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Australian, European carriers irked over iPad 4G badging

updated 02:05 pm EDT, Sat March 17, 2012

iPad may have 4G downplayed in other countries

Apple's emphasis on LTE support for the new iPad is sparking a conflict with carriers outside of North America, according to statements given out later on Friday. In the wake of a "backlash" from European carriers, The Australian understood that local carriers Telstra and Optus would both avoid making any mention of 4G. European providers had been calling on Apple to stop marketing 4G that their networks can't use.

The company's marketing in the UK and mainland Europe is more conservative when it comes to cellular access. Apple mentions having up to LTE support, but unlike in the US or Canada, doesn't make it a centerpiece. European access can still get 21Mbps or occasionally 42Mbps HSPA+ 3G instead.

Cellular-aware iPads in at least Australia and elsewhere have stickers on their backs that explicitly warn the tablet's LTE won't work in the area.

Apple is including LTE on new iPads sold outside of North America primarily to consolidate its lineup and avoid having to ship a third 4G version. The initiative is nonetheless frustrating both for carriers and users alike, since Qualcomm's chipset by necessity can't really use LTE in other areas. Most networks also haven't deployed LTE and often aren't using the 700MHz or 2,100MHz bands the iPad currently needs. True world support will have to wait until 2013 and truly multi-band LTE. [via SlashGear]

by MacNN Staff



  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Because it's not 4G

    Marketing types are hoping that ignorant consumers will fall for that "4G" hype. The full name for LTE is "3GPP Long Term Evolution," where 3GPP means "3rd Generation Partnership Project." It's still 3G, just faster. LTE still require separate connections for voice and data. It doesn't satisfy the 4G requirements published by the ITU-R, the standards body.

    The "real 4G" spec hasn't even been finalized yet. Only the requirements have been finalized. But the way things are going, the next-gen LTE, "LTE Advanced" looks like it will be chosen as the 4G specification. It will combine voice and data into a single IP (internet packet) stream, for true wireless VoIP.

    But, of course, the cell carriers don't want you to know that. They want to keep charging you separately for big-minute voice plans and capped data plans. Even after voice and data are mixed intro a single data packet stream. Because they've all run spreadsheets and they've calculated that they can get more money out of ignorant consumers by charging separately. Or so it seems.

  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969


    May not be true 4G but ...

    I don't care it is wicked quick.
    The solution for the Aussies (and others) is to get on the ball and upgrade their networks.

  1. Mechanic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Its about the speed

    Who Cares what the name is?!!! Whether its 4g LTE or HSPA+ 21MB and 42MB are fast.. Most of the 4G networks here are not anywhere close to that speed. Does it really matter what it is called if the speed is there? I would not care even if it was called 1G. Its about the speed. if it is there then no problems are there in my book.

    Seems like Standards are more at fault here than apple.

  1. Rapscallion

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Marketing gone bad

    Because the larger world telecoms make up a good chunk of the Standards Body, they gave permission to use 4G for anything that was a viable option so they could make more money marketing. Now of course this made the average consumer not only left wondering what the heck is 4G but probably a little angry at the false advertising.

  1. FreeRange

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Quit Whining - they are fast!

    What nonsense - it is the carriers themselves that have caused so much confusion. There is no true LTE or 4G anywhere yet. The truth is that the carriers have brought this upon themselves by misleading consumers and need to get their heads out of their asses and build compatible high speed networks. Further, based on the statement that "European access can still get 21Mbps or occasionally 42Mbps HSPA+ 3G instead", consumers are being idiots if they complain as these are really 4G comparable speeds and are super fast!

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