loofer

Will iPhone 5 work on Three's 4G signal?

Most Useful Answer AhmadCentral  Oct. 21, 2013 at 19:02

Yes it would. The iPhone 5 only works on Three and EE's 4G signal.

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.

Add a comment
6 comments

loofer  Oct. 21, 2013 at 18:32

Just spoke to T-Mobile about cancelling my contract as I wish to move to Three - They'll be launching 4G in my city this year.
As well as some feeble attempt at making me change my mind by pointing out that if Three are offering a similar tariff at £10pm cheaper then it's loss leading and they could potentially go insolvent and I would still have to pay my monthly payment to the administrators even though there may be no service coverage - yeh right, nice try- the T-Mobile adviser was adamant that the iPhone 5 would not work with three's 4G signal. Now I can't find anything on Three's website that positively confirms or denies this.

Going by the other bull$hit the adviser told me I think he's blagging but thought i should check anyway.

AhmadCentral  Oct. 21, 2013 at 19:02

Yes it would. The iPhone 5 only works on Three and EE's 4G signal.

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.

AhmadCentral  Oct. 21, 2013 at 19:03

It's worth noting that Three won't actually be launching 4G until December this year and it's still going to be a limited roll out with only major cities being covered in the first year.

chinedu40  Oct. 21, 2013 at 19:05

It definetly will...Three have confirmed this themselves http://blog.three.co.uk/2013/08/29/get-ready-for-4g/ Look in the comments on the 18/10/13 between mohammed and the moderator, or pres crtl+f the type compatible and you'll find ur answer

loofer  Oct. 21, 2013 at 20:47

Yes it would. The iPhone 5 only works on Three and EE's 4G signal.

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.

Thanks a lot, worth making this post a sticky if that's possible. Very useful.
Could also add some minor but other useful technical detail such as which frequency is best for indoors and which one for outdoors.

Bit cheeky of that adviser telling blatant porkies.

P.S If EE use signal in all three bands does that mean that if you buy a O2/Voda networked locked 4G mobile it should work with an EE sim? Kind of makes sense in theory

AhmadCentral  Oct. 21, 2013 at 20:58

The lower the frequency the further it'll go and the easier it'll penetrate buildings.

So a small amount of 800Mhz masts are much better for rural areas. A large amount of 2600Mhz masts is much better for densely populated areas. 2600 is also better for faster speeds.

Tbh all phones these days support all frequencies. So as long as the phone is unlocked it'll work with any network. The exception being the iPhone 5.

Email:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.

Comment: