iPhone 5 Will Support U.K.’s First 4G Network At Launch [Rumor]

iPhone 5 Will Support U.K.’s First 4G Network At Launch [Rumor]

Britons could get a 4G iPhone after all.

Earlier today, U.K. communications regulator Ofcom gave Everything Everywhere — the parent company of Orange and T-Mobile — approval to rollout out the country’s first 4G network from September 11. Within hours of that announcement comes a new report that claims Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5 will be one of the first smartphones to take advantage of it, possibly handing Everything Everything an “exclusive” as the U.K.’s only 4G carrier compatible with the iPhone.

“Multiple sources” have “suggested” to Pocket-lint that the new iPhone 5 will launch with support for the U.K.’s first 1800MHz 4G network, which will begin its rollout a day before Apple is expected to announce the device on September 12.

Of course, this morning’s announcement from Ofcom instantly led Apple fans to speculate over whether or not the iPhone 5 would indeed support 4G networks in the U.K. We know for sure it’ll feature 4G LTE connectivity, but we also know from the problems Apple had with the new iPad that not every 4G network uses the same frequency, and the iPhone 5 can only support so many.

But there’s one good reason why the sixth-generation device will support Everything Everywhere’s network. Unlike the rest of the U.K.’s 4G networks, which will launch on the 800MHz and 2.6GHz frequency bands early next year, Everything Everywhere’s uses the same 1800MHz band used by other 4G networks across Europe and Australia.

If Apple’s going to extend its 4G reach and provide support for these territories with the new iPhone, then — which it is expected to do — this is likely to be one of the frequencies the device is compatible with — along with those for AT&T and Verizon in the U.S., of course.

If the device doesn’t support the other 4G frequencies in the U.K., this could give Everything Everywhere a major advantage as the “exclusive” 4G carrier for the iPhone 5.

Pocket-lint’s sources also claim, however, that “it would be feasible” for Apple to add support for the 800MHz band “somewhere down the line,” and support for the 2.6GHz band “later this year.”

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  • Alfred2612

    Three questions:

    1. Since this frequency is already being used by EverythingEverywhere’s 3G customers, will adding a bunch of iPhones with 4G to it then degrade the experience for other customers?

    2. Further, will the “4G” experience not actually be a pretty crappy one on this frequency, since it already being used by millions of 3G customers already?

    3. Why did the government department of Ofcom feel its okay to give a unique commercial advantage to one service provider (which also happens to have 50% of the market already), while their rivals Vodaphone, O2, and Hutchinson have to wait until the frequency allocations next year? Surely this must violate whole books of EU competition laws.

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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