New iPad Won’t Support European LTE Networks

New iPad Won’t Support European LTE Networks

Several reports that surfaced during the days preceding Apple’s latest iPad event suggested that while the U.S. would get LTE connectivity in the new device, it would be stripped out for those in Europe, where LTE networks are yet to launch.

To everyone’s surprise, Apple left the LTE chip in for us Europeans. But the problem is it won’t support European LTE networks.

The 4G iPad that became available to Europeans through the Apple online store yesterday is the same model that was built for AT&T in the U.S., compatible with 700MHz and 2100MHz LTE bands. However, the LTE networks that will start rolling out in Europe later this year are expected to use the 800MHz, 1800MHz, and 2600MHz cellular bands.

That means that if you buy the 4G iPad now in the hope you’ll be able to use it on a 4G network in Europe when one arrives, you’re probably going to be disappointed with your purchase. Of course, you’ll still get 3G connectivity, but if you want to see a 4G logo in your iPad’s status bar, you’ll have to hop on a plan to the U.S. and stick an AT&T micro SIM into it.

This may not be a problem for you if you’re a frequent visitor to the U.S., but I’m guessing that for most people who pre-ordered the 4G device in Europe yesterday, it’ll be disappointing news.

If you pre-ordered a 4G iPad for Europe, how do you feel about this news?

[via SlashGear]

  • lobbin

    The LTE-chip they are using must support the european frequencies as well?

  • thunergiu

    In Switzerland you get with HSPA+ on the Swisscom network a theoretical 42Mbit/sec download speed with the new iPad. For me that’s fast enough. Especially because you never get this speeds in real life, wether with LTE nor with HSPA+.

  • IanChaps

    The tech spec for iPad on the UK Apple web site seems to contradict the essence of this article.

    Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)Bluetooth 4.0 technologyWi-Fi + 4G model: LTE (700, 2100 MHz);3 UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)Data only4
    I understand that HSPA+ is being rolled out in the UK & Europe which to my understanding is 4G

  • Peter Andersen

    HSPA+ is not what really is considered as 4G, but just an evolved version of UMTS. Recently US operators have begun the market HSPA+ as 4G-like speeds.

  • marc

    I ordered a 4G model here in germany, and I already knew that U.S.-LTE won’t work here. But there are HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA which should work here. If I had to pay an extra amount for LTE which I cannot use here, I’d be disappointed – but there is no price increase. I’m fine :) 

  • Hans Peter Grøndal

    4G only in marketing. HSPA+ is not called 4G i Europe. It would be considered deceptive marketing and therefore illigal. LTE is for that matter not generally accepted to be 4G. In Denmark I have no problem getting LTE speeds of +40Mb/s, but it uses 1800Mhz and 2600Mhz (and 900Mhz next year).

    How stupid to marked a device, not designed for use in the markeds where it’s going to sell.

  • markbyrn

    ,,,,, .where LTE networks are yet to launch….so Apple is suppose to support a unicorn?

  • cjl

    LTE networks has been launched a year already in most European countries. 

  • John Smith

    They can relax they still use 3G if 4G is not using those frequencies. We have the Same issue in the U.S. Where the unlocked iPhones do not wont on T-mobiles 3G or 4G Frequency.

  • Sami Tolonen

    I live in Sweden, a country that has had a LTE-network up and running since December 2009.
    Here we have two carriers providing 4G LTE connectivity, on 800mhz, 900mhz and 2600mhz bands.
    I also know that our neighbouring countries, finland, norway, estonia, latvia, denmark and germany have 4G LTE networks up and running. I was looking forward to this iPad mainly so i could use it on a fast 4G network, since our 3G networks are awfully crowded and slow. The carriers are pretty much “giving” there 3G-customers 4G-connectivity in order to ease the pressure on there 3G networks..
    Seems foolish of Apple to ignore the need for these countries, and the carriers here.

    Im for one hoping for a “european” version of this new iPad..

    (note: all european 4G carriers have the 800mhz and 2600mhz bands in common, i think its by regulations of the EU)

  • CharliK

    Apple was pretty clear where LTE will work so if you ordered without fully reading, that’s on you. 

    And it isn’t like they increased the price. It as $629-829 before, same now. So you aren’t paying more for something you can’t use since there’s still the 3g to fall back on. 

  • Shaun Green

    I think we are starting to see the signs of Steve’s passing. What a f*** up. Tim Cook doesn’t know his arse from his elbow. The iPad market share is down from 95% at launch to 56% today. I’m not going to upgrade coz I wanted a 128GB version. Absolutely no point paying all that money to upgrade my 64GB iPad 2 for a 64GB iPad 3 no matter how good the screen is. I don’t take any photos and most of the video content in iTunes is still SD anyway so what’s the point.

  • Linx Dayne

    …. Really guys. It is a bloody portable device and people do travel internationally! So if you travel you can obviously take advantage of the local networks. There was no price increase for it so what is the problem….

  • aardman

    Well thank god there’s no law that says you have to upgrade from an iPad 2 to the new iPad, huh?  :-)

  • Agree (with Alumnus)

    Hans… do you mean ‘stupid’ or perhaps ‘arrogant’?

    since I live on the other side of ‘the pond’ (but visit your side of ‘the pond’ once or twice a year) I think I vote for ‘arrogant’…

    by the way, I love what the Danes and the Swedes did with Øresund Bridge… we cannot get even much smaller scale co-operation between the state governments of new york and new jersey… :)

    :)

  • Agree (with Alumnus)

    shhh… don’t give the Virginia republicans any ideas or they will make it a law… and Governor T.V. Probe will sign it!

  • jorgene

    If this is true, it’s a major eff-up from Apple.

  • Lars Pallesen

    As a fellow Dane I’m with you. I’m flabbergasted if this is really true!
    Apple is going to sell LTE (4G) versions of the iPad in Europe … that don’t work with any European LTE network?! WFT?! …
    If this is true it’s a MAJOR fuck up on Apple’s part!

    They can make two or three different LTE-versions for the US market to make it work on all US carriers, but they won’t make ONE single LTE iPad version that works on the European LTE networks?? I can’t believe it.

  • Lars Pallesen

    Nevermind the travelers who spend a week in Paris or Rome! Some of us actually LIVE here in Europe – Full time!

    How would you, the US consumers, feel if you bought the new iPad for its much advertised LTE/4G capabilities, only to discover that it doesn’t work with any LTE network in the USA?! Class action lawsuit, right?

    Well, THAT’S the situation awaiting European buyers of the new 4G iPad!
    Its great new feature, the 4G LTE chip DOES NOT WORK IN EUROPE!

  • Richard

    What questions i have are as follows.  Don’t all LTE chipsets support all frequencies? OR do they have to install a different chipset for other carriers which haven’t been mentioned?  Could this be that Apple only supports 700/2100 be just a software issue that can be changed?  Or is it that they will add this capability when they add carriers in Europe that have a different chipset on other models as they come out?  RIght now, they only have deals lined up in the US and Canada with specific carriers and in Europe, since LTE isn’t really turned on that they will come out with models for specific carriers that will support these other bands?

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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