Apple’s new iPads very likely to support LTE in Poland

Apple’s press conference on 23rd of October not only unveiled highly-anticipated iPad mini, but also brought a new-new iPad, 13-inch Retina Mac Book Pro, and a slightly tuned Mac Mini.

While for Apple fans this is a great news in itself, for people genuinely interested in mobile technology, this might be interesting as well. A closer look at the new iPad 4th gen and iPad mini specs unveils an LTE module, which is compatible with European LTE bands. The new A6X CPU is just a performance tuning really, as A5X had a hard time powering the huge Retina display.

Two models, namely A1460 (iPad with Retina display, 4th gen) and iPad mini A1455 support LTE bands 700 MHz, 850MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz and 2100 MHz. All LTE networks in Poland currently use the 1800 MHz band, so the 4th gen iPad as well as iPad mini should work without problems. The only issue, one might encounter, is the nano-SIM standard. Such SIM cards are not widespread yet and migh not be readily available.

It is worth mentioning, that both new iPads can use high speed WiFi using either 2.4 or 5 GHz bands (a/b/g/n), as well as 40MHz channel bonding mode in 802.11n, which can nearly double the throughput.

This is not all. Both models mentioned in the previous paragraph also support CDMA networks (EV-DO) such as American Verizon, or polish Orange Freedom Pro. Unfortunately the latter uses a very specific 450 MHz band, which is not widely used worldwide, and new iPads unfortunately don’t support it. It might however become supported in future, which means iPad with cellular module might in future become The internet tablet, able to use nearly any band and almost any wireless technology. It would give Apple an unprecedented technological edge.

New iPad and polish LTE networks

EDIT: This post is about 3rd gen iPad (“The New iPad”). For information about 4th gen iPad (“iPad with Retina”) please check this post.

In just three days Apple will begin selling their newest iPad in Poland. If you were looking forward to the LTE feature however, you will probably be disappointed. Fear not; the new iPad has still much better mobile baseband than it’s predecessor.

Let’s have a look at the details.

The new iPad baseband specs

According to the new iPad Tech Specs on, it’s baseband (the 4G built in modem) is capable of using the following networks:

  • GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)
  • 4G LTE (700, 2100 MHz)

As you can see, the new iPad can use 2G and 3G networks just like iPad 2, but there is one small detail, which makes the new iPad better: the DC-HSDPA (it’s sometimes called HSPA+ DC). This is a dual carrier HSDPA network, which allows transfers of up to 42Mbit/s. This is definitely better than “normal” HSDPA, which only offers 7,2 MBit/s.

But wait, there is LTE in Poland, isn’t there?

The answer is yes, there is LTE. Unfortunately right now all the carriers, who rolled out LTE network in Poland use the 1800 MHz band. This is not good for the new iPad, because it can only operate in 700MHz and 2100 MHz bands.

Polish carriers are unlikely to use either of these bands for LTE in foreseeable future, because the 2100 MHz band is currently occupied by the fast HSPA+ DC 3G networks. These networks are rather new, so the probability that any carrier swaps them with LTE soon is rather slim.

Current HSPA+ networks in Poland: