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Apple's New iPhones Have 20 LTE Bands, VoLTEApple's New iPhones Have 20 LTE Bands, VoLTE

The new iPhone 6 and big-screen iPhone 6+ will include VoLTE, VoWiFi and NFC, as well as the most LTE bands of any smartphone on the market.

Sarah Thomas

September 9, 2014

2 Min Read
Apple's New iPhones Have 20 LTE Bands, VoLTE

As expected, Apple unveiled its latest iPhones today, the iPhone 6 and larger-screen iPhone 6 Plus, both of which include 20 bands of LTE with carrier aggregation. (See Handset Vendors Battle for Limelight.)

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) unveiled the phones at its Cupertino headquarters on Tuesday, noting that they include more LTE bands than any other smartphone on the market -- three more than last year's iPhone 5S -- meaning its customers should be able to roam onto more networks across the globe. (See New iPhones Use Old Qualcomm LTE Chips and Apple's New iPhones Pack in LTE Bands.)

The devices don't, however, use the most advanced Cat 6 LTE chipsets, opting instead for the Cat 4 LTE, which supports up to 150 Mbit/s LTE in markets where it's available and carrier aggregation for more capacity. (See LTE RF: Complicated by Design.)

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus also include support for voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) on "a lot of carriers around the world" and voice-over-WiFi (VoWiFi) that will work on T-Mobile US Inc. and EE at launch. (See Apple Eyes VoLTE as 4G Voice Gets Real and Taqua Acquires Kineto for VoWiFi Push.)

You can find all the specs and details of the new phones over on Apple's live blog (although don't expect to see a functioning live stream of today's event, which is still ongoing).

For more on Apple news, read back through Light Reading's News & Analysis queue.

Notably, the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have also finally included near-field communications (NFC) chips for contactless payments. Apple's lack of support for the technology is often cited as a reason mobile payments have failed to take off, but the iGiant will soon be offering its own payments service, Apple Pay. It will use the phone's NFC chip and securely store credit card info in Passbook, which it launched last year. (See Did Apple Just Kill NFC? and Apple Could Make Mobile Payments AuthenTec.)

Apple said it is working with the big six banks, 22,000 retailers, American Express, MasterCard and Visa, but made no mention of the wireless operators, which have their own mobile payments alternative, the newly named Softcard, in the US. (See Isis Changes Name to Softcard.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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