Friday, March 09, 2012

New iPad's LTE feature useless in Asia

We understand that the Philippines LTE network will use the 2.1GHz band, and that trials have been conducted. Do note that a launch date for the Philippines has not been announced.

Apple unveiled the new version of its popular iPad tablet yesterday, with a whole host of new improvements including a high-resolution display, a faster processor and LTE support. The company will also be launching the slate globally on March 16, with Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan being the first Asian countries on the list. Macau is the only other Asian country scheduled to get the device in the second wave, leaving out most of Southeast Asia including countries like Malaysia.

If you happen to live in one of these lucky countries, take heed before you start prancing around in joy. One of its newest features, LTE support, will not work outside of the US and Canada even if your country has LTE networks. This is because the North American LTE networks utilize the 700MHz and 2.1GHz frequency, unlike the rest of the civilized world, which usually uses the 800MHz, 1.8GHz, 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz band for its networks. Some countries are also considering using the 900MHz, which is currently used by 2G networks, once they move all their users over to 3G networks.

Apple's iPad supports LTE on 700MHz and 2.1GHz, which means that owners of the new iPad in countries like Hong Kong, which will use the 2.6GHz band, will not be able to enjoy the fast speeds once it's network is ready. The same situation is also applicable in Japan, as telcos there are using the 800MHz and 2GHz bands for their LTE networks.

(Credit: Apple) In Singapore, local site HardwareZone has reported that all three local carriers will be using the 1.8GHz and 2.6GHz bands for its LTE operations, which means that the new iPad will also not be able to access the upcoming networks.
In a separate report by a local daily, Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) said that the 700MHz band in Singapore is currently used by broadcasting services, though the government agency did not "rule out making part of the 700MHz band available for 4G services in the future".

Apple would not confirm if the company would be releasing an iPad that is compatible with global LTE networks.

In a statement to CNET Asia, a spokesperson said that the new iPad "is designed with cellular antennas that access a larger frequency spectrum, giving you the most comprehensive support for networks around the world and blazing-fast downlink speeds of up to 42Mbps with DC-HSDPA and up to 21.1Mbps with HSPA+".

The statement did not include any mention of LTE support--which effectively rules out one of the key features of getting the new iPad. That said, the tablet is still compatible with current 3G networks and will be able to utilize the fast HSDPA and HSPA speeds, though that is greatly dependent on the quality of your telco's network and the type of data plans available.

View the original article here

Source From CNET

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