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Apple to sell 3 variants of iPhone 5 for international LTE coverage

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
The hodgepodge of different LTE frequency bands used by various carriers globally has necessitated three versions of iPhone 5, with the potential for additional new models as Apple signs on other carriers.

Apple built a single, global model of the iPhone up until the beginning of 2011, when it introduced a CDMA-only iPhone 4 version compatible with Verizon. When it introduced iPhone 4S a year ago, Apple incorporated support for both GSM and CDMA networks, resulting in a "world phone," albeit still locked by specific carriers.

The new iPhone 5 now comes in three LTE versions, all of which continue to support the global GSM/UMTS services of iPhone 4S (Quad Band 2G GSM/EDGE on 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz, and Quad Band 3G UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA on 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz) with new support for "4G" DC-HSDPA (which at up to 42Mbps is as fast as most carriers' 4G LTE service). Only one of the three versions continues to support CDMA.

The three models most significantly differ in their support for LTE frequency bands, which are so fragmented by carriers globally that no single phone could possibly bridge every LTE carrier on the globe. To cover its launch carriers' LTE services, Apple has announced these three different models:

AT&T and Canada



A North American GSM A1428 model for use on AT&T and Apple's Canadian partners Bell/Virgin, Rogers/Fido and Telus/Koodo provides LTE support for bands 4 (AWS) and 17 (700b MHz) but not CDMA.

AWS-flavored LTE is exclusive to North America, where it was originally assigned for use as wireless cable. In both the US and Canada, it has been reassigned for mobile voice and data networks. While Canadian carriers used it for LTE deployments, T-Mobile acquired large portions of the U.S. rights to AWS and used it to build out its non-standard 3G UMTS service.

This is one significantly reason why AT&T wanted to acquire T-Mobile two years ago. After the U.S. government intervened, T-Mobile was left with its AWS 3G service incompatible with previous iPhones. It now plans to build out LTE service, although that won't happen until next year, leaving it with the interim option of shifting its 2G GSM service to 3G/4G HSDPA in order to woo unlocked iPhone 4/4S/5 users (which it currently has in place in only a few markets).



Verizon, Sprint and KDDI Japan



A second, CDMA model A1429 will support Sprint and Verizon's CDMA network in the U.S. and KDDI in Japan. In addition to the standard "EVDO rev A" 800 and 1900MHz support on previous CDMA iPhones, iPhone 5 now also supports the slightly faster and more efficient rev B on 2100MHz. Sprint and Verizon once considered upgrading to EVDO rev B before throwing their support behind 4G networks, but Japan's KDDI does use rev B networks. CDMA carriers in India and Russia also support rev B.

More importantly, the CDMA iPhone 5 supports LTE Bands 1 (2100MHz), 3 (1800MHz), 5 (850MHz), 13 (700cMHz, used by Verizon) and 25 (1900MHz, used by Sprint). The first three bands overlap those used by Apple's other carrier partners in Europe and Asia (but not AT&T/Canada), although the company also notes that "band support does not guarantee support on all LTE networks running on the same bands."



GSM/LTE in Europe, Asia and Softbank Japan



A third model for the rest of the world supports GSM carriers that have added support for LTE on Bands 1 (2100MHz), 3 (1800MHz), 5 (850MHz).

This includes Deutsche Telekom in Germany, Everything Everywhere in the UK, Optus/Virgin and Telstra in Australia, Softbank in Japan, SK Telecom and KT in Korea, SmarTone in Hong Kong, and M1 and SingTel in Singapore.



Other LTE carriers



There are several other global LTE carriers Apple could support, either with its existing models or new models, that the company hasn't announced any deals with yet.

In Japan NTT DOCOMO uses Band 1, and a long list of other European carriers are deploying Band 3 LTE. T-Mobile, Cricket and MetroPCS use Band 4 (AWS) in the U.S., so these carriers could all apparently be supported by Apple's existing models, given a carrier agreement.

Other carriers have deployed LTE Bands that none of Apple's existing iPhone 5 versions support. A variety of carriers in Austria, Brazil, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland are all deploying Band 7 (2600 MHz), while others in Germany and Sweden are using Band 20 (800MHz), and a variety of Middle Eastern carriers have started building out Band 38 (2600MHz).

