Where will my iPhone 5 work?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Martin92, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. Martin92 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm looking to purchase an iPhone 5, I'm currently in the UK but will be moving to San Francisco on the 3rd of October. From what I understand Verizon and at&t use different times of networks and it seems as though AT&T is the same as UK networks?

    Can anyone recommend the best plan of action to ensure my phone works both in the UK and the US that'd be great!

    Final note, will the same apply to the 4S?

    Cheers
     
  2. Martin92 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    #2
    bump.. Any ideas?

    Trying to decide where to buy it.. If it's best to buy it in the UK I can do it this weekend. I don't want to get a locked one and then it be useless back in the UK
     
  3. Mliii, Sep 25, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012

    Mliii macrumors 65816

    Mliii

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #3
    MANY discussions about this on this site.
    Here, for example...
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1447110

    There is a significant difference between the iPhone 4s and 5 for purposes of international use, etc. If you are comfortable with 3g & 4g speeds, the iPhone 4s UNLOCKED is probably your best bet overall simply because you can get one model that will work nearly anywhere.
    It gets a lot more complicated when you are talking about the iPhone 5.

    I'm currently dealing with this problem from the other side- my son has moved FROM California to the UK. He's currently using an iPhone 4, but will probably purchase the 5 in the UK just to keep it simple and straightforward.
     
  4. steveza macrumors 68000

    steveza

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    If you aren't bothered about LTE then your UK GSM phones will work on AT&Ts network.
     
  5. Martin92 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    #5
    Thanks for the replies. To clarify would I be best buying an iPhone 5 in the USA as it's cheaper and will work with US LTE (Which has it widely implemented), and the GSM will work fine in the UK?

    It looks like Verizon are selling their iPhones unlocked, is AT&T? And again, to clarify, neither of these are compatible with UK LTE right?
     
  6. steveza macrumors 68000

    steveza

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    GSM phones will work on any GSM network in the World, iPhone 5 LTE is country/region specific at the moment.
     
  7. Mliii, Sep 25, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012

    Mliii macrumors 65816

    Mliii

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #7
    There have been conflicting reports about whether the AT&T iPhone 5's are coming unlocked. There have been folks on this board who have said their iPhone 5 from AT&T came unlocked.

    GSM will work in the UK, and the Verizon iPhone 5 uses the same channel for LTE as is used in the UK-
    See this:
    http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

    So if you are not somehow wedded to AT&T and LTE is important to you, you're might be better off getting an unlocked Verizon iPhone 5, using it here in the US on Verizon and then shifting to a plan in the UK using EE- as that gets implemented. As I understand it, there are many places in the UK where LTE has yet to be rolled out and made available, but I'm not pretending to be an expert on that.
    What adds to the confusion is whether Verizon's CDMA version of the iPhone 5 will work on a GSM carrier? I don't know because I don't know whether the chipset in the 5 is like that in the iPhone 4 family, "universal" for 3g & 4g. (I KNOW it's not universal for LTE)
     
  8. Martin92 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    #8
    Great answer! I'll try to figure out if the CDMA version also supports GSM in the UK. If so, that'll be the one I get.

    I'm already with EE and my city is part of the initial roll out for LTE. I think the US is a priority right now as I could very well be there permanently, but it'd be nice to be able to use the same phone when I visit family.
     
  9. Mliii macrumors 65816

    Mliii

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #9
    Believe me, I get it!
    My son is going to college in London and I plan on spending a lot of time there.
    I'm dealing with it from the opposite direction and I am STILL on contract with AT&T, so my options are a bit more limited.
    Good luck with your search!
     

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