Is the CDMA A1429 Verizon iPhone 5 the best iPhone 5 for International LTE?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by justinxtreme, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. justinxtreme macrumors newbie


    Dec 7, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Just wondering if getting there are any advantages on getting the official Factory Unlocked model over the Verizon Factory Unlocked model.

    On the Apple website, the A1429 CDMA model apparently supports 1, 3, 5, 13, and 25 LTE bands while the Factory Unlocked and International A1429 GSM model only supports 1, 3, and 5.

    I promise I tried to look everywhere, where they would confirm this information but I'm surprised no one has asked this yet. Yes it's pretty obvious the CDMA model has extra LTE bands plus the ones already included in the International but I just wanted to confirm since there's always something not disclosed to us, especially with LTE possibly being a bit more complicated than just having a phone with supported bands (like the speculation about whether or not a special model of the current AT&T A1428 model iPhone 5 will be required for T-Mobile's LTE network or if it's good for it already, since it supports the AWS LTE band)

    I'm kind of a little confused because if the CDMA model already included the bands the International and Factory Unlocked model was going to have why release a separate A1429 GSM model.... I remember Apple preferring to have a simple model numbering scheme and having as least amount of the same models out as possible.

    So is buying the Verizon iPhone 5, which is Factory Unlocked out of the box, better than buying the GSM Factory Unlocked model?

    This is for International use by the way which excludes North America as a whole (including Canada).
  2. xjosh macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2011
  3. Ajones330 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 9, 2008
    SEC Country
    What this poster said...:)
  4. DMH3006 macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2011
    In Europe the unlocked version is the A1429 CDMA/GSM Model
  5. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    Because, for markets outside the US and Japan, including a CDMA radio would be a waste.

    The LTE bands supported by the Verizon iP5 will work in some countries, but not all. LTE is such a hodgepodge of frequencies. There is even a regional CDMA carrier in the US (C Spire) that carries the iP5 and has a LTE network of its own, but their LTE band isn't supported by the CDMA model. They got left out. It can be all very confusing.
  6. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    The reason is because of the complexity of LTE bands being all over the place internationally, as you mentioned. All those bands require antennas and chipsets, and sometimes multiple radios... and all of those chipsets and radios just wouldn't fit int he current design with the current technology.

    Apple had to make a choice between having a huge, bulky, device with horrible battery life, but that supports every band in one unit, OR two or three trim and slim models that visually look the same but are slightly different, depending on the carrier or region. They chose the latter route, realizing that regardless of what model you get, the HSPA+ coverage will still be international. So you can still take all models of the iPhone 5 everywhere and get decent speed where available. It just won't be LTE and insanely fast.

    Incidentally, phones with large screens aren't entirely about what smartphones users want, but packing in all the electronics. When you need to make up for carrier shortcomings by stuffing the phone with multiple radios, you end up needing to make a chunky phone. You can either make it like a brick, or you can make it flatter and longer.wider, and market the honking huge screen you have to put in front of all that electronics as "the next big thing" and "what users want."

    As the size of the chipsets shrink and improve, we'll probably see an iPhone 5S that's single model and multi LTE band.

    Depends on what you're using it for. If you're using your iPhone 5 more often internationally than in the US, then sure. If you're a fan of Verizon and don't mind the lack of SVDO while in the US, then sure. This seems to be your use case.

    Most other people living in the US though, will probably use their iPhone most often in the US and maybe only occasionally internationally. In such cases, it's better to choose their iPhone 5 based on their preferred carrier, since that's where they will use it most often.
  7. 1080p macrumors 68030


    Mar 17, 2010
    Planet Earth
    Not true. The one sold in Europe has no CDMA. It also doesn't come with LTE bands 13 & 25

    Band 13 is Verizon
    Band 25 is Sprint

    I don't know why Apple went out of their way build another model just to strip out CDMA and those 2 LTE bands for the European version, but they did.

    But... yes... the Verizon model is suitable for full use in Europe.


    I don't think you understand. Your comment makes no sense.

