iPad 4 and iPad Mini LTE support in SA

Apple launched its fourth generation iPad (iPad 4) with retina display, and its new iPad mini on Tuesday 23 October 2012, boasting better LTE support for global carriers.

Apple highlighted that the iPad 4 and iPad Mini’s LTE band support is based on the iPad model number and configuration for either CDMA or GSM networks.

The iPad 4 with Retina display (model A1460) and the iPad mini (model A1455) support the following frequency bands: 1 – 2100MHz, 3 – 1800MHz, 5 – 850MHz, 13 – 700cMHz and 25 – 1900MHz.

South African LTE support for iPad 4, iPad Mini

Vodacom and MTN are using 1,800MHz for their LTE networks, while Cell C is using 2,100MHz, and 8ta is using 2,300MHz.

It is clear that 8ta’s 2,300MHz LTE network is not supported by the latest iPad and iPad Mini. However, 8ta said from the outset that it will be launching personal hotspot (Mi-Fi) type devices to ensure that all Wi-Fi enabled devices will be supported and can benefit from their LTE network.

iPad LTE support
iPad LTE support

The following table provides an overview of the new iPad 4’s LTE frequency support and how it fits in with the frequencies used by the mobile operators.

Operator LTE frequency band used iPad Mini LTE support iPad 4 LTE support
Vodacom 1800Mhz Yes Yes
MTN 1800Mhz Yes Yes
Cell C 2100MHz Yes Yes
8ta 2300Mhz No No

Official South African iPad 4 LTE support

While Apple’s iPad 4 and iPad Mini support Vodacom, MTN, and Cell C’s LTE bands, it does not automatically mean that the device will be supported on a network using that frequency.

For the device to be supported on a cellular network, Apple and the operator must typically first reach an agreement after which Apple will release the config files and enable LTE support on that network.

Vodacom highlighted that their ability to offer LTE on the new iPad and iPad Mini will depend on whether Apple will switch on this functionality for South Africa.

MTN would also not commit to supporting Apple’s iPad 4 on its LTE network. “MTN plans to launch its LTE network before the end of the year. With this in mind, MTN will make the necessary announcements regarding devices that will be compatible on the LTE network closer to the launch,” said Mike Fairon, GM: Product Innovation and Development at MTN SA.

Cell C did not respond by the time of publication.

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iPad 4 and iPad Mini LTE support in SA