A report by The Telegraph indicates Apple’s upcoming iPhone 12 may experience serious issues in connecting to 5G in the United Kingdom.
The report cites “industry insiders” that allege that the iPhone 12 lineup may not support the lower-spectrum 700MHz 5G band. Lower-spectrum bands are crucial to 5G coverage, as they cover large areas of land and do well in penetrating walls and buildings. 700MHz is expected to be the most common form of 5G in the UK.
“If it doesn’t support 700MHz then you end up with coverage problems,” said principal analyst at Assembly, Matthew Howett. “The spectrum bands that the iPhone works on are crucially important.”
If it does turn out that the iPhone 12 lineup doesn’t support the 700MHz band, carrier Three could be granted an advantage in the UK market. Three has acquired large amounts of the 5G spectrum, meaning it would better handle a lack of 700MHz support by making use of a range of other bands. Three could end up being the only carrier with enough 5G coverage for the iPhone 12.
Even if the iPhone 12 does end up being supported by the iPhone 12, British customers will not have access to the band, as it has not yet been acquired by an operator. The 700MHz band is expected to be auctioned to carriers by Ofcon in early 2021.