New iPad / iPad 3 Could Federate Fragmented 4G Market

The launch of the New iPad may be the watershed moment for the 4G industry and serve as a catalyst to push the technology into the global mainstream.

But the launch of the device also highlights that one of the main issues surrounding 4G worldwide is the fact that it is still very much a fragmented community.

The iPad 4G works on the US LTE bands which is different from the European LTE bands. And to make things worse, even US-based 4G devices are not compatible across mobile network operators.

It creates a ridiculous situation where devices working on Verizon's Class 13 700MHz LTE Network will not work on AT&T's Class 17 700MHz or on any of the other 700MHz frequencies owned by smaller US operators.

For now Apple is biting the bullet and kowtowing to both the two US mobile phone operators. However this is unlikely to remain so, given that the fragmentation acts as a nagging obstacle to Apple's plan of world domination.

Others before Apple (Nokia, Samsung, HTC) have had to face the same issues and producing several versions of their 4G devices. Having one single world device means rationalised distribution, lower cost of production and stock control.