iPhone 5 – 4G capability will only work on EE in the UK

iPhone 5   4G capability will only work on EE in the UKOrange and T-Mobile, in the shape of “EE”, grabbed headlines earlier this week by rolling out UK’s first 4G service. That left Vodafone and O2 green with envy, waiting for a slice of the 4G pie through the auctions.

O2 are now pushing hard to get their 4G network running “as quickly as possible” and are particularly interested in accelerating the process. Why? It’s partially due to the new iPhone 5. It supports 4G, but only at 1800MHz, 2100Mhz and 850Mhz. The 850Mhz band doesn’t work here in the UK, 1800Mhz is the band EE will use and 2100Mhz is currently crammed full of 3G-ness.


New 4G frequencies will be available shortly, with O2 and Vodafone champing at the bit to use, but the bands available will be 800Mhz and 2600Mhz. The iPhone 5 doesn’t support them, and this gives EE an even greater chance in the marketplace.

As part of the 4G agreement EE have given some of their 1800Mhz spectrum to Three, and they’re planning a September 2013 launch of their 4G network. So, if you’re set on getting an iPhone 5 and you absolutely need to have the 4G capability working, it’ll only work on EE until Three start rolling out their network next year. However, by the time 4G is commonplace we’re guessing that the iPhone 6 or iPhone 7 will be available and it’ll support more bands.

Link – BBC

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  • Looks like I’ll be moving from o2 then!

  • Moo Moo Head

    Well this is the thing, if I get the iphone5 on o2 now, it will be 2 more years till I can have 4G, but if I get it on EE, I will have the 4G. If I do not upgrade and stay on o2, I will get the iphone5S next year but no guarantee it will support 4G then either for o2, ooo it is turning into a mess for the consumer, or is it just me and general public Joe do not care?

    • Also the iphone 5 will not work on o2’s 4g network when they get it given the frequency that the iphone 5 will use in the UK.

    • I’ve gone for three as their data isnt capped and given the move to 4g, capped data will make it pointless.

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t this being blown out of proportion a bit? EE have stated that their 4G network speeds won’t exceed 8Mb/s. That is quite achievable on a 3G network. Hopefully to counter the fact that there’s no 4G, O2 and Vodafone will get their 3G acts together a bit more. After all, the new iPhone does now support maximum 3G throughput.

    On top of that, what the hell use is a faster network when data limits for most phone contracts are stuck at 500MB to 1GB anyway? You’d eat through that in no time. I don’t know about anyone else, but I only use 3G when there’s no Wifi, which is not that often these days.

    I think if I were to buy a new iPhone, I’d be fairly happy staying on Vodafone and O2. I’m not a fan of either T-Mobile and Orange from previous experience, so the ‘no 4G’ thing isn’t going to bother me much. By the time it’s widely in use (and worth using for that matter), there will be plenty of phones which can use it to its full potential, making this whole argument moot.