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MacRumors
Jul 15, 2011, 12:01 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/07/15/verizon-and-atts-lte-implementations-wont-be-compatible/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article/2010/08/08/231505-iphone_4_frame.jpg


PCMag reports (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2388526,00.asp) that Verizon and AT&T's upcoming LTE ("4G") networks will be incompatible with each other:Thinking of unlocking a Verizon Wireless LTE phone for use on AT&T's network, or vice versa? Think again. Verizon Wireless confirmed today that its LTE phones will not "be compatible on other LTE networks in the U.S." because "the phones will be on different frequencies," according to Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney.LTE is the next generation data transfer technology beyond 3G and is frequently labeled 4G.

It turns out that AT&T and Verizon will be using different frequencies for their LTE implementations which will make it more difficult for manufacturers to support both networks. Of course, it's possible to support multiple networks in a single device, but it does require additional consideration in communication parts and antenna design.

Apple presently offers two separate iPhone models to support Verizon's CDMA and AT&T's GSM networks, but Apple is expected to consolidate support into a single device with the iPhone 5. Meanwhile, rumors point to Apple holding off on supporting LTE until at least the 2012 iPhone revision.


Article Link: Verizon and AT&T's LTE Implementations Won't Be Compatible (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/07/15/verizon-and-atts-lte-implementations-wont-be-compatible/)



tsuehpsyde
Jul 15, 2011, 12:05 AM
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Well that's a shame. :( Was looking forward to a standard for once.

kjs862
Jul 15, 2011, 12:06 AM
Seems rather obvious, have they ever shared the same frequencies?

darbus69
Jul 15, 2011, 12:11 AM
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seems to me that it would be financially beneficial to manufacturers and consumers to have standards which make it possible for cross compatibility?

42streetsdown
Jul 15, 2011, 12:12 AM
Seems rather obvious, have they ever shared the same frequencies?

obvious that american wireless providers want to maintain their relative monopolies? yeah i guess so.

Obvious as in the logical move? nope.

seems to me that it would be financially beneficial to manufacturers and consumers to have standards which make it possible for cross compatibility?

to manufacturers and consumers yes, but not to the greedy carriers

Rodimus Prime
Jul 15, 2011, 12:14 AM
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Well that's a shame. :( Was looking forward to a standard for once.

Even if they were sharing lte frequents it would not work because verizon would still use the same cdma fall back.

macduke
Jul 15, 2011, 12:15 AM
Of course they aren't going to make it easy on us. They're wireless companies. They exist to piss us off and take our money. The only difference between now and five years ago is we have the iPhone and Apple to help us cope with their terrible service.

ravensfan55
Jul 15, 2011, 12:20 AM
The reason they're on different frequencies is because that's how the FCC allocated the spectrum blocks. Also Verizon and AT&T each handle way too much traffic to share frequencies. This is no different than GSM operating on different frequencies. Phones for years have had quad band GSM radios, I'm sure that companies are already working up multiple-band LTE radios.

Rend It
Jul 15, 2011, 12:35 AM
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They both use parts of the 700 MHz band. There's no real challenge to make a radio that covers all blocks of this band. If a device manufacturer, such as Apple, wants to make a universal phone for Verizon and ATT, it could be done.

Problem is that the carriers have no incentive to encourage this behavior. Devices that are specific to narrow blocks of frequency are good for no one but the greedy carriers.

Note that ATT also uses AWS band (1700/2100 MHz) for some of it's LTE deployment. But, the argument above still applies: world-mode phones have been around for awhile.

wordoflife
Jul 15, 2011, 12:43 AM
Wouldn't service degrade for everyone if all phones were connected at the same frequency?

TMar
Jul 15, 2011, 12:47 AM
This isn't news and doesn't point to the fact the handset makers can't make handsets that will cover all the necessary frequencies. It comes down to cost for them and any stipulations carriers put on them lock their phone to their networks.

kdarling
Jul 15, 2011, 01:12 AM
As pointed out above, this is no different than GSM phones requiring support for many bands to be "world" phones. It took years before that happened, too.

It's also similar to when UMTS-3G came out for GSM phones.

Most people don't remember how much worry there was back then about compatibility, because there was no single worldwide 3G standard frequency. (There still isn't.)

honeytoast
Jul 15, 2011, 01:12 AM
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Hooray for capitalism!

SockRolid
Jul 15, 2011, 01:23 AM
The carriers are still trying to lock us in with early termination fees and incompatible technologies. Fending off their inevitable fate as they devolve into generic dumb pipes. I can't wait.

rikscha
Jul 15, 2011, 03:36 AM
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They should probably come to Europe to see how it is done properly across more than 40 countries. One phone only for all networks across Europe. The whole verizon - AT&T thing doesn't make sense.

Cp96alumni
Jul 15, 2011, 06:21 AM
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Customers think twice about switching if they have to buy a new expensive phone plus break a contract. This benefits carriers and keeps prices high. If customers could jump carriers and keep their phone more would do so, carriers would have to offer better prices and service.

Jacquesass
Jul 15, 2011, 07:49 AM
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Hooray for capitalism!

I agree COMPLETELY. Capitalism will give a market advantage to whoever provides a phone that works on multiple networks, across all bands, around the world - instead of having government mandated "standard phones" (see: TD-SCDMA) that won't work in other places.

Capitalism will also drive the chip companies to make less-expensive, more-efficient radio/baseband processors, in an effort to secure design wins for those compatible phones, lowering prices and spurring innovation.

Do you really think that if Apple decides that they want to simplify their manufacturing/stock management by releasing one iPhone that works across all networks (as rumored for the next iPhone), that the chip companies won't want that business?

Ammo
Jul 15, 2011, 07:54 AM
Like what was previously stated: it wouldn't matter because the CDMA network is incompatible with the GSM network.

Now, if the phone has a "world radio" in it that can handle all network frequencies, then we're talking.

drewyboy
Jul 15, 2011, 08:36 AM
Apple should shove it to carriers and release a reprogrammable SIM card in the phone. UP YOURS ATT & VERIZON!

Edit: I'm glad apple is at least willing to give us FREE sms amongst ios5 devices. Take that ATT and shove your f'n text fees cuz you suck and charge me something that costs you $0.00!

Edit2: If text fee's aren't robbery, I don't know what is.

Edit3: I'll stop w/ the edits, it's just I'm very passionate about how much North America cell carriers suck (at least in the US)

chrmjenkins
Jul 15, 2011, 09:20 AM
This was known way back when they had the 700 MHz spectrum auction. Shouldn't surprise anyone.

Also, remember that the qualcomm radio inside the verizon iphone 4 is penta-band GSM along with being CDMA. They can just as easily add two LTE bands for their forthcoming 28nm LTE chips.

The real problem will be China's largest carrier (name escapes me) who have a proprietary LTE implementation.

Sixtafoua
Jul 15, 2011, 09:21 AM
Typical. I'm moving to Canada.

mrkramer
Jul 15, 2011, 09:24 AM
Apple should shove it to carriers and release a reprogrammable SIM card in the phone. UP YOURS ATT & VERIZON!


The carriers would love that as they are the only ones who would benefit. It would kill unlocking.

As for the implementations of LTE being incompatible I have to say it doesn't surprise me at all. It's a little annoying but not surprising.

mlmwalt
Jul 15, 2011, 09:35 AM
What's the big deal? I'm mystified by everyone being surprised.

res1233
Jul 15, 2011, 09:46 AM
The carriers would love that as they are the only ones who would benefit. It would kill unlocking.

As for the implementations of LTE being incompatible I have to say it doesn't surprise me at all. It's a little annoying but not surprising.

Actually no, the method I heard Apple propose is one where they, rather than the carriers, have control over the SIM, and provide carrier switching through them, to make the entire process through one company. Apple has motivation to do this while the carriers don't. It's too bad this also means the carriers would never agree to it...

smithrh
Jul 15, 2011, 10:48 AM
This was known way back when they had the 700 MHz spectrum auction. Shouldn't surprise anyone.

