iPad 3 To Support LTE 4G - InformationWeek
09:50 AM

iPad 3 To Support LTE 4G

Apple's iPad 3, expected within weeks, will sport high-speed wireless radios that work on AT&T and Verizon networks, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Apple iPad: Happy 2nd Birthday
Apple iPad: Happy 2nd Birthday
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
The iPad 3 is expected to support the LTE 4G networks of both AT&T and Verizon Wireless, reports the Wall Street Journal. It says that the nation's two largest network operators will sell the device, which will be able to surf the Internet at 4G speeds. In addition to 4G, the new tablet will also have support for the older 3G networks.

Right now, AT&T and Verizon Wireless are the only network operators that sell the iPad 2. There is one version for AT&T's HSPA+ network and a separate version for Verizon's CDMA-EVDO network. The Journal doesn't say if the new iPad will come in network-specific variants or if Apple will create one tablet that can run on all the networks.

The iPhone 4S, for example, has built-in support for the HSPA+ network used by AT&T in the United States (and hundreds of operators around the world), in addition to support for the CDMA networks of Sprint and Verizon. Adding support for LTE 4G for both AT&T and Verizon in a single device would be quite an engineering feat, but tablets have the inner space to accommodate the necessary radios. (Personally, my money would be on the chance of two separate models.)

[ Apple is keeping the tablet's specs under wraps. Read iPad 3: 9 Things We Really Want. ]

According to the Journal, it is unknown if Sprint and T-Mobile will get their own iPad 3s to sell. It won't be too surprising if they don't, though an iPad built to work on Verizon's 3G network could technically also work on Sprint's 3G network. The chances that Apple will add WiMax to the iPad 3 for Sprint are about nil. Support for T-Mobile's HSPA+ network, which uses a different frequency than AT&T's, is highly unlikely as well.

At the moment, Verizon's LTE network is live in 200 markets around the United States and covers approximately 190 million people. Verizon is still expanding its 4G footprint, and expects to have much of the country covered by 2013. Its LTE network offers download speeds between 5 Mbps and 12 Mbps, and uploads of 2 Mbps to 5 Mbps.

AT&T's LTE network is younger and smaller than Verizon's. It is live in about a dozen markets and covers about 90 million people. AT&T, too, is in the middle of building its LTE network and has a lot of catching up to do. AT&T's LTE 4G speeds are similar to those offered by Verizon.

If you're interested in an LTE 4G iPad 3, prepare to pay for it. Apple has consistently charged $130 more for cellular-equipped iPads when compared to the Wi-Fi-only models. Whether or not AT&T or Verizon will offer the iPad 3 at a reduced price with a contract is unknown, but not probable. Both Verizon and AT&T offer month-to-month data options for devices such as tablets, but offerings for the iPad 3 have not been announced.

Social media are generating tons of data, but that data only becomes truly valuable when examined in context. Attend the virtual Enterprise 2.0 event Social Analytics: The Bridge To Business Value, and learn how social analytics will provide the bridge to unlocking business value. It happens Feb. 16.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Apprentice
2/14/2012 | 6:59:00 PM
re: iPad 3 To Support LTE 4G
With multi-radio modules like Qualcomm's gobi, and the advantages on having a one-model iPad3, I bet on a single model LTE iPad3. If not this model, the next. Thickness increase is likely radios + battery. The only blocker is the silly Qualcomm price points. Need patent reform.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll