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iPhone 5 to Offer Three Variants for Global LTE

Source: Apple’s iPhone 5 | Official Website

Because different carriers around the world are using various LTE frequency bands, Apple decided to roll out the iPhone 5 in three variants. The latest handset will continue to support the global GSM/UMTS services of the iPhone 4S, and it will also be compatible with “4G” DC-HSDPA.

Prior to this, the company only built a single model of the iPhone. It was only in the earlier part of 2011 that Apple introduced a CDMA-only iPhone 4, which is compatible with Verizon. When the iPhone 4S was launched, the company incorporated support for both GSM and CDMA. This made the smartphone model a “global phone,” although it is still locked by specific carriers.

GSM Model A1428

The first model, GSM A1428, supports AT&T in North America and Bell/Virgin, Rogers/Fido, and Telus/Koodo in Canada. It is compatible with LTE bands 4 (AWS) and 17 (700b MHz), but not with CDMA.

The AWS variant is exclusive to North America, where it was originally assigned as a wireless cable. On the other hand, it is reassigned for mobile voice and data networks in United States and Canada.

CDMA Model 1429

The second model, CDMA 1429, supports Sprint and Verizon’s CDMA network in the United States, together with KDDI in Japan. It will be compatible with the standard “EVDO rev A” 800, 1,900 MHz frequency, and the faster and more efficient rev B 2,100 MHz. Aside from that, the iPhone 5 supports LTE bands 1 (2,100 MHz), 3 (1,800 MHz), 13 (700c MHz used by Verizon), and 25 (1,900 MHz used by Sprint).

Prior to this, Sprint and Verizon once considered upgrading to EVDO rev B before ditching their support behind 4G networks. On the other hand, KDDI Japan uses the rev B network, which is also supported by CDMA carriers in India and Russia.

GSM Model A1429

The third model is designed for the rest of the world. GSM Model A1429 supports GSM carriers with additional support for LTE bands 1 (2,100 MHz), 3 (1,800 MHz), and 5 (850 MHz). This means that the third variant of iPhone 5 will be compatible with Telekom in Germany, Everything Everywhere in the United Kingdom, Optus/Virgin and Telstra in Australia, Softbank in Japan, SK Telecom and KT in Korea, SmarTone in Hong Kong, and M1 and SingTel in Singapore.

Apple will start taking pre-orders for the iPhone 5 tomorrow, followed by a U.S. release on September 21. It will come in 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB capacities, which costs $199, $299, and $399 respectively.

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