FDD vs TDD-LTE support



iPhone 5 is believed to use Qualcomm's fifth generation MDM9615 baseband chip, which supports both FDD and TDD signaling technologies for LTE.

FDD or Frequency-Division Duplex signaling technology is used by CDMA and WCDMA/UMTS for most modern cellular systems, and is the technology most LTE providers will use, including the networks being built out by AT&T and Verizon in the U.S. Qualcomm owns most of the patents supporting CDMA and WCDMA technologies.

TDD or Time-Division Duplex is an alternative flavor of the LTE standard developed by China, and is being deployed in that country under the name TD-LTE. China developed its own TD-SCDMA and now TD-LTE to avoid paying Qualcomm's patent royalties. By supporting both FDD and TDD technologies, Qualcomm's chipset can enable a single device to work on a wide variety of 3G or 4G networks.

It's not clear if Apple is supporting TDD-LTE (or China's 3G TD-SCDMA) in its existing iPhone 5 versions. This would dictate whether a separate model would be needed to support LTE service in China and India. Apple's partner Softbank initially built out TDD-LTE in Japan, but has since augmented its coverage with standard FDD-LTE.

However the MDM9615 does appear to be giving Apple support for new DC-HSPA+ and EV-DO Rev-B, making it likely that Apple's existing iPhone 5 models will eventually make it to a wider selection of carriers. And even in areas with incompatible LTE networks, iPhone 5 will support very fast HSPA+ networks at similar speeds to today's LTE deployments.
post #2 of 40
holy cow, this is confusing!
post #3 of 40
Why would Apple give the same model number to the Verizon U.S. phone and the European GSM phone? This makes absolutely no sense to me.
post #4 of 40

And for 3rd world countries there is an optional hand crank to recharge the device.

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post #5 of 40
"In Japan NTT DOCOMO uses Band 1, and a long list of other European carriers are deploying Band 3 LTE. T-Mobile, Cricket and MetroPCS use Band 4 (AWS) in the U.S., so these carriers could all apparently be supported by Apple's existing models, given a carrier agreement."

Cricket and MetroPCS use CDMA, and since the US CDMA mdoel doesn't have the AWS band, they're left out of the game. Also this means Verizon's recent AWS purchases wont be of use to the iPhone 5.

Likewise are many small regional carriers including US Cellular, who have deployed LTE on the A B blocks of the 700MHz spectrum (band 12). Again, not supported.
post #6 of 40

"three versions of iPhone 5, with the potential for additional new models as Apple signs on other carriers."

 

Just not T-Mobile, USA.

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post #7 of 40
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post
Just not T-Mobile, USA.

 

Sure, just not via an overpriced, underspecced plan colluded with the other carriers and forced on all users. You actually get to CHOOSE your plan.

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post #8 of 40
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Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

And for 3rd world countries there is an optional hand crank to recharge the device.

perhaps we should all be required to generate some amount of our own power ... doing so might alter our perspective just a tad.
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post #9 of 40
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Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Why would Apple give the same model number to the Verizon U.S. phone and the European GSM phone? This makes absolutely no sense to me.

This confuses me as well. Especially since the CDMA A1429 seems to be a complete superset of the GSM version. It looks like the CDMA version should be able to roam on all of the non-US/Canada LTE networks even though only KDDI is listed on the Apple page.

 

I'm wondering if Apple is making the Verizon version look less global than it really is to make AT&T happy. In the past, the AT&T phone was the one to get for globe-trotters, but now the opposite seems to be true.

post #10 of 40
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Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Sure, just not via an overpriced, underspecced plan colluded with the other carriers and forced on all users. You actually get to CHOOSE your plan.

Well, you would have to prove collusion. Its easy to say. But T-Mobile has the smallest coverage area in the US for every service they offer.

 

And, they lie about having real 4G coverage. They have no LTE yet. I remember the arguments over AT&T calling their HSPA+ service 4G, and people howled! But this never seems to happen with crappy T-Mobile.

