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Next-Gen iPhone to Have LTE Support?

iPhone 4S

Source: iPhone 4S | Apple

Support for a faster 4G network for the next-generation iPhone has been more of an expectation rather than a certainty. However, latest reports suggest that the technology is finally ripe for Apple’s liking.

Apple: In Talks with Korean Carriers

It was reported that SK Telecom and KT, the official network carriers of iPhone in Korea, are in talks with the Cupertino-based company with regard to the upcoming Apple handset.

According to unnamed sources, both networks are persuading the iPhone maker to support the telcos’ Long Term Evolution frequency for the much-awaited mobile phone. KT is running on 1.8 GHz frequency, while SK Telecom features 800 MHz 4G connectivity.

Although the inclusion of 4G connectivity on the new iPad indicates that the same feature will land on the next-generation iPhone, the technology is not as clean cut as its support for 3G. In relation to this, there are 8.4 million LTE subscribers in Korea since last month. SK’s network caters 4 million of them, while the other 1.4 million is on KT’s network.

However, Korean telcos fear that sales of the upcoming Apple handset will suffer as what happened to the new iPad in the country. The sales of the new iPad have lagged in the region because the company refused to support its local carrier’s frequency. As stated by another source from KT:

KT is eager to narrow the market gap with SK Telecom and LG Uplus in the fight for LTE-enabled devices. If the talks with Apple produce visible results, then we will rise as the top LTE service provider in Korea.

LTE Chipsets and Connectivity on Apple Devices

Prior to this, the Cupertino-based company ditched the idea of adding LTE connectivity in the previous iPhone models. That’s because the first generation of LTE chipsets were a bit larger and power-hungry for Apple’s liking. This prompted chipmakers, like Qualcomm, to make more advanced designs that could mitigate those concerns.

In the United States, Verizon and AT&T are using 700 MHz frequencies, in addition to the latter’s 2.1 GHz LTE network. On the other hand, Sprint uses 800 MHz LTE frequency, that’s why it was left out when Apple released its new iPad with Wi-Fi connectivity. However, there were reports that the network carrier has already forged a deal with the iPhone maker, making sure that it will be able to use its LTE towers for the next-generation iPhone.

Almost every telco that offers the iPhone 4S all over the world is striving to get the upcoming mobile phone and making sure that its so-called LTE connectivity will be compatible with its network. If not, it will be left out and won’t be able to take advantage of its potential market.

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