4G spectrum being auctioned by Ofcom later this year won't work with the iPhone 5 – but EE network, due in October, will be compatible
Ofcom's plans for 4G are at odds with the specification of the iPhone 5, which means it won't work on super-fast networks launching in 2013.
With EE soon to launch the UK's first 4G mobile broadband network, Apple has confirmed that the new iPhone 5 will work on its network. However, the specification of the iPhone 5 means that it won't work with other 4G networks due to launch in 2013.
In July Ofcom announced plans to auction 4G spectrum to mobile phone operators with the process due to begin later this year. At the time the communications regulator said it would be auctioning two bands of spectrum, 800MHz and 2.6GHz.
The version of the iPhone 5 being launched in the UK will work only with 2100MHz, 1800MHz and 850MHz. This means it will work with EE's 4G network, but not with the 4G being auctioned by Ofcom. An Ofcom spokesperson confirmed that the iPhone would not be compatible.
This could mean that EE's rival networks, including O2 and Vodafone, won't be able to offer 4G for the iPhone 5.
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