 

So, sure they're cheaper, while they're fine where they do have coverage, they don't have much of it, and no LTE at all.

post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronm88 View Post

This confuses me as well. Especially since the CDMA A1429 seems to be a complete superset of the GSM version. It looks like the CDMA version should be able to roam on all of the non-US/Canada LTE networks even though only KDDI is listed on the Apple page.

 

I'm wondering if Apple is making the Verizon version look less global than it really is to make AT&T happy. In the past, the AT&T phone was the one to get for globe-trotters, but now the opposite seems to be true.

It's a matter of the tranceivers. There are only so many bands, and encoding technologies they can encompass. This gets better as time goes on, but we're not there yet.

 

Besides, there are just too many different standards for this. It seems that almost every country has used up most of its spectrum, and fits this in wherever it can. There should be worldwide standards bodies for spectrum - all spectrum. But I suppose it won't happen while we're alive. And then you get those who are terrified of any international agreements, no matter how useful they are.

post #12 of 40

What a debacle.  Thankfully it's just 4G, and I intend to disable it on my new iPhone when I get it, if possible.  Save battery life and don't lose anything I care about.  

post #13 of 40
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Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It's a matter of the tranceivers. There are only so many bands, and encoding technologies they can encompass. This gets better as time goes on, but we're not there yet.

 

Besides, there are just too many different standards for this. It seems that almost every country has used up most of its spectrum, and fits this in wherever it can. There should be worldwide standards bodies for spectrum - all spectrum. But I suppose it won't happen while we're alive. And then you get those who are terrified of any international agreements, no matter how useful they are.

 



LTE BAND
NUMBER
UPLINK
(MHZ)
DOWNLINK
(MHZ)
WIDTH OF BAND (MHZ) DUPLEX SPACING (MHZ) BAND GAP (MHZ)
1 1920 - 1980 2110 - 2170 60 190 130
2 1850 - 1910 1930 - 1990 60 80 20
3 1710 - 1785 1805 -1880 75 95 20
4 1710 - 1755 2110 - 2155 45 400 355
5 824 - 849 869 - 894 25 45 20
6 830 - 840 875 - 885 10 35 25
7 2500 - 2570 2620 - 2690 70 120 50
8 880 - 915 925 - 960 35 45 10
9 1749.9 - 1784.9 1844.9 - 1879.9 35 95 60
10 1710 - 1770 2110 - 2170 60 400 340
11 1427.9 - 1452.9 1475.9 - 1500.9 20 48 28
12 698 - 716 728 - 746 18 30 12
13 777 - 787 746 - 756 10 -31 41
14 788 - 798 758 - 768 10 -30 40
15 1900 - 1920 2600 - 2620 20 700 680
16 2010 - 2025 2585 - 2600 15 575 560
17 704 - 716 734 - 746 12 30 18
18 815 - 830 860 - 875 15 45 30
19 830 - 845 875 - 890 15 45 30
20 832 - 862 791 - 821 30 -41 71
21 1447.9 - 1462.9 1495.5 - 1510.9 15 48 33
22 3410 - 3500 3510 - 3600 90 100 10
23 2000 - 2020 2180 - 2200 20 180 160
24 1625.5 - 1660.5 1525 - 1559 34 -101.5 135.5
25 1850 - 1915 1930 - 1995 65 80 15
 

Many countries have borderslol.gif and carriers don't always have licenses in neighboring countries and because they don't want conflicts with other carriers they choose a different band. Also some carriers are already using certain frequencies for regular 3G service so again to avoid conflict they choose another frequency for LTE. Just because the phone is said to support a certain MHZ you can see by the chart that there is usually more than one band in a given range, For example there are three different bands within 700 MHZ. I don't know if they have said how many of those bands the US GSM version supports. All we know is it works on AT&T 700b spectrum.


Edited by mstone - 9/12/12 at 5:41pm

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post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Why would Apple give the same model number to the Verizon U.S. phone and the European GSM phone? This makes absolutely no sense to me.

 

I think they're the same phone, only split out on the chart to show different global functionality. I think there are only two models, but the US-centric nature of that page makes it appear like there are three.

 

Here's the page in one piece:

 

http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

 

Note that the A1429 listed as 'CDMA' includes all the bands listed just underneath as the A1428 'GSM' . It's a marketing distinction, not a technical one.


