During yesterday’s Q1 2013 results call, Apple CEO Tim Cook outlined big expansion plans that will more than double the number of carriers that support fast 4G LTE data service for its iPhone 5 next week, with 36 new LTE carriers joining its existing group of 24.
When asked about “the pace of LTE build outs across the globe, in Europe or parts of Asia” and how that could have an impact on Apple’s iPhone business as LTE capacity becomes more available, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook outlined big expansion plans beginning next week.
“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,” Cook said.
He also added that Apple is adding 36 more carriers for LTE support, saying those carriers will be in countries where they are not currently supporting LTE.
The subscriber total of the 36 country expansion comes to just over 10 percent larger than Verizon’s subscriber count, which is currently the world’s largest LTE carrier, with about 257 million subscribers.
Cook also made sure to mention the iPhone 5′s ability to work with other “fast” data networks, saying, “As you know, iPhone 5 also supports other ultra fast networks like HSPA+, with downloads up to 42Mbps, which is 3 times the speed as iPhone 4S.”
Launched last September, the iPhone 5 was Apple’s first LTE capable handset.