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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > WHEN the iPhone goes 3G, what type of 3G will it be?

WHEN the iPhone goes 3G, what type of 3G will it be?
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Feb 6, 2008, 05:23 PM
 
Ok, most of us believe the iPhone will 3G this year (2008). That's not much of a stretch, especially considering AT&T said as much.

Thus, it means it won't be only EV-DO, although I can't 100% rule out the possibility there eventually might be one version with that. It WILL be 3GSM based. However, my question is what kind of 3GSM?

Basic UMTS?
HSDPA? <-- My guess is at least this speed. My home network of Fido/Rogers is HSDPA (and EDGE of course).
HSUPA? <-- I note that AT&T is pushing a big HSUPA rollout this year.

If it's HSUPA, can it easily be cross-compatible with HSDPA and vice versa, or does it fall back to slower UMTS speeds?

Sorry, I'm a bit of a n00b on the 3GSM standards.
     
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Feb 6, 2008, 05:54 PM
 
I'm not sure about what kind of 3G, but I did read (via macrumors.com) today that AT&T announced they would be expanding their 3G to 80 US cities in 2008.

Leads me to believe AT&T may be gearing up for the 2G iPhone.

See story:
AT&T Expanding Their 3G Network in 2008 - Mac Rumors
( Last edited by stugots; Feb 6, 2008 at 06:01 PM. )
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Feb 6, 2008, 05:58 PM
 
Yes, Eug mentioned that.
     
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Feb 6, 2008, 06:22 PM
 
It will be UMTS.
     
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Feb 6, 2008, 10:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
It will be UMTS.
Do you mean the lowest end UMTS? If so that means 384 Kbps AFAIK, which seems a bit slow, considering the abilities of already shipping 3GSM phones (and the fact that EDGE is already half that speed).

If so then why? Ease of implementation?
     
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Feb 7, 2008, 04:42 AM
 
Maybe not the lowest end UMTS, but I wouldn't at all be surprised.

I think it has to do mainly with market. Market penetration is one thing (UMTS is like the lowest common denominator in the 3G world) and market pressure the other. The iPhone is such an awesome product that Apple doesn't need to offer the latest and greatest (and also most battery draining) protocols. Heck, the iPhone came out with EDGE and couldn't be used as a modem and it still sold like crazy in the US. It reminds me of the whole Mac vs. PC thing. The generic PC can only succeed on the market with either lowest price or specs at the higher end (fast clocked CPUs, beefy GPUs, lots of RAM, huge disks, etc.). The Mac has so much other stuff going for it, a lot of people will gladly give up on some GPU power or disk capacity if they get the Mac experience. With the iPhone you get such a great device, people will take it without it having competitive data transfer rates or connection capabilities.

Now in Europe this seems to be somewhat different, but Apple has always been very US-centric for one (maybe bad iPhone sales in Europe will change that?) and they currently seem to be gambling on US success and coolness diffusing to Europe in a way I can't understand. The plans they negotiated with O2 for example are far poorer that what they got out of AT&T. Maybe this also reflects that Europe just has a far more competitive cell phone market.

Anyway, I think Apple will continue to be just under the edge in terms of specs because they know that the key selling points of the device are software and integration. While some Korean box shifter needs the fastest 3G in his phone for people to notice it at all, the iPhone has already been more than just noticed. Fo those of us waiting for fast 3G transfers that's not really a good thing. For those of us with Apple stock it sure is though.
( Last edited by Simon; Feb 7, 2008 at 05:57 AM. Reason: spelling)
     
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Feb 7, 2008, 05:46 AM
 
There's no question that Apple's 3G iPhone will use UMTS. EV-DO is a CDMA thing, and AT&T has been operating an HSDPA/UMTS GSM network for over a year now. I'm hoping that Apple won't go retro again and will implement HSDPA.

HSUPA isn't supposed to improve download speeds, but it is supposed to allow upload speeds to reach parity with HSDPA download speeds. Currently, AT&T HSDPA/UMTS uplink speeds are EDGE-like.
     
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Feb 7, 2008, 06:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by stugots View Post
I'm not sure about what kind of 3G, but I did read (via macrumors.com) today that AT&T announced they would be expanding their 3G to 80 US cities in 2008
Just to clarify, AT&T is expanding 3G to 80 additional cities. AT&T already provides 3G to over 250 markets. By the end of 2008, AT&T should be supplying 3G to over 350 markets.