Also, remember that the qualcomm radio inside the verizon iphone 4 is penta-band GSM along with being CDMA. They can just as easily add two LTE bands for their forthcoming 28nm LTE chips.

The real problem will be China's largest carrier (name escapes me) who have a proprietary LTE implementation.

* Yes, this has been assumed for a while, the news is that it's confirmed

* The Chinese company you are thinking of is China Mobile. Note, they are pursuing TD-LTE, but it is not proprietary in any way, it's a companion standard to FD-LTE.

chadua
Jul 15, 2011, 12:18 PM
to manufacturers and consumers yes, but not to the greedy carriers

Seems to me manufacturer gain somewhat because anyone switching carriers has to get a new device. I just have no way of knowing how that compares to the cost of developing and supporting multiple versions of phones.

Rocketman
Jul 15, 2011, 12:38 PM
If Apple made a "world phone", I suspect I could have two different data plans, one from Verizon and one from ATT to address the issue of simple access in different geographical locations. If that meant I had to switch sims I could live with that, but if Apple leads on simless at the same time as LTE and world phone, which would help simplify their manufacturing process immensely, that would be great.

The plethora of frequencies could be dealt with by an exterior antenna band similar to iPhone 4 or the cosmetic ring on iPhone3, but with 2-3 tracks of antennas to deal with length differences so whatever frequency you need at that moment is supported. Nokia has had world phones on voice for many years.

Apple stands at the precipice of access greatness. Multi-homing.

Go.

Rocketman

zeromeus
Jul 15, 2011, 01:00 PM
Wouldn't service degrade for everyone if all phones were connected at the same frequency?

When everyone crowds up the same frequency, it'll be a problem for consumers. I remember back 3 years ago. There was an earthquake in southern california. We felt it, but it wasn't a big one at all. We had 400 students on a field trip. AT&T and T-mobile customers could not contact their loved ones. The reason? Everyone's on the phone. Only Sprint customers were able to call their loved ones.

So it's a good thing Verizon and AT&T, two largest cell companies in the U.S. are on different frequencies.

gpat
Jul 15, 2011, 01:03 PM
I can buy any phone and use it on any single carrier of my continent, at the full capacity of the network of whatever carrier I use. Is that a bad thing?

MacNewsFix
Jul 15, 2011, 01:28 PM
U.S. carriers making it hard for customers to take their phones when they switch?!! Heavens, no! :eek:

:rolleyes:

Also, Apple does not shy away from butting heads with European carriers (http://gigaom.com/2010/10/27/is-apple-about-to-cut-out-the-carriers/).

John.B
Jul 15, 2011, 01:29 PM
What's the big deal? I'm mystified by everyone being surprised.
And I'm surprised by everyone being mystified. :D

chrmjenkins
Jul 15, 2011, 01:46 PM
* Yes, this has been assumed for a while, the news is that it's confirmed

* The Chinese company you are thinking of is China Mobile. Note, they are pursuing TD-LTE, but it is not proprietary in any way, it's a companion standard to FD-LTE.

Proprietary was the wrong thing to say. I should have said unique to, but CDMA wasn't a good comparison since Sprint also uses that in addition to Verizon here, so I didn't have a clear analogy.

objc
Jul 15, 2011, 02:18 PM
If anyone has the balls to take on the carriers, it's Steve and company. Don't expect Washington to do it. VZ and T own D.C. It would be great if Apple would create a device that would work on all carriers.

It IS pretty awesome how it works in Europe. Want to switch carriers? Pop in a different SIM. Want to switch devices? Put your SIM in a different device. In addition to that, prices are lower. Cheap or no-charge SMS on post-paid, cheaper data, and great prepaid plans.

TEG
Jul 15, 2011, 02:24 PM
More than likely the initial devices won't be compatible, but just as with GSM, as time goes on, there will be the ability for multi-frequency devices. Also from my understanding, both at&t and Verizon Wireless got chunks of the 700Mhz block, but in different parts of the country. So, what is preventing them from using 700Mhz where they own the spectrum, then using one of the GPRS or GSM frequencies in other places, then the phones could just swap frequencies when they get to the other's territory, just as GSM and CDMA phones do now.

