Korean Carriers Want To Expand Apple’s LTE Coverage For The New iPhone

When Apple launched the LTE iPad, there was limited availability of 4G coverage leaving only a few countries in the mix. Apparently some Korean carriers are looking to persuade Apple to expand this coverage…

The Korea Times reports that  SK Telecom and KT are currently in negotiations with Apple to expand their LTE service for the new iPhone.

“KT is in negotiation with Apple to persuade the latter to support KT’s 1.8-gigahertz frequency in Korea for the upcoming iPhone,” said one senior KT executive, asking not to be identified. KT spokeswoman Kim Yoon-jeong declined to confirm.

The company, which joined the race for LTE-enabled smartphones later rivals SK and LG, is trying to persuade Apple to have its new iPhone support LTE connectivity, according to KT officials.

SK Telecom is also pushing for the same. Officials from the nation’s biggest mobile carrier are currently in Apple headquarters in California to persuade Apple to support SK’s LTE frequency for its local customers.

Apple’s LTE radio would need to include support for these carrier’s LTE frequencies in order to make this happen. But is this something Apple is willing to change?

The new iPad currently only supports the 700 MHz and 2100 MHz frequency bands. According to MacRumors, these carriers are trying to convince Apple to implement new frequencies:

With SK Telecom using the 800 MHz band as its primary LTE spectrum and 1800 MHz as a secondary band, and KT operating solely on 1800 MHz, the next-generation iPhone hardware would need to have new LTE frequency support for service on those carriers to even be possible.

I think it would be a great move for Apple to expand their LTE availability in the new iPhone. But adding more features and hardware increases production costs and I’m not sure Apple is will to take that risk. One thing is almost for sure, the new iPhone will more than likely have LTE support.

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