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Old Nov 30, 2012, 09:39 AM   #1
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Apple Must Approve Carrier LTE Networks Before Allowing iPhone 5 to Connect to Them




Apple does not allow the iPhone 5 to join a carrier's LTE network until it passes the company's own internal tests, according to Swiss cell carrier Swisscom. The report from Telecoms.com (by way of The Next Web), says that Apple enables LTE support on existing iPhone 5 models only after first testing the carrier network itself.

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This week, however, a Swisscom spokesperson told Telecoms.com that: "Apple only enables 4G access after testing their device on an operator's live network."

Swisscom launched its LTE network this week although the iPhone 5 was not available as an LTE device at launch. "Apple will provide a software update in due course," the firm said in a press release.
Apple has been selling the iPhone 5 in countries where it doesn't officially support LTE on any carriers, though most carriers have at least initial plans to support LTE in coming years with many in the midst of full LTE rollouts.

Telecoms.com quotes Alcatel Lucent CTO Marcus Weldon saying that Apple was "a bit big for its boots" with the policy, hinting that it was unusual for a handset manufacturer to have such control over its handsets. However, this has been the case since the iPhone first launched nearly 5 years ago.

Apple has exerted extraordinary control over the iPhone in a number of ways, including providing most tech support and replacements via its 800-number and the Apple Retail Store rather than through the carriers, as well as Apple forbidding carriers from preinstalling any of its own software applications or services on the iPhone.

Article Link: Apple Must Approve Carrier LTE Networks Before Allowing iPhone 5 to Connect to Them
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 09:42 AM   #2
gregwyattjr
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This is Apple ensuring the best possible experience for the customer.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 09:43 AM   #3
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Apple should of firstly approved Verizon's 4G LTE network in Manhattan. Because in a lot of places it seriously blows.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 09:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by prizm View Post
Apple should of firstly approved Verizon's 4G LTE network in Manhattan. Because in a lot of places it seriously blows.
I don't think that is how it works...
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 09:49 AM   #5
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I don't think that is how it works...
Not how it works.... but should have considered it.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 09:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prizm View Post
Apple should of firstly approved Verizon's 4G LTE network in Manhattan. Because in a lot of places it seriously blows.
True. Manhattan is one place where AT&T's LTE network is better than Verizon's in my experience (I have AT&T on my iPhone and Verizon on my iPad). With 3G networks, it was the reverse (AT&T's is bad, and Verizon's is better).
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 09:52 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by gregwyattjr View Post
This is Apple ensuring the best possible experience for the customer.
That and CONTROL!

interesting, now that they sell an unlocked iPhone 5
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 09:52 AM   #8
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Good quality control on Apple's part.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 09:53 AM   #9
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 09:54 AM   #10
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Apple controlling everything? You don't say ...
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 09:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by gregwyattjr View Post
This is Apple ensuring the best possible experience for the customer.
No, this is the Steve Jobs legacy of being the ultimate control freak.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 09:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prizm View Post
Apple should of firstly approved Verizon's 4G LTE network in Manhattan. Because in a lot of places it seriously blows.
I don't think they test the network coverage...that would take forever to drive through all the countries testing every place, even if there were multiple people doing it at the same time.

They're probably testing standards, compatibility, and security and whatnot.

I agree with you, though. Carrier network is very subpar compared to other technologies. Over here, AT&T's LTE is way worse than Verizon's. I can get five bars of LTE and zero data.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 09:58 AM   #13
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This kind of crap goes well with Apple's obsession for control over things like removable batteries, upgradeable RAM, the ability to take back your own media from iDevices, etc.

Hard to defend Apple when history shows the company for its true colours.... often.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 09:58 AM   #14
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My guess, they are tired of being sued over Marketing Campaigns. By approving the network themselves they can avoid petty lawsuits.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 09:59 AM   #15
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http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1937

All US carriers outside of AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon are not allowed for this same reason.

Last edited by cheezehead; Nov 30, 2012 at 10:17 AM.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 10:00 AM   #16
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True to form: Android is all about freedom... For the carriers, not the user.

And Apple is all about making the user--not the carrier--happy.

