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Report: iPhone 12 may face ‘coverage issues’ in UK due to varying 5G standards

We are only a few days away from the introduction of the iPhone 12, and a new report from The Telegraph Today highlights that customers in the UK may face issues that take advantage of the flagship 5G feature. In particular, the iPhone 12 is unlikely to support 700 MHz spectrum connectivity, which is expected to be widely used for 5G in the UK.

The iPhone 12 is expected to have 5G support across the entire lineup, a change that Apple even teases with the “Hello, Speed” line for the event. Recent rumors suggest that the iPhone 12 models available in the US will support sub-6GHz 5G and mmWave 5G, while models sold in other countries will only support sub-6GHz 5G.

mmWave is the version of 5G with more impressive speeds, but on the back the range is much smaller. This means that carriers must set up more cell towers to make it accessible to all users. Sub-6GHz 5G extensions in the United States typically achieve speeds of 1

00-150 Mbps, so they are easier to deploy, but far less powerful than mmWave 5G.

Today’s report from The Telegraph says the iPhone 12 could see “coverage issues” in the UK because it will specifically lack support for 700MHz 5G spectrum bands. Lower spectrum bands, such as 700 MHz, are used to extend the coverage of networks to reach more distant areas.

The iPhone 12 is not expected to support this 5G band, The Telegraph reports.

Insiders in the telecom industry have warned that the iPhone, which Apple will release on Tuesday, may not connect to the 700MHz 5G band.

This could allow customers to search for 5G coverage, analysts have warned.

“If it does not support 700 MHz, you will have coverage issues,” said Matthew Howett, chief analyst at Assembly. “The spectrum bands that the iPhone works with are crucial,” he added.

Referring to 5G analyst Simon Rockman, the report explains that the deployment of 700MHz 5G across the UK will be “fairly fast”, and that it may be a “lost opportunity” for Apple to release the iPhone 12 without 700 MHz support. “700MHz spectrum bands are scheduled to be auctioned by Ofcom early next year,” the report said.

The report goes on to say that the iPhone 12 without the support of 700MHz spectrum can serve as an advantage for an operator in the UK:

The launch of the new iPhone without support for 700MHz spectrum can provide an important advantage to Three, which has received large amounts of 5G spectrum.

Analysts say this could lead to a similar scenario as the launch of 4G in 2012, when EE was the only telecom operator with sufficient 4G coverage to reliably offer the latest iPhone 5 with 4G connectivity.

You can learn more about what you can except during Apple’s October 13 iPhone 12 event in our full preview.

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