Edited by Dlux - 9/12/12 at 5:36pm
post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Well, you would have to prove collusion. Its easy to say. But T-Mobile has the smallest coverage area in the US for every service they offer.

 

And, they lie about having real 4G coverage. They have no LTE yet. I remember the arguments over AT&T calling their HSPA+ service 4G, and people howled! But this never seems to happen with crappy T-Mobile.

 

So, sure they're cheaper, while they're fine where they do have coverage, they don't have much of it, and no LTE at all.

 

My iPhone 3GS is getting 3G from T-Mobile in Santa Clara, CA. The Speed Test app reports 5MBs downlink. :-)

post #16 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

 

I think they're the same phone, only split out on the chart to show different global functionality. I think there are only two models, the US-centric nature of that page make it appear like there are three.

I was suspecting the same as well (I'm hoping its the case). That will make the Verizon phone the one to have for US globetrotters.

post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It's a matter of the tranceivers. There are only so many bands, and encoding technologies they can encompass. This gets better as time goes on, but we're not there yet.

 

Besides, there are just too many different standards for this. It seems that almost every country has used up most of its spectrum, and fits this in wherever it can. There should be worldwide standards bodies for spectrum - all spectrum. But I suppose it won't happen while we're alive. And then you get those who are terrified of any international agreements, no matter how useful they are.

 

Can you explain a bit more? How do you think the tranceivers differ between the versions?

 

If Apple lists the CDMA version as supporting LTE (Bands 1, 3, 5, 13, 25) while the GSM A1429 supports only LTE (Bands 1, 3, 5), shouldn't the CDMA version be able to use LTE anywhere the GSM version can?

post #18 of 40
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Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

What a debacle.  Thankfully it's just 4G, and I intend to disable it on my new iPhone when I get it, if possible.  Save battery life and don't lose anything I care about.  

From my use of LTE on my iPad, I can tell you that it does make a big difference. It's not a minor upgrade. As long as battery life is good, there's no reason to turn it off. And according to Apple's numbers, battery life with LTE is the same as with 3G. That's a major accomplishment!

post #19 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

 

My iPhone 3GS is getting 3G from T-Mobile in Santa Clara, CA. The Speed Test app reports 5MBs downlink. :-)

My iPad using AT&T's LTE here in NYC gets me 12Mbs downlink, and 5Mbs uplink.

post #20 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

What a debacle.  Thankfully it's just 4G, and I intend to disable it on my new iPhone when I get it, if possible.  Save battery life and don't lose anything I care about.  

Apple spec sheet implies that there is no battery penalty to using LTE.

 

Browsing time:
Up to 8 hours on LTE
Up to 8 hours on 3G

post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronm88 View Post

I was suspecting the same as well (I'm hoping its the case). That will make the Verizon phone the one to have for US globetrotters.

 

That's what this article says as well:

 

http://www.gottabemobile.com/2012/09/12/if-you-want-global-lte-roaming-choose-verizon-sprint-iphone-5-models/

 

Note the echo-chamber effect, though. This guy also thinks there are three separate models, based on his reading of The Verge's article stating the same thing. Understandably this is confusing, but I think all the writers should look a little deeper to get to the bottom of this.

post #22 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronm88 View Post

 

Can you explain a bit more? How do you think the tranceivers differ between the versions?

 

If Apple lists the CDMA version as supporting LTE (Bands 1, 3, 5, 13, 25) while the GSM A1429 supports only LTE (Bands 1, 3, 5), shouldn't the CDMA version be able to use LTE anywhere the GSM version can?

Not necessarily. There are differences in the encoding. I can't give exact reasons. I'd have to study it, and it's very complex. But the others are are on different bands, and the transeivers can't carry all of those bands and encoding at the present time. Remember that last year, LTE needed its own chip, and before that, so did both GSM and CDMA.

 

Next year it may be different.

post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronm88 View Post

Apple spec sheet implies that there is no battery penalty to using LTE.