Some people feel bad for the poor carriers losing some "control" (anti-Apple buzzword #17!). I don't.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 10:06 AM   #17
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Because LTE if not properly configured is a serious battery hog. Apple wants the network to be optimised for the LTE iPhones and iPads to ensure a controllable experience at the end user.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 10:06 AM   #18
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What most don't know is that the LTE standard is actually quite flexible, and it's very possible to put up a network that meets standards, but is actually a horrible performer.

For example, you can vary these RF parameters:

* RF bandwidth (down to 1.25 MHz)
* MIMO levels (down to no MIMO at all)
* QAM modulation schemes

In addition, performance will also vary tremendously by band as the network gets populated by users. Specifically, while Verizon has a great band (700 MHz) to roll out with as it has better propagation, it will deteriorate more quickly with use than say 1.8 or 1.9 GHz will.

I'm guessing that Apple knows that people will tend to equate LTE with really great performance (throughput, latency), and they don't want the backlash that would come if they sold a device on a crappy - but still "legal" - LTE network.

That, or it could be that the iPhone doesn't support certain parts of the LTE standard yet. That's not actually unusual - but this approach would spare them the resulting spotlight if that came to light.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 10:09 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by kayloh20 View Post
I don't think they test the network coverage...that would take forever to drive through all the countries testing every place, even if there were multiple people doing it at the same time.

They're probably testing standards, compatibility, and security and whatnot.

I agree with you, though. Carrier network is very subpar compared to other technologies. Over here, AT&T's LTE is way worse than Verizon's. I can get five bars of LTE and zero data.
I consistently get 30mb to 40mb in Florida on AT&T. I would be there are no places on the Verizon LTE network that get that and I bet there are very few that get half that. Verizons network is larger at this point but WAAAAAAAY slower. Pretty soon, Verizon will start building their faster network and it will be AT&T with more PoPs and Verizon with a faster network in less places. They leap frog each other because the technology is developing to quickly to roll it out everywhere.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 10:11 AM   #20
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Quote:
Telecoms.com quotes Alcatel Lucent CTO Marcus Weldon saying that Apple was "a bit big for its boots" with the policy, hinting that it was unusual for a handset manufacturer to have such control over its handsets.
hah! Big for its boots! Does he know how big Apple is?

Well, I bet its unusual when you're used to carrier-dominated Android OEMs.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 10:13 AM   #21
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If anyone doesn't understand why Apple does this: A carrier could have set up its network in a way that doesn't work with the iPhone that well or use hardware with slightly different interpretations of the standard. If they test the phone first, they can make adjustments to their phone (or the carriers infrastructure) whenever necessary.

If they didn't do this, people buying Apple product would notice that they don't work reliably and blame Apple. This hurts Apples reputation which it needs to sell its products. Other companies might think this isn't worth the effort or simply don't care enough. Maybe they have other business models (like making their products cheap, brag with specifications or producing ads that will make their customers hurt Apples reputation for them). For Apple, reputation is a very valuable card.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 10:16 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Westside guy View Post
No, this is the Steve Jobs legacy of being the ultimate control freak.
Yes, he was. And I'm glad because the Apple experience is light years ahead of the competition because of it.

Look at Siri and Maps. I fully believe that neither would have been released in that state had Steve still been "hands on," simply because of his obsessiveness.

In other words, I think Steve would say "you're welcome," although I certainly wouldn't want to put words in his mouth.

EDIT: I meant hands on with Siri, not Maps, as that was after his death. Just clearing that up before some smartass does it.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 10:19 AM   #23
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...as well as Apple forbidding carriers from preinstalling any of its own software applications or services on the iPhone.
I am okay with this. Anyone remember the days of Verizon disabling Bluetooth in certain handsets in order to charge a service fee to use it?
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 10:19 AM   #24
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Not a huge fan of this. I've had iPhone 5 since launch and also a 4G enabled contract. Just cant use LTE cause of Apple. Country Finland.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 10:21 AM   #25
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After thinking about it, I wonder how much of this is a new style to the vendor lock-in crap they use to pull.

At Launch - Phone is released to a handful of carriers
6-9 months later - Announcement of hey, it's come to *fill in the blank carrier*
A year later - *fill in the blank carrier* we now have the....

To now everyone "gets" the device but it's just nerfed until the carrier lock-in period ends.
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