Monday, September 10 09:26:02
Apple is expected to unveil its latest iPhone, which will also have a slightly larger screen, at a press event in San Francisco on Sept. 12. Analysts have widely expected the new phone to support LTE. It isn't likely to work with all carriers' LTE networks in all countries, the people said, though it wasn't clear which would be left out. LTE technology is much more fragmented than the previous third-generation wireless technology, making it more difficult to make LTE phones that work seamlessly around the world.
International Data Corp. analyst John Byrne estimates there are 36 LTE bands around the world, compared with 22 bands for the most popular version of 3G technology. While building a phone that supports multiple bands of LTE is possible, it presents a significant technical challenge to design chips needed to support all of the different bands. IDC data shows that only three countries in the world have significant numbers of LTE customers: the U.S., South Korea and Japan. Verizon currently has the largest LTE network in the world and the highest number of LTE subscribers, says IDC.
In Europe, the availability of LTE wireless service lags behind some other parts of the world. For the time being, there is LTE service in Scandinavia, as well as some in Germany and elsewhere. But in many places, it is still in its infancy. In France, for instance, the rollout is just beginning in a handful of major cities-and not yet Paris. IDC says Android phones supporting LTE are currently being sold in 11 countries including the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Australia and Germany.