    Apple already has an iPhone that carries LTE bands 1, 3, 5, 13, & 25. It is the USA Verizon model. The phone is the same dimensions and size as any other iPhone 5. It also has CDMA and HSPA support as well. They sell it here in the USA for Verizon and Sprint. Verizon's is unlocked out of the box because of rules put into place by the FCC when Verizon bought a nationwide Band 13 license.

    But... Apple... for whatever reason... built another model for Europe that strips out CDMA, and 2 of the LTE bands... 13 and 25.

    The question is WHY? Why go out of your way to do that?

    It has nothing to do with size or battery.
  8. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    Not in the UK, iirc.

    It only supports EE's LTE band, and not the others.
  9. scaredpoet, Jan 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013

    scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    I understand perfectly. If you don't want to understand, that's on you. Keep wondering.

    Cost and regulatory reasons. If you're forced due to political, technological and design constraints to make different models, then you might as well optimize cost and yields by using only the components you need for specific carriers and regions.

    Qualcomm makes a chip that supports CDMA and LTE bands 13 and 25. It's a needed component if you want to use an iPhone 5 on Verizon or Sprint or other north American CDMA carriers. But you also need the baseband that supports bands 1, 3, 5 and HSPA+ to be a world phone, which is an attractive feature for some. So North American CDMA variants include both basebands.

    But you DON'T need CDMA or bands 13 and 25 in Germany, the UK, Australia, Japan, etc. So it's omitted for iPhone 5 models bound for those regions. From Apple's standpoint, there is no sense in including hardware that is unlikely to be used.

    Does that leave a little more space in the European/Asian model? Probably. But that doesn't mean Apple should change the looks of that model and make the fragmentation painfully obvious. It's just probably cheaper to build.

    Size and battery are possible outcomes, not root causes. But they DO factor in, because if those concerns weren't exigent, then the decisions wouldn't have to be made. In an ideal world, there would just be one chipset, one universal, all-inclusive baseband, one iPhone 5 model. But there isn't, yet. For now vendors have to choose: make a huge phone that has more chipsets than it might need, or taylor the chipsets. Apple is doing the latter, and saving a little money in the process.
  10. DIESEL-X, May 14, 2013
    Last edited: May 14, 2013

    DIESEL-X macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2009
    I'm troubled that the A1429 model iPhone 5 in the UK only has the ability to make use of the single LTE 1.8GHz band/spectrum within Europe, such as the 1.8GHz spectrum being currently used by 4G/LTE operator Everything Everywhere in the UK and that the A1429 leaves out the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands which will be critical to LTE service in Europe.

    The 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands have already been actioned off and allocated to operators within the UK and will be/is being implemented very soon. I guess I can only hope that the next iPhone 5 'S' will incorporate the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands as well as the current 1.8GHz transceivers.

    Meanwhile this has prompted me to sell my A1429 iPhone.

    Mmmmm.... are there any credible rumours as to the inclusion of these missing bands necessary for Europe in the upcoming iPhone 5 'S'/6 model? In addition, is it quite likely that the next CDMA model will include these bands in a trend similar to the current model that makes it far more flexible for multi coverage?
  11. SONiC5 macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2012
    I certainly hope so, Sprint (CDMA) is also planning to deploy LTE on 800MHz and 2.6GHz in addition to it's current LTE on 1900MHz. But this is Apple we're talking about, so I'm not holding my breath.
  12. zorinlynx macrumors 603


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    Keep in mind that most carriers don't offer roaming LTE anyway, and even if they did, roaming data is so limited and expensive that you'd really not get much positive out of it.
  13. DIESEL-X macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2009
    Understood. That's why I prefer and have always used a 'local' SIM card in my iPhone for the country I'm visiting instead of Roaming, something I often do when travelling from UK to Spain. I guess it's easier for me to do so as there are a number of mobile operators in these countries that have pay as you go/non-contract SIM's on 3G so no problem.

