YOU ARE AT:CarriersApple tests LTE networks itself before enabling LTE on iPhone 5

Apple tests LTE networks itself before enabling LTE on iPhone 5

Apple has turned the tables on service providers, running tests of the iPhone 5 on their 4G/LTE networks before allowing carriers to market the new smartphone. Now some mobile operators, who are used to testing their own networks when launching a new device, may find themselves unable to offer LTE service on the iPhone 5 even if they have the phone. Last week Swisscom launched its LTE network, but was not able to offer LTE service to iPhone 5 users.

“Apple will provide a software update in due course,” Swisscom told frustrated iPhone 5 users. The carrier is waiting for Apple’s engineers to certify the phone according to their own tests, which they are conducting on Swisscom’s network. If the iPhone 5 passes the tests, Apple will push a software update that will allow the device to connect to Swisscom’s LTE network.

Apple (AAPL) is the first handset maker to take control of the network testing process in this way. Although carriers usually get the blame when a device does not perform on their network, Apple apparently wants to minimize the chances that this will happen with the iPhone 5. The Cupertino company’s new testing strategy was first reported by, which says it had heard about the plan as early as October.

Independent certification of carrier networks by Apple will mean that unlocked iPhone 5 handsets will not necessarily work on all LTE networks. Owners of Apple’s first LTE phone will not be able to connect to networks that Apple has not certified.

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Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse is the publisher of Network Builder Reports ( At RCR, Martha authored more than 20 in-depth feature reports and more than 2,400 news articles. She also created the Mobile Minute and the 5 Things to Know Today series. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York and managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Martha is the board president of Austin's Trinity Center and is a member of the Women's Wireless Leadership Forum.

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