TEG

John.B
Jul 15, 2011, 02:56 PM
If anyone has the balls to take on the carriers, it's Steve and company. Don't expect Washington to do it. VZ and T own D.C. It would be great if Apple would create a device that would work on all carriers.

This.

To me, the most important part of how Apple revolutionized the smartphone market isn't iOS or the App Store, it's having phones that deliver what the consumer needs instead of what the wireless companies want you to have. Sadly, the promise of Android seems to be tilted back toward the VZ and T. Thankfully, Apple is still seems to be willing to fight the good fight.

smithrh
Jul 15, 2011, 03:35 PM
...Proprietary was the wrong thing to say. I should have said unique to...

Well, TD-LTE isn't going to be unique to China Mobile either, there are going to be huge numbers of operators using TDD. China Mobile is certainly a leader and a huge operator, that's for sure, but they won't be the only ones to use it.

nateo200
Jul 15, 2011, 04:03 PM
Seems rather obvious, have they ever shared the same frequencies?

They currently do, they don't share the same technology though and that isn't a monopoly thing just the companies choosing what they felt was the better technology. Both AT&T and Verizon operate their cellular networks on 1900 and 800/850Mhz they do not "share" anything but the similar title, each has specific frequency ranges in given areas that they are licensed to broadcast on dependent on what they bought (whether it be through eating up a small local carrier or ancient FCC auctions way back when).

The 700Mhz auction was supposed to alleviate spectrum congestion and additionally create a standard with LTE. I had a feeling this would happen given the massive gap that is the entire 700Mhz auction...great...

When everyone crowds up the same frequency, it'll be a problem for consumers. I remember back 3 years ago. There was an earthquake in southern california. We felt it, but it wasn't a big one at all. We had 400 students on a field trip. AT&T and T-mobile customers could not contact their loved ones. The reason? Everyone's on the phone. Only Sprint customers were able to call their loved ones.
We have wireless networking engineers for a reason. That is not because they were "on the same frequency" that's just half assed backhaul by AT&T and T-Mobile and either Sprints good backhaul or lack of users congesting their network.

Ammo
Jul 15, 2011, 07:50 PM
Edit: I'm glad apple is at least willing to give us FREE sms amongst ios5 devices. Take that ATT and shove your f'n text fees cuz you suck and charge me something that costs you $0.00!

Edit2: If text fee's aren't robbery, I don't know what is.


AT&T's unlimited text messaging plan gets you unlimited mobile to mobile minutes to any wireless cell phone. So there's some real nice value there.

oban14
Jul 16, 2011, 03:42 AM
LOL, people still use AT&T? Why? :confused:

Small White Car
Jul 16, 2011, 08:02 AM
I can't believe the number of people in here who think this is because "they don't want you to switch carriers."

Hmmm...maybe it has something to do with the fact that they spent billions of dollars getting radio spectrum so they could handle more bandwidth? And maybe, once you've done that, deciding to share spectrum with your competitor, thus crippling both of your networks, would be a bad idea?

Seriously. This is like complaining that there's not a Burger King inside of a McDonalds. Who expects that?

If you want compatibility, b**ch to Apple. They could decide to make an iPhone that handles all frequencies. If they do or don't do that, well, that's up to them. But don't complain that the carriers are using more frequencies to be able to handle more users. We WANT them to be doing that.

jonnysods
Jul 16, 2011, 08:17 AM
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Verizon will be stuck on 4.2 for the next few years!

Rocketman
Jul 16, 2011, 08:32 AM
Making a world phone is becoming increasingly fragmented and complicated, not simpler.

You have GSM/EDGE systems, CDMA2000, TD-LTE in a few frequencies, FD-LTE in a few frequencies, and others around the world.

One wonders if for manufacturing purposes alone there may have to be two devices unless Apple perfects the "racetrack antenna" system I have been posting about and for which we have seen no patents.

Rocketman

cvaldes
Jul 16, 2011, 09:21 AM
Wouldn't service degrade for everyone if all phones were connected at the same frequency?
Yes. The network can get overloaded if too many people try to get on the same frequency at one time.