 

Browsing time:
Up to 8 hours on LTE
Up to 8 hours on 3G

Talk time too.

post #24 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Not necessarily. There are differences in the encoding. I can't give exact reasons. I'd have to study it, and it's very complex. But the others are are on different bands, and the transeivers can't carry all of those bands and encoding at the present time. Remember that last year, LTE needed its own chip, and before that, so did both GSM and CDMA.

 

Next year it may be different.

In this case - I think it's a software configuration only.  This page makes it clearer that there are just 2 models, but one model has two software configurations:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3939?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US#iPhone5

 

The rest will just be mobile carrier settings, e.g.: (not updated for iPhone 5 yet):

http://www.unlockit.co.nz/mobilesettings/

 

However if you buy the device from a CDMA carrier they may 'switch off' or 'lock' the GSM features out, ditto the GSM carrier.  If you buy a fully unlocked CDMA/GSM phone then I'm guessing the GSM portion will be easy enough to reconfigure, but not the CDMA part.  So for a global roamer the best bet would be a fully unlocked CDMA/GSM phone from a CDMA carrier (e.g.: Verizon).  In a week or two hopefully there will be some tests done.  

post #25 of 40
At least I finally got an answer to the question I've been asking for well over a year. 7 LTE bands and that's just the major markets. Doesn't feel too good to be right seeing that being right means a split in the HW design.

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post #26 of 40
Not being a comms guy, is this an indication that there is no one chip to cover all the various implementations and that adding multiple chips would have been too complicated?

Hopefully the iPhone 5s, when it comes out, will address this, since as a user I shouldn't need to wrap my head around where my phone is 4G and where it isn't.

Edit: Just read up on something called SDR. Is the logic for dealing with encoding and decoding hardware based or now in software?
post #27 of 40
Originally Posted by ajmas View Post
…is this an indication that there is no one chip to cover all the various implementations and that adding multiple chips would have been too complicated?
Hopefully the iPhone 5s, when it comes out, will address this…

 

Nope. Apple can't just throw money at a problem and solve it, regardless of their determination, chip engineers, or desire to work at it. That will never happen.

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post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmas View Post

Not being a comms guy, is this an indication that there is no one chip to cover all the various implementations and that adding multiple chips would have been too complicated?
Hopefully the iPhone 5s, when it comes out, will address this, since as a user I shouldn't need to wrap my head around where my phone is 4G and where it isn't.
Edit: Just read up on something called SDR. Is the logic for dealing with encoding and decoding hardware based or now in software?

Right, no one chip could do it. There never been a single chip model for any cellular handset to date. There are single chips that combine GSM/UMTS, and later CDMA/CDMA2000/GSM/UMTS, and now CDMA/CDMA2000/GSM/UMTS/LTE, but those aren't all the chips needed. There are all the different operating bands (i.e.: frequencies) that need to be used. Now you can't just add more of these operating band chips to the device.

The baseband chips — in this case the Qualcomm MDM9615 — can only support so many, even if they aren't being used. Now you can interchange them but there is an upper limit to this. There is also a real financial cost in the chips, the complexity and testing of the R&D, the power consumption, internal space, and a few other areas.

This iPhone 5 with 5 LTE operating bands is impressive. I've never seen that many in any LTE device. The new iPad only has 2. If it could support at least 3 back then they could have (theoretically) eliminated an entire set of SKUs by combining the the AT&T and Verizon models. This is impressive. It was only in 2010 that we saw our first products with 5 operating bands in '3G'; first with a Nokia phone and then with the iPhone 4. This is impressive.


edit: I wrote it about in post script last month. Either people didn't understand what I thought was clear or no cared then.
Quote:
PS: I'm most concerned with how Apple will do LTE operating bands for the rest of the world. It's one thing to focus on the US for the iPad but a smartphone is different. While LTE uses the same baseband they do need different HW for different markets (read: countries) for the operating bands. Maybe Qualcomm was able to make them a baseband that allowed for a half-dozen or more operating bands but I doubt it. I'm thinking we'll see LTE iPhones that are now regionalized because of the LTE bands.

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post #29 of 40
The GSM A1429 might just be the CDMA version with the CDMA turned off in the qualcomm chip firmware
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post #30 of 40

What do you mean  "the hodgepodge of different LTE frequency bands used by various carriers globally"?

