile wallet" functionality - probably a decision that we'll all look back upon and recall about how Apple was right to wait. I, for one, am excited about this iOS 6.0 feature; however, there is a growing debate on Passbook and the lack of NFC.

Otherwise, I am quite excited to see LTE support in the new iPhone 5 and global LTE support, at that. Currently there are actually three versions that are launching:

  • Model A1428 (GSM) - Supports AWS and 700b LTE Bands for AT&T as well as Bell, Rogers, and Telus in Canada
  • Model A1429 (CDMA) - Supports 2100, 1800, 850, 700c and 1900 MHz LTE Bands.  For the US - that's Sprint and Verizon as well as KDDI in Japan. (that's five bands - impressive!)
  • Model A1429 (GSM) - Supports 2100, 1800, 850 LTE Bands. Operators include Deutsche Telecom (T-Mobile) Germany; Everything Everywhere in the UK; Optus and Telstra in Australia; Softbank in Japan, SK Telecom, and KT in South Korea; SmarTone in Hong Kong and M1 and SingTel in Singapore.

Note that there are overlaps between Model A1429 CDMA and Model A1429 GSM across 850, 1800, and 2100 frequencies - meaning it would be likely that, once LTE Roaming is operational, that a Verizon or Sprint subscriber could theoretically connect to Everything Everywhere in the UK or roam to Optus or Telsta; however, it also depends on the bands that each operator supports. For example, right now, Verizon really only supports the 700c band. That means an Optus subscriber might not be able to roam to Verizon's network in the US, using their iPhone 5; however, the Verizon subscriber's iPhone 5 does support 5 LTE bands and would be able to roam.


1  2  Next Page 

Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.