The iPhone 5 unveiling is just two days away and to that end the WSJ recently reported that Apple’s next-gen smartphone will, as anticipated, be coming with 4G LTE support and will work globally.
Apple’s next iPhone will work on the fastest wireless networks around the world—including in the U.S., Europe and Asia—though it is unlikely to be available on every carrier, people familiar with the matter said
The technical compatibility with so-called LTE networks removes a competitive danger for Apple and gives carriers a chance to sell their fastest data services to Apple’s base of iPhone customers.
It remains unclear which carriers in which countries will be left out of the iPhone 5/4G loop, but Wednesday should provide us a clearer picture of what to expect.
The Journal relays a factoid from International Data Corp analyst who estimates that there are “36 LTE bands around the world, compared with 22 bands for the most popular version of 3G technology.”
While building a phone that supports multiple bands of LTE is possible, it presents a significant technical challenge to design chips needed to support all of the different bands.
“It’s like patchwork quilt in terms of spectrum,” said Bill Davidson, senior vice president of Qualcomm Inc., which designs LTE computer chips. “It will be impractical to have all of the bands.”
The iPhone 5 festivities will kick off in San Francisco this Wednesday at 10am Pacific Time.