Not everyone checks up the specs on the new Apple iPad before buying the shiny toy, but for those who do, they will find an interesting entry in a section called Wireless and Cellular.
Not only is there mention of the touted “4G” or LTE (Long Term Evolution) speed upgrade, which supports the 700MHz and 2,100MHz frequencies, but the iPad can also log on to older networks running UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSPA in four other frequencies. And get this, the new iPad also supports GSM networks in the good old 800, 900, 1,800 and 1,900MHz frequencies as well.
Confused already? That, by the way, is just for the AT&T model in the United States. Also listed on the Apple website is a Verizon model, which supports LTE all the same, but “falls back” on a different older network called CDMA EV-DO, along with the rest of the other cellphone network technologies, if LTE is not available.
Nobody but geeks used to care about the alphabet soup here, but as more LTE devices hit the market this year, as the iPad did this weekend, this fragmentation of wireless network technologies is becoming a huge problem for device makers and users alike.
LTE was meant to unify these disparate technologies evolved over the years, but with 38 different frequencies expected to be rolled out around the world, the new technology is adding to the problem instead.