    Eventually LTE/4G pay & go SIM's will no doubt be available very soon because the operators can't ignore the fact they get huge income from these type of customers and although EE UK (Everything Everywhere) is contract only for the time being on LTE, Three UK have already stated that existing 3G customers (pay & go and contract) will be upgraded to LTE (equipment permitting) at no extra charge when it happens in autumn/the fall.

    I use Three UK pay and go with unlimited internet and tethering enabled when topping up just once per month! in which I currently get good speed over DC-HSPA+ (roughly getting up to 22Mbps down speed when they're not using data speed management restrictions during peak times) which isn't to bad.

    Just thought; in my first reply when stating I was curious if Apple will possibly include all three LTE bands (800MHz, 1.8GHz & 2.6GHz), would they be configured to Cat 3 or Cat 4 LTE? (Category 3 is up to 100Mbps down link speed capability and Category 4 is up to 150Mbps down link speed capability. I think both have a 50 Mbps uplink speed capability)
  14. yotam.s macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2013

    I was just wondering the same thing - why did Apple made another model (GSM a1429) if the CDMA a1429 model includes all the bands of the GSM and even more??

    so I looked up a little, and found this:
    it's about a guy from Europe that bought the CDMA a1429 model in US, and when arrived home found that the iPhone works, but it's not working with the LTE, although the bands are matching.

    the explain was, that the CDMA a1429 model is working with LTE ONLY with the US-CDMA-Carriers.
    That explains why Apple made the GSM a1429 model.

    What do you think?

    (sorry for the bad english)
  15. apollo1444 macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2011
    for Europe yes for the americas no, almost all americas will use AWS for LTE (at&t model) so far only canada us and mexico only
  16. DarkFreeze macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2013
    Dear Corvus32,
    C Spire has two bands of LTE, the 25(1900Mhz) that a1429 CDMA cover and band 4(1700Mhz), that a1429 don't cover ... By the way, LTE from C Spire if appropriate can be supported by the CDMA !
    See you
  17. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
  18. rnomad macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2013
    A1429 CDMA and EE LTE

    The A1429 CDMA Sprint version worked fine on EE LTE until iOS 6.1, at which point Apple disabled it. Everyone denies doing anything, but it worked and then did not work. Apple even replaced the phone saying it was a hardware error. Now the web site indicates by omission that is does not work. EE says it should work. The SIM gets LTE in another phone. There is some software setting disabling it. Annoying Apple.
  19. themiltos1994 macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2013
    i have the cdma version of a1429 model iphone 5 and i live in europe.My 4g doesnt work here even though cdma version includes the bands of the gsm a1429 version.Is there anything i can do to make my 4g work??A ''hack'' or something?
  20. slslv macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2013
    LTE works

    I have the same model of iPhone 5. CDMA A1429 I bought from the US (Verizon). I live in the Philippines and LTE used to work. About two weeks ago it just stopped working. I even bought a new CDMA A1429 iPhone 5 again thinking there was a problem with the phone. After putting my sim in the new phone, I still didn't get LTE. I thought for some reason it was my network. I exchanged sims, reset network settings, reset cellular data settings, did hard reboots, but nothing worked. I finally decided to sell it online. But before anything else, I restored my iPhone and initially set it up as a new phone. LTE started working! After I saw that, I restored from my previous backup on iTunes, and it is still working as I type. Just in case anyone is still wondering, yes LTE works with bands 1, 3, and 5 as long as you are using a clean ESN iPhone 5 from Verizon. Cheers!
  21. themiltos1994 macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2013
    so,what exactly should i do to get lte?i didnt quite understand what you said..sorry
  22. ValerieDurden macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2010
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    All Verizon and Sprint iPhone 5's (same phone and hardware) are the best for international travel to Europe.
  23. slslv macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2013
    I just restored it. Then after that iTunes asked me to update carrier settings. I just hit ok then LTE started working again. Make sure your network uses either of the bands 1, 3, or 5 though. And as to the comment above this, I'm not sure if sprint iphone 5's are factory unlocked out of the box. I can only say that for verizon.
  24. themiltos1994 macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2013
    I have the verizon iphone ,too.I have updated the carrier settings and it still didnt work...

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