No 4G For iPad 3

  • Spectrum not available
  • Apple not spruiking 4G on iPad
  • Some bandwidth available in 2013

Working on the premise the best technology should work with the best devices, it's disappointing to learn that the 4G feature of the new iPad will not work in Australia. Why? Because the only Telco that has a 4G network, Telstra, uses the 1800Mhz spectrum, while the latest iPad can only utilise the 700MHz and 2100MHz spectrums, which are currently unavailable. The 700MHz spectrum will become available after the analogue television switch off in 2013.

An Apple spokesperson did confirm that the company would not be spruiking the latest tablet as a 4G-enabled device even though the press release gave two prices for the wifi version and the wifi + 4G version. Apple claims that even though the 4G version will not work, when it goes to its default spectrum of 3G, it will be the fastest slate on that spectrum.

Apple claims it is not trying to pull the wool over anybody's eyes, and when queried as to whether their employees at the their Apple Stores would point out to customers that it couldn't pick up the 4G spectrum, the spokesperson said, "We certainly hope so."

There are a couple of solutions – one long term and one short term – if Apple want its 4G-enabled iPads to work in Australia. The long term is wait until the 700MHz spectrum is freed up next year and hope that one of the Telcos bids for the rights to use the spectrum. IN the short term, Apple could rewire the device so it can handle the 1800MHz spectrum. The latter would take a few months to get done due to manufacturing issues, but it is still a possibility.

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