We already know that the iPhone 5 will support faster 4G LTE networking, but details surrounding international availability have remained scarce. While it’s assumed that the iPhone 5 will support LTE speeds on U.S. carriers like AT&T and Verizon, accessing LTE on carriers in other continents is a whole other issue.
According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, the next iPhone will indeed support LTE on certain networks in Europe and Asia:
Apple Inc.’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’s hard to support multiple LTE networks internationally due to the fragmented nature of the technology. There’s an estimated 36 different LTE bands around the world that a true ‘world phone’ would have to support. While The Journal doesn’t expect the iPhone 5 to support all of these bands, the device is expected to use LTE on many more networks than AT&T and Verizon in the states.
The third-gen iPad is only compatible with LTE networks in the U.S. and Canada. Apple indicated that it wanted to test the waters with LTE earlier this year, and now that LTE is more developed, it looks like Apple is ready to pull the trigger with the iPhone 5.
Apple is expected to unveil the next iPhone Wednesday, September 12th. The phone is expected to go on sale Friday, September 21st and be followed by an aggressive international rollout during the next few weeks.