 

It seems the rest of the world (yes that is more than 3 countries) are using bands 1, 3 and 5 yet the US telcos are left with bands the rest of the world are not using. If you ask me the FCC or whoever is responsible for allocating the bands has it all backwards!

post #31 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by aspenboy View Post

holy cow, this is confusing!

Better hope your iPhone doesn't break when you are traveling. You might not be able to get it replaced at the stores

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post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

This iPhone 5 with 5 LTE operating bands is impressive. I've never seen that many in any LTE device.

 

Actually you have. Just about a week ago on the new Nokia Lumia's and the discussion we had on this site about this very speculation.

 

The Nokia's do Quad-band on 3G and penta-band LTE, whereas the GSM version of the iPhone5 does only Quad-band 3G and tri-band LTE. Interesting as to why the difference? I would have thought they both use Qualcomm chipsets.

 

Also of interest is the difference in supported operating bands:

 

The Nokia supports:

 

LTE 800,900,1800,2100 & 2600

 

iPhone5 supports:

 

850, 1800 & 2100 on the GSM phone. Wonder why the differing selection? The most interesting one is the omission of 2600 MHz band, which seems to be the band where a large number of non-NA networks operate.

 

Would have to do some analysis on subscriber counts and number of operators on each band to see if there is a reason to be found there.

post #33 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by jahonen View Post

 

Actually you have. Just about a week ago on the new Nokia Lumia's and the discussion we had on this site about this very speculation.

 

The Nokia's do Quad-band on 3G and penta-band LTE, whereas the GSM version of the iPhone5 does only Quad-band 3G and tri-band LTE. Interesting as to why the difference? I would have thought they both use Qualcomm chipsets.

 

Also of interest is the difference in supported operating bands:

 

The Nokia supports:

 

LTE 800,900,1800,2100 & 2600

 

iPhone5 supports:

 

850, 1800 & 2100 on the GSM phone. Wonder why the differing selection? The most interesting one is the omission of 2600 MHz band, which seems to be the band where a large number of non-NA networks operate.

 

Would have to do some analysis on subscriber counts and number of operators on each band to see if there is a reason to be found there.

 

I assume that the new Lumia uses a Qualcomm chipset too. Window Phone's chipset support is very poor and usually favours Qualcomm.

 

The new Kindle Fire 4G apparently supports 10 LTE bands.

post #34 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmas View Post

Not being a comms guy, is this an indication that there is no one chip to cover all the various implementations and that adding multiple chips would have been too complicated?
Hopefully the iPhone 5s, when it comes out, will address this, since as a user I shouldn't need to wrap my head around where my phone is 4G and where it isn't.
Edit: Just read up on something called SDR. Is the logic for dealing with encoding and decoding hardware based or now in software?

It's not the chip, it's the power amplifiers. You can only put so many into one device without sacrificing battery life and PCB space. Wait for the iFixit teardown before deciding which model is suitable for globetrotting.

My opinion is that we will never see SDR in a mobile phone. SDR comes at great expense in battery life, and is more useful in devices that can spare the performance (do you remember "winmodem" devices, same idea, anyone who had one can tell you how their computer's performance/laptop battery tanked the second the winmodem was engaged) like a laptop and the PCB space for having all the required power amplifiers. You need one PA per frequency supported. So on a GSM model, you already need 800/900/1800/1900/2100 to support world GSM/UMTS/HSPA+, and then you need a series of different PA's for each LTE band not already covered by the GSM frequencies.

IMO, The reason the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 have "two models" one for CDMA and one for GSM has more to deal with PCB space than it does anything else. The iPad has the same limitation because it's based on the same radio part from the iPhone. They could support every band at once, but would require many PA parts, of which most won't ever be used. I think at some point in the future once every country has rolled out their LTE networks, there will be a "global LTE" model that only contains the PA's for the most common LTE configurations, not all of them, removing support for CDMA and pre-LTE fallbacks. We're not at this stage yet.

