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LTE iPhone 5 coming to EE and Three in UK, but not O2 and Vodafone

Mat Smith, @thatmatsmith
September 13, 2012
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Brits ready to stake their preorder claim this Friday might have a harder time deciding between the myriad of networks offering the device. While all of the major UK carriers will be ready to offer you the iPhone 5, that LTE radio will only be working on the newly-christened EE from the start, with Three likely to use that purchased spectrum (after getting the okay from Ofcom) to similar effect in the near-future. Unfortunately for Vodafone and O2, the forthcoming Ofcom spectrum auction is gearing up to sell off the 800MHz (Band 20) and 2.6GHz (Band 7) frequencies -- neither of which are found on Apple's multiple iPhone 5 models, and the latter being a bigger problem in Europe and Asia, where LTE networks already make use of the 2.6GHz frequency. However, Apple have followed up an initial phone launch with additional network-specific models before -- so there's a slim chance we could see another model at a later date. All the UK carriers are keeping their contract prices a tightly-guarded secret at the moment, but we'll update as soon as we hear more. Meanwhile, those on that little European isle can expect to pay £529 for the entry-level iPhone 5 from the source when pre-orders start this Friday.

Update: Pocket-lint's been told that those looking to grab the EE iteration will need to initially register with either Orange or T-Mobile, with your service bizarrely migrating across on a later, as-yet unconfirmed, date. This is because its new 4G network won't be ready when the iPhone 5 first hits shops on September 21st. Before that, you'll have to make do with HSPA+ speeds.

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