Not all 4G providers are the same and you’ll be surprised that o2 and Vodaphone 4g services wont work with the iPhone 5. Here’s a quick explanation why.

Why doesn’t the iPhone 5 work on O2 or Vodafone 4G?

“It’s purely down to the hardware that the iPhone 5 uses. In the UK each network uses a certain frequency to broadcast a 4G signal. The iPhone 5 hardware only supports one frequency (1800Mhz). And there are three frequencies being used in the UK (800Mhz, 1800Mhz, 2600Mhz)

Think of 4G in the UK like a motorway.
3 lanes, 3 frequencies
Lane 1= 800Mhz
Lane 2= 1800Mhz
Lane 3= 2600Mhz

Vodafone uses lane 1 and 3 for their 4G network, O2 use Lane 1, Three use Lane 1 and 2 and EE use all 3 lanes.

The iPhone 5 only works on lane 2 frequency (1800Mhz) and so won’t work on Vodafone or O2 because they don’t have access to this frequency. The iPhone 5 doesn’t support the other two frequencies/lanes due to the fact it came out last year before the UK had 4G.

All new 4G phones in the UK should work on all networks and frequencies. The New iPhone should work on both O2 and Vodafone”

How Fast is 4G?

“In the UK 4G can reach speeds of up to 100Mbps download and 50mbps upload. In real life you’re likely to see under half these speeds (20-40mbps dl, 10-20mbps ul). This means you can download/stream files & videos faster or browse the internet faster when in a 4G area. Also ping times will be improved so buffering during or before videos can be almost non existent. If you already have a fast 3G connection you won’t notice a huge difference between the two but there are some perks like the faster upload speed, for uploading pictures and lower ping times for online gaming/streaming videos which may benefit you.

EE have just launched double speed 4G in around 20 cities, this allows for slightly faster speeds. So far EE are not charging existing customers but they plan to start charging extra for faster speeds soon. ”


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