Apple needed to be talked into making its sixth-generation iPhone compatible with 4G in the UK, EE’s chief executive has revealed.
In an interview with City A.M., Olaf Swantee, who oversees the joint venture that operates Orange and T-Mobile in Blighty, said that Apple and the other major mobile manufacturers initially had no intention of bringing to market handsets compatible with the 1800MHz spectrum that EE will be using to offer 4G in the UK.
Swantee was forced to personally approach the companies, and claims he even gave them a veiled ultimatum to ensure their flagship handsets would support the super-fast mobile internet standard when it launches for the first time in these shores.
“We started talking to Samsung, Apple [and others] over a year ago. We showed them this. We said: ‘Are you going to be supportive and if not, we’ll use someone else,’” said Swantee.
“There were no plans for any of them to bring an 1800 MHz device to the UK.”
EE is set to roll out its 4G services in London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol on October 30th, with availability planned for 12 additional cities by Christmas. Earlier today it unveiled the much-anticipated price plans for 4G tariffs, starting at a reasonable £36 a month on a two-year term for unlimited calls and texts and 500MB of data.
Handsets that will be available at launch include the iPhone 5 from Apple, Samsung’s Galaxy S3 and Note 2, the HTC One XL and the Huawei Ascend P1.
There is, however, some concern that 4G is likely to cause from region-specific phones, as it is a more fragmented standard than 3G.
Rob Chandhok, Qualcomm's President of Qualcomm Internet Services and Senior Vice President of QCT, told Pocket-lint: "LTE was never harmonised like 3G was. The LTE approach is lets fit it into any spectrum we have.
"We've been trying to get our modems to cover as many bands as possible, but you still can't, in an affordable way, build a device that handles every LTE band.”
We certainly hope that will not be the case and expect manufacturers to bring out handsets that are compatible with 4G networks on a global scale, saving both themselves and consumers money.
Are you going to make the leap to 4G? Tell us why in the comments below.
City A.M., Pocket-Lint