Speaking during Apple Inc’s conference call last week, CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company is set to double the number of global Long Term Evolution (LTE) carriers permitted to offer the offer the iPhone 5 with LTE support enabled. Cook confirmed: ‘Today we have 24 carriers around the world that provide LTE support for iPhone 5. Those are in countries like the US, Korea, the UK, Germany, Canada Japan, Australia and a few others. Next week we are adding 36 more carriers for LTE support. These carriers will be in countries that we are not currently supporting LTE. So the LTE coverage now, as of next week is in Italy, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Philippines, also several Middle Eastern countries’.
In December 2012, Telecoms.com reported that Tajikistani operator Babilon-Mobile had been ignored by Apple Inc, despite its best efforts to state its case. Jafar Asimov, Babilon-Mobile’s head of the automation, told the website: ‘Unfortunately we still didn’t get any response from Apple on our requests to enable LTE support … As far as I know, Apple is not speeding up cooperation on LTE with the largest Russian operators, such as MTS, MegaFon and Beeline. It’s a strange policy. Instead of enabling LTE support for all carriers, which would bring benefit not only to operators, but also to Apple customers as well, Apple is limiting its customers’ [ability] to use the functionality of the phones fully. So, customers are paying for a feature that they can’t use’. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Babilon-Mobile, Tajikistan’s largest mobile network operator in terms of subscribers, launched commercial LTE services in the capital Dushanbe, in October 2012.
The full list of carriers allowed to support the iPhone 5 can be found here: http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/