I’m tired of explaining this to people. If you’re reading this now, it’s probably because I linked you here.
“Apple has finally made its latest iPhone compatible with LTE networks. But it’s not all good news for the company’s customers. Due to 4G LTE fragmentation, Apple has had to make three different models of the iPhone 5.” Seeeeee http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/
I’m making a switch to T-Mobile in January 2013, but will be stuck on GSM/Edge speeds until their 4G network upgrade. See the last two paragraphs…
- GSM model A1428*: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); LTE (Bands 4 and 17)
- CDMA model A1429*: CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (800, 1900, 2100 MHz); UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); LTE (Bands 1, 3, 5, 13, 25)
- GSM model A1429*: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); LTE (Bands 1, 3, 5)
“The GSM A1428 model appears to be made specifically for AT&T, which is the only carrier that uses both LTE Bands 4 and 17. It will also support T-Mobile’s U.S. LTE network as well as several Canadian networks. But don’t expect any LTE service outside of North America — currently no carriers in other countries use Bands 4 or 17. Even though GSM networks are more common worldwide, this particular iPhone 5 model is not a global phone when it comes to LTE support. Instead, Apple has opted to make a second GSM model for other countries. Model A1429 supports the three more common LTE Bands in places like Asia and Europe, but none for North America use.
The CDMA phone, however, is more of a global device. It supports the same three LTE bands as the non-U.S. GSM phone, as well as the two main bands used by U.S. carriers Verizon and Sprint. Another benefit to the CDMA phone is that it supports GSM/EDGE radio frequencies, while the GSM phones do not support CDMA frequencies. Unfortunately, that GSM support is limited to international use for stateside customers. What is oddly missing from all three phones is LTE support for a large portion of Western Europe, which uses LTE Band 7.”
“T-Mobile once again missed out on the newest release of the iPhone to the disappointment of many of its customers. But T-Mo and Apple’s mutual fans do have some reason to celebrate: The configuration of the iPhone 5 matches up perfectly with T-Mobile’s planned 3G and 4G network bands – the carrier only needs to complete its network retrofit to support it.
Apple is releasing three different versions of the iPhone to handle the huge number of LTE bands globally. One of them is tuned to the Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum over which T-Mobile will launch its LTE network next year. So if you want to buy an iPhone 5 and bring it over to T-Mo in the future, buy the AT&T/Canadian version.”