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Korea's SK Telecom, KT in talks with Apple about LTE service

In what could be yet another hint that the next iPhone will support 4G LTE, officials with two Korean cellular operators -- SK Telecom and KT -- told the Korea Times that their respective companies are in talks with Apple to have the new phone support the 1.8 GHz network frequency.

SK Telecom is rolling out a Multi Carrier (MC) network, which will make LTE available in 23 cities by the end of 2012. This network allows devices to switch between the 800 MHz and 1.8 GHz LTE frequencies easily, easing the way for people traveling to Korea to use their 4G smartphones and tablets.

One challenge that faces Apple is supporting all of the 4G frequencies around the globe. In the U.S., for example, Verizon uses the 700 MHz frequency, while AT&T's LTE network operates on both 700 MHz and 2.1 GHz. Apple ran into issues with global 4G support with the new iPad, which was advertised in many countries as a 4G device even when it did not support the specific frequencies used in those countries.

Qualcomm has a universal LTE chip called the MSM-8960 shipping now that supports seven different frequency bands. It's not known if Apple will be using this chip, although Qualcomm states that the first devices using the chip should be in stores by year's end.

Whether or not SK Telecom and KT have enough clout to get Apple to change the design of any future phone is another question, but Apple needs to address the question of the current confusion of network frequencies soon.

[via The Next Web]

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