This happened during the Christchurch earthquake. People were asked to restrict cellular calls for emergency purposes and to use the Internet or SMS to contact loved ones. Even then, telephone service was sporadic.

COWs (Cell-towers On Wheels) are occasionally brought in to boost capacity at large events.

cvaldes
Jul 16, 2011, 09:23 AM
LOL, people still use AT&T? Why? :confused:
Hmmm, let us try to explain it to you very simply.

Because carrier performance varies with location and some people reside in a place where the coverage is acceptable or even "good" (e.g., Texas).

chrmjenkins
Jul 16, 2011, 10:29 AM
Well, TD-LTE isn't going to be unique to China Mobile either, there are going to be huge numbers of operators using TDD. China Mobile is certainly a leader and a huge operator, that's for sure, but they won't be the only ones to use it.

No, but it isn't in the US anywhere. So a huge carrier like China Mobile will be necessary for Apple to make the push I'd imagine.

lostngone
Jul 17, 2011, 12:45 AM
When everyone crowds up the same frequency, it'll be a problem for consumers. I remember back 3 years ago. There was an earthquake in southern california. We felt it, but it wasn't a big one at all. We had 400 students on a field trip. AT&T and T-mobile customers could not contact their loved ones. The reason? Everyone's on the phone. Only Sprint customers were able to call their loved ones.

So it's a good thing Verizon and AT&T, two largest cell companies in the U.S. are on different frequencies.

Really? Seriously!?!? The problem you described has nothing to do with what frequency a cell phone operates on...

einmusiker
Jul 17, 2011, 01:10 AM
Typical. I'm moving to Canada.

Me too, oh wait, it sucks worse there. Japan ftw

smithrh
Jul 17, 2011, 11:21 AM
No, but it isn't in the US anywhere. So a huge carrier like China Mobile will be necessary for Apple to make the push I'd imagine.

Correct, not in the US _yet_ but it'll be here eventually.

Basically you can look at TD-LTE as the replacement for WiMAX; WiMAX is dying rapidly and the operators that went to WiMAX will be going to TD-LTE in droves.

There are many operators that have spectrum that won't work well with FD; they will also go to TD-LTE.

bushido
Jul 17, 2011, 05:48 PM
When everyone crowds up the same frequency, it'll be a problem for consumers. I remember back 3 years ago. There was an earthquake in southern california. We felt it, but it wasn't a big one at all. We had 400 students on a field trip. AT&T and T-mobile customers could not contact their loved ones. The reason? Everyone's on the phone. Only Sprint customers were able to call their loved ones.

So it's a good thing Verizon and AT&T, two largest cell companies in the U.S. are on different frequencies.

then how can europe with over 40 countries use one frequency just fine WITHOUT any dropped calles (AT&T cough cough) ?

winston1236
Jul 17, 2011, 06:18 PM
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They should probably come to Europe to see how it is done properly across more than 40 countries. One phone only for all networks across Europe. The whole verizon - AT&T thing doesn't make sense.

Its not that they don't know how to do it

Mr. Gates
Jul 18, 2011, 09:14 AM
Is anyone surprised by this news?:rolleyes:

Day48
Jul 18, 2011, 12:56 PM
Didn't have time to read all the previous statements, so sorry ahead of time...But it is far fetched to think that the reason for the delay is that they are planning what this article is stating this year? They could be prepping their all in one model to support the different networks, new design, and better specs? Is "just a spec bump" really worthy of a delay like this? I understand LTE has some growing to do, but alot people don't even check to see if they have LTE before they buy LTE phone, they just want the best thing out... Just some of my thoughts?

rjohnstone
Jul 18, 2011, 04:26 PM
then how can europe with over 40 countries use one frequency just fine WITHOUT any dropped calles (AT&T cough cough) ?
Those 40 countries are not covered by one single carrier and they are not using a single frequency (band actually), they are using 4, just like here in the U.S. (for GSM service anyway)

And I'll bet real money calls get dropped in Europe too. ;)