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back to article The iPhone 5 WILL do 4G magic on Three ... but not until next year

EE has filed notice with Ofcom of its intention to transfer 30MHz of spectrum to Three, but as expected it will be hanging onto the bands until the last possible moment. The notice, which still has to be formally approved by the regulator, puts the first 20MHz of spectrum into Three's hands on October 1 2013, with EE clinging on …

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Huh

So they are required to give up spectrum to not hamper competition, but allowed to retain that same spectrum just long enough to totally f*ck up the competition.

What f*cktard came up with that arrangement - Ofcom perchance?

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2014 is a lifetime in Apple years

By then won;t the iPhone 5 be in museums - replaced by the iPhone 7 or 8?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2014 is a lifetime in Apple years

"2014 is a lifetime in Apple years

By then won;t the iPhone 5 be in museums - replaced by the iPhone 7 or 8?"

Exactley! iPhone5 is a limited feature phone at best! iPhone is dead, let us bury it for ever, in the halls of shame. Why give this article to a fanboi to write? Honestly?

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Go

Re: 2014 is a lifetime in Apple years

Never mind the obsolescence of the iPhone 5, it'll be "5G" that is being rolled out.

(while some claim a new Generation comes out roughly ever 10 years, 3G and 4G have a much closer overlap, and Moore's Law appears to have started to kick in, with advances being at roughly half the time and more than double the speed)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2014 is a lifetime in Apple years

John Connor says it didn't happen that way ;)

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Silver badge

Just wondering, if they convert the GSM specturm to 4G, what's going to happen to all the GSM phones?

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Maybe Three are buying this spectrum to preserve GSM capability since what little GSM they provide is rented from EE and likely to be eroded as they convert it to 4G.

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Not converting yet

Since EE have 120MHz @1800 they've got plenty to share between 4G and 2G.

Once they transfer the 30MHz to three they will no doubt add some 800MHz

I'd expect all the networks to maintain 2G capacity inline with the number of phones they have using it.

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Boffin

They could partition the frequency bands

They have the option to divide the band into a two or more chunks, e.g. a large chunk for LTE and a small chunk to continue GSM service

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Len
Happy

Obviously the use of 3G will steadily decline in favour of 4G, just like it did with the gradual transition from 2G to 3G.

The spectrum allocations will gradually have to be adapted to that change in use too. Fortunately, at least in Europe, there is now a trend to allow technology-neutral allocations of the spectrum. That means that operators can decide for themselves when and how much they allocate to which technology, based on the actual use by their subscribers.

Another little blessing is that the EU has been pushing for at least one chunk of spectrum (800MHz) that can be used for LTE across all member states. That means that the dangers of LTE frequency fragmentation, which are a headache for handset manufacturers, remain limited in Europe. Manufacturers will make sure their future handsets at least support 800MHz.

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The trouble with the European 800MHz band (Band 20) is that it is going to be largely Europe only. Most of the rest of the world (all of the Americas, Japan, Korea, Australia, NZ, most of the rest of Asia) still has the US defined 850MHz band (Band 5) in use, generally for 3G services. As Bands 5 and 20 overlap with one another, you can't have both.

On the other hand, other European led frequency allocations (900MHz and 1800MHz initially for 2G, 2100MHz initially for 3G, and now 2600MHz) have been widely adopted outside Europe, and both 1800MHz and 2600MHz are being used widely for LTE services in lots of places.

Europe is a big market, and there will be lots of hardware that does handle 800MHz band 20, but these will at least initially be devices tailored for the European market. Attempts to produce international "World phones" are likely to skip over 800MHz for a while in favour of 1800MHz and 2600MHz. The iPhone 5 is precisely an example of this (although it doesn't support 2600MHz either). Next year's iPhone will almost certainly support 2600MHz, but I am less certain about 800MHz. If it doesn't, this won't make Vodafone happy.

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Where did this headline come from?

Three get 2x10MHz of spectrum - plenty for an LTE network with the relatively small number of customers that they will have using it at first - in September 2013. They are building the network now, knowing that they can switch it on in September next year. From that, I assume they will have working LTE in some cities in September 2013. So why 2014 in the headline? I agree with everybody else that preventing them from using the spectrum until next September is ridiculous.

My assumption is that Three will also buy some 800MHz spectrum in the forthcoming auction, so they might be able to roll out some LTE at 800MHz before that, although this isn't going to help them with the iPhone 5, given that it does not support that frequency band.

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Anonymous Coward

The New iPAD

Will this also work on the "three" network when EE relinquish the frequencies ?

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Re: The New iPAD

Yes. Both the new (4th gen) iPad and the new iPad mini will work with Three's LTE when they launch.

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FAIL

All of which...

Is totally moot, since we dont even have 3G coverage. Even though we are promised that they are spending 1.5m per day on the network. Doing what? Paying for Pr0n i think...

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Are we talking just iPhone here or does it apply to Samsungs things as well ?

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