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iPhone 5 LTE band issue breakdown

 
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Jake_Kim



Joined: 27 Aug 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:31 am    Post subject: iPhone 5 LTE band issue breakdown Reply with quote

As it seems there are so much confusion out there regarding iPhone 5's frequency/compatibility issue, a full breakdown might save your time and resources before you start contemplating things like, 'Should I buy one from the United States/UK/Germany/any other priority-release country, and bring it to Korea?' (or vice versa)

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/152548/apple-to-sell-3-variants-of-iphone-5-for-international-lte-coverage

offers a nice comprehensive starting point. However, it lacks a couple of Korea-specific details, which can be complemented by today's article on EDaily.co.kr:

http://www.edaily.co.kr/news/NewsRead.edy?newsid=01223446599660776

The article itself is in Korean, but the only two points not covered by the first link are the more detailed breakdown of uplink/downlink frequency band (the graphic table mid-text) and their relevance to potential LTE coverage within Korea.

I've seen some people thinking US Sprint/Verizon model would work just fine in Korea because LTE bands 3 and 5 match up with those of Korean carriers. But, Sprint/Verizon model can't roll back into Korean 3G UMTS network where LTE system can't cover, since it's a CDMA/LTE devices. Personally, I highly doubt Korean carriers would be willing to accept subscription of this version of iPhone 5 solely based on LTE even if you had one.

Verizon's mirror in Korea, LG U+ who isn't running a 3G system but CDMA/LTE, can't even bring in this Sprint/Verizon model because it's CDMA frequency is so idiosyncratic.

The EDaily article points out that SK Telecom has two LTE bands to work with (Bands 3 and 5) whilst Olleh KT has only single band compatible (Band 3), likely resulting in better LTE coverage if you take your iPhone 5 to SK Telecom. Then again, it is not disclosed whether this EDaily reporter is also under SKT's payroll or not.

The bottom line: if you're planning to bring in an iPhone 5 from North America and wish to use it in Korea for a year or two, either give up on LTE coverage and settle for 3G UMTS (A1428 GSM, that is), or acquire one locally and give up on tapping into LTE network back in North America.
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tatertot



Joined: 21 Oct 2008

PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you look at the specs on the apple web site, it looks like the CDMA phones support the same EDGE/GSM/HSPA bands as the GSM versions. In that case, those phones should work with both LTE and 3G on Korea's networks. Go here http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_iphone/family/iphone/iphone5 and click on the "Technical Specifications" link to see the details. I wouldn't bet a bunch of money that they would work in Korea, but it seems possible to me.

Past versions of CDMA iPhones were capable of using 3G GSM and HSPA, too, so it is possible.
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alongway



Joined: 02 Jan 2012

PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So all you're saying is that the iphone has to be A1429 GSM Model?
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