When the iPhone was introduced, at least half of the country (mostly the urban half) was covered by AT&T 3G. For this reason, many of Jobs' excuses for not including 3G on the 1G iPhone didn't ring true to me. People who've never used a 3G phone, or even an EDGE phone, swallowed his excuses hook, line, and sinker, but I've not noticed any serious deficiencies in weight, network availability, or battery life on my LG HSDPA phone. My phone's main problem is its asstastic user interface.
     
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Feb 7, 2008, 06:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by f1000 View Post
...but I've not noticed any serious deficiencies in weight, network availability, or battery life on my LG HSDPA phone. My phone's main problem is its asstastic user interface.
Which incidentally is the likely reason for now fast 3G on the iPhone yet. What are these fast phones good for if their browsers sucks or their UIs take forever to display a list of emails? Jobs knows that. And that's why the iPhone gets away with EDGE (at least in the US).
     
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Feb 7, 2008, 06:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
What are these fast phones good for if their browsers sucks or their UIs take forever to display a list of emails.
Ahem, tethering.

More seriously, UMTS call quality is better than with EDGE, at least in my experience.
     
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Feb 7, 2008, 09:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by f1000 View Post
There's no question that Apple's 3G iPhone will use UMTS. EV-DO is a CDMA thing, and AT&T has been operating an HSDPA/UMTS GSM network for over a year now. I'm hoping that Apple won't go retro again and will implement HSDPA.

HSUPA isn't supposed to improve download speeds, but it is supposed to allow upload speeds to reach parity with HSDPA download speeds. Currently, AT&T HSDPA/UMTS uplink speeds are EDGE-like.
OK. Yes I know it wil be some form of 3GSM, but my real question was what form. The above posts would suggest to me though that Apple may aim for HSDPA speeds then. (I wasn't really sure before if HSUPA was fully backwards compatible with HSDPA, but from the sounds of it is. Or at least their implementations of it is.) To aim for the lowest end UMTS seems like it would be a disappointment for the 3G crowd, and there isn't really a good reason to aim that low.

While it may not make sense to release a HSUPA phone, it does make sense to release an HSDPA phone especially when the technology is so common around the world (and is supported by both AT&T and Fido/Rogers in North America), and a lot of mid-priced phones already support it. It would be a big bonus if they could add tethering support though.
     
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Feb 7, 2008, 11:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
While it may not make sense to release a HSUPA phone, it does make sense to release an HSDPA phone especially when the technology is so common around the world (and is supported by both AT&T and Fido/Rogers in North America), and a lot of mid-priced phones already support it. It would be a big bonus if they could add tethering support though.
I'd like to see HSUPA implemented because it would enable high quality video-telephony. Apple would have to add a swiveling camera or a separate front camera to the 3G iPhone to accomplish this. Oh, and people are tethering with their iPhones now using unsanctioned methods. EDGE is so 2005, though.
     
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Feb 7, 2008, 11:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by f1000 View Post
I'd like to see HSUPA implemented because it would enable high quality video-telephony. Apple would have to add a swiveling camera or a separate front camera to the 3G iPhone to accomplish this.
Yeah but how much of a cost differential would it be vs. if one aimed at HSDPA?

I suspect a HSDPA version would sell VERY well. I know I'd buy one.

Also I think they need it sooner rather than later... with nicer plans too. I note that Orange sales of the iPhone have been good but not great. Part of the reason is likely the contract, etc. but part of the reason is also likely the fact it isn't 3G despite the cost.
     
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Feb 7, 2008, 02:17 PM
 
Sorry to disappoint but there's not going to be a 3G iPhone. Based on news the FCC just approvied ATT's purchase of the 12MHZ spectrum in the 700MHZ spectrum from Aloha Spectrum holdings. The 12MHZ is perfect size for broadband and WIFI and the chunk of spectrum that it bought covers 60% of the US. Instead of a 3G iPhone, Apple and ATT are going to implement nationwide WIFI not 3G.