The iPod Touch however is basically the previous generation iPhone PCB minus the radio entirely. That's why there's no "data-only" wireless configuration for it, it would cost the same as the iPhone if it did.
post #35 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by jahonen View Post

Actually you have. Just about a week ago on the new Nokia Lumia's and the discussion we had on this site about this very speculation.

The Nokia's do Quad-band on 3G and penta-band LTE, whereas the GSM version of the iPhone5 does only Quad-band 3G and tri-band LTE. Interesting as to why the difference? I would have thought they both use Qualcomm chipsets.

Also of interest is the difference in supported operating bands:

The Nokia supports:

LTE 800,900,1800,2100 & 2600

iPhone5 supports:

850, 1800 & 2100 on the GSM phone. Wonder why the differing selection? The most interesting one is the omission of 2600 MHz band, which seems to be the band where a large number of non-NA networks operate.

Would have to do some analysis on subscriber counts and number of operators on each band to see if there is a reason to be found there.

Nice! Looks like I'm a week behind on tech news.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

I assume that the new Lumia uses a Qualcomm chipset too. Window Phone's chipset support is very poor and usually favours Qualcomm.

The new Kindle Fire 4G apparently supports 10 LTE bands.

I'm not so sure of that. The stated it supports LTE and that it supports 10 bands but I don't recall them specifically stating 10 LTE bands. It seems pretty ambiguous. Between the iPad or iPhone Apple support more than 10 bands on the device.

It would be cool if Amazon was able to develop a variable 10 LTE radio chip but that seems overly advanced for a company that's still very new to HW. Why wasn't Apple or Qualcomm able to do this?

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post #36 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by amiga_tone View Post

What do you mean  "the hodgepodge of different LTE frequency bands used by various carriers globally"?

 

It seems the rest of the world (yes that is more than 3 countries) are using bands 1, 3 and 5 

 

Not really. Europe, for example, is using bands 3, 7 and 20 (1800, 2600 and 800 MHz). While other smartphone makers are bringing now LTE smartphones to the European market which support at least these three, the iPhone 5 only supports band 3 (1800 MHz). Even for the Deutsche Telekom network in Germany (one of the compatible networks advertised by Apple), this is not without problem: DT uses 800 MHz and 1800 MHz, the lower frequency is used mostly in rural areas. The rural 4G LTE coverage on 800 MHz is probably by now better than the rural 3G coverage (also due to regulatory requirements). Unfortunately, as a DT customer, you will not be able to take advantage of this with an iPhone 5. All in all, the choice of frequency bands is rather disappointing from a European perspective...

post #37 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by amiga_tone View Post

What do you mean  "the hodgepodge of different LTE frequency bands used by various carriers globally"?

 

It seems the rest of the world (yes that is more than 3 countries) are using bands 1, 3 and 5 yet the US telcos are left with bands the rest of the world are not using. If you ask me the FCC or whoever is responsible for allocating the bands has it all backwards!

 

Currently bands 3, 4 & 7 are by far the more common ones if you count the number of operators and countries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LTE_networks

 

1 & 5 seem to be very rare as far as current deployments go (only seen in South Korea, Japan & Philippines).

post #38 of 40

I asked this question in another thread but it's more appropriate here, so... any guesses as to which version will support TD-LTE on China Mobile?

post #39 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by jahonen View Post

 

Currently bands 3, 4 & 7 are by far the more common ones if you count the number of operators and countries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LTE_networks

 

1 & 5 seem to be very rare as far as current deployments go (only seen in South Korea, Japan & Philippines).

Except that South Korea & Japan are countries with some of the most extensive cell networks - making them a very attractive market.

post #40 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by elehcdn View Post

Except that South Korea & Japan are countries with some of the most extensive cell networks - making them a very attractive market.

 

That's why the "as far as deployments go" and the previous post I made about "need to analyze subscriber numbers at some point". The other thing is that both SK and Japan also deploy the 1800MHz band. So the 2100 band is still the odd one out and surprising that they selected to support that instead of 2600MHz, which would have given more in terms of the number of countries with "extensive cell networks". So the subscriber number calculations per band would still clarify the issue a bit.

 

The cell networks there are extensive, but no more extensive than say the European ones, or the ones in Singapore, or Australia, or Malaysia or...

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