I live in the US primarily, but I need an iPhone 5 that will work in Europe on LTE

petrucci666

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 30, 2009
705
4
Los Angeles, CA
I know they complicated things with the different bands etc. but that's not Apple's fault.

I will be buying an unlocked iPhone 5 once they come out in a few weeks.

I'm currently using Straight Talk (AT&T MVNO) which is a GSM carrier. The plan was to buy an unlocked GSM iPhone 5 and then stick in a Straight Talk nano-sim. LTE may or may not work initially but that's not the question I'm asking.

I go back home to Croatia and would like for my iPhone 5 purchased here to work on LTE over there.

Will this work with the unlocked GSM iPhone 5 purchased in the US?


Thanks!
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,459
3,022
The AT&T model is not compatible with any European LTE bands. The Verizon model is compatible with the 1800MHz LTE band, but that's used only by a few carriers in Europe (EE in the UK and Deutsche Telekom in Germany for starters). It is not compatible with the 800MHz or 2.6GHz LTE bands that are more common elsewhere in Europe.

Both models are compatible with HSPA+ networks throughout Europe.
Be sure to buy the device at full price ($649) if you use AT&T. Otherwise, it will be locked. The Verizon model is unlocked even if you buy it on contract.
 

boomhower

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2011
1,559
50
Your going to have to do some research. Take a look into the areas in Europe that you are going to be spending time and see what LTE bands they use. Figure out which is the most common among the areas you'll be in. The look and see which US phone supports those bands.
 

esanker

macrumors newbie
Feb 29, 2012
26
5
Get the Verizon/Sprint model

A quick look at the link below shows operators in Croatia will use bands 3 and 7.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LTE_networks

None of the iPhone 5 models operate at band 7. The Verizon/Sprint model operates at band 3. So if you want to use LTE in Croatia, get the Verizon/Sprint model. Note that if you do get the Verizon/Sprint model, you will not be able to use Straight Talk's LTE if they offer them in the future since Straight Talk uses ATT's network and ATT uses bands 4 and 17.

Hope that helps:)
 

Daveoc64

macrumors 601
Jan 16, 2008
4,057
49
Bristol, UK
I think the iPhone 5 is going to be a disappointment if you want to use LTE in Europe.

The only supported frequency is 1800MHz (on the models described above) and that's not going to work in every country or with every carrier.

The 800MHz and 2600MHz bands are going to be more popular in the future. Neither of which are supported by iPhone 5.
 

kmichalec

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2010
806
198
What if I don't care about LTE. Will an AT&T iPhone 5 work in HSPA+ and/or 3G in Europe (assuming it's unlocked). Not too concerned about the slower speed, just that I can put in a chip for calls and occasional internet checks.
 

petrucci666

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 30, 2009
705
4
Los Angeles, CA
A quick look at the link below shows operators in Croatia will use bands 3 and 7.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LTE_networks

None of the iPhone 5 models operate at band 7. The Verizon/Sprint model operates at band 3. So if you want to use LTE in Croatia, get the Verizon/Sprint model. Note that if you do get the Verizon/Sprint model, you will not be able to use Straight Talk's LTE if they offer them in the future since Straight Talk uses ATT's network and ATT uses bands 4 and 17.

Hope that helps:)
Wow, I appreciate the research and time you put into it!

Since I spend most of my time in the US, I'll get the AT&T version which will support Straight Talk and then cope with HSPA+ in Europe.

#firstworldproblems

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What if I don't care about LTE. Will an AT&T iPhone 5 work in HSPA+ and/or 3G in Europe (assuming it's unlocked). Not too concerned about the slower speed, just that I can put in a chip for calls and occasional internet checks.
Yes, HSPA+ will work fine since it's essentially a pumped up version of 3G.