Many European and Asian networks are incompatible with the new iPad’s 4G functionality
Apple was keen to stress the 4G capabilities of the new iPad when it was unveiled last week, but it has emerged it will not support 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) in many countries outside the US, including the UK, whenever such a network is launched.
The latest version of Apple’s market-leading tablet only supports the 700MHz and 2.1GHz spectrums used by Canadian and American networks, meaning that many owners will not be able to take advantage of the superfast mobile broadband speeds that the Cupertino-based company was touting.
Europeans left out
In Europe, the 700MHz spectrum is used for teleivision broadcasts while the 2.1GHz spectrum is currently used for 3G services. Germany, Sweden and Finland are the few countries on the continent which currently boast 4G networks, but these use frequencies unsupported by the new iPad.
Other countries to be affected include Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. Telstra currently operates a 4G network in Australia, but it uses the 1.8GHz spectrum, as will the upcoming Optus 4G LTE network. This has led the Australian consumer watchdog to debate whether or not Apple can in fact market its ‘Wi-Fi + 4G’ model as such.
Due to a series of delays caused by technical problems and pressure from networks, Ofcom has continually delayed the auction of 4G spectrum in the UK, but when the auction does take place it will be for the 800MHz and 2.6MHz spectrums. The European Union has also ordered its member states to clear the 800MHz spectrum by 2013 to allow for the introduction of 4G networks.
The new iPad does however support so-called ‘3.5G’ networks, which although have been mistakenly dubbed ‘4G’ by some, in fact use an enhanced version of the 3G technology HSPA+.