Here's the link to the article on macdailynews:
MacDailyNews - FCC approves 12MHz spectrum purchase deal by AT&T; U.S. iPhone to get nationwide WiFi?
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Feb 7, 2008, 02:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by kobi View Post
Sorry to disappoint but there's not going to be a 3G iPhone. Based on news the FCC just approvied ATT's purchase of the 12MHZ spectrum in the 700MHZ spectrum from Aloha Spectrum holdings. The 12MHZ is perfect size for broadband and WIFI and the chunk of spectrum that it bought covers 60% of the US. Instead of a 3G iPhone, Apple and ATT are going to implement nationwide WIFI not 3G.

Here's the link to the article on macdailynews:
MacDailyNews - FCC approves 12MHz spectrum purchase deal by AT&T; U.S. iPhone to get nationwide WiFi?
Hmm. So what happens with the iPhone in the US in the meantime, before this is up and running? And what happens in other countries?

No, this doesn't mean there won't be a 3G iPhone - Apple may indeed use this network, but it doesn't preclude other options.
     
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Feb 7, 2008, 03:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by kobi View Post
Sorry to disappoint but there's not going to be a 3G iPhone. Based on news the FCC just approvied ATT's purchase of the 12MHZ spectrum in the 700MHZ spectrum from Aloha Spectrum holdings. The 12MHZ is perfect size for broadband and WIFI and the chunk of spectrum that it bought covers 60% of the US. Instead of a 3G iPhone, Apple and ATT are going to implement nationwide WIFI not 3G.
You're stating speculation as fact.
     
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Feb 7, 2008, 03:32 PM
 
The above speculation doesn't make much sense.

P.S. Apple has already implemented WiFi on the iPhone anyways.
     
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Feb 7, 2008, 04:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by kobi View Post
Instead of a 3G iPhone, Apple and ATT/O2/T-Mobile/NTT/Telecom Italia/Rogers/etc. are going to implement worldwide WIFI not 3G.
Edited to expose nonsense speculation.
     
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Feb 7, 2008, 04:49 PM
 
     
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Feb 7, 2008, 08:41 PM
 
A 3G iPhone would probably use HSDPA/UTMS since those radios are readily available in tri-band forms (don't know about HSUPA radios). Tri-band being important since manufacturing costs go down since it continues one version for all markets style of the current quad-band iPhone.
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Feb 28, 2008, 02:29 PM
 
UBS believes it will be HSDPA

In a research note to clients, global equity research analyst Nicolas Gaudois said his checks indicate that the German chipmaker will provide a "new systems solution" for the new iPhone HSDPA platform, which will include a digital baseband controller, power management unit (PMU), and radio frequency (RF) module.

"We believe this is one of the HSDPA solutions design wins management referred to as being due to ramp in [the second quarter of 2008]," he wrote. "Consistent with these checks, our Apple analyst Ben Reitzes believes that 3G iPhones will be released by mid-year."
     
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Feb 28, 2008, 02:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
"We believe this is one of the HSDPA solutions design wins management referred to as being due to ramp in [the second quarter of 2008]," he wrote. "Consistent with these checks, our Apple analyst Ben Reitzes believes that 3G iPhones will be released by mid-year."
If mid-year for 3G is anything like Apple's February for the SDK, then I guess we can expect to see a 3G iPhone by Thanksgiving.
     
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Feb 28, 2008, 02:57 PM
 
Late Q3 or some time in Q4 would be fine for me... as long as I could get it here in Canada with a good and cheap data plan.
     
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Feb 28, 2008, 03:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by f1000 View Post
If mid-year for 3G is anything like Apple's February for the SDK, then I guess we can expect to see a 3G iPhone by Thanksgiving.
To be fair, they did say they would have an SDK ready in February. Nothing about releasing applications based on the SDK in February.
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Mar 26, 2008, 11:11 AM
 
Dunno what kind of 3G, but the 3G iPhone rumours are now picking up steam:

Apple may have ordered a second round of 10 million iPhones based on the 3G network, according to Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney. Mr. Dulaney, who follows the iPhone for the research firm, based that on rumors he's become aware of in Asia.

In a phone interview, Mr. Dulaney told the iPod Observer that he believes Apple has ordered a second round, amounting to 10 million more units, based on what he's heard in Asian circles. This is in addition to the ten million first generation iPhones that Apple has said it will sell by the end of 2008.
     
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Mar 26, 2008, 12:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Late Q3 or some time in Q4 would be fine for me... as long as I could get it here in Canada with a good and cheap data plan.
Did you just use the words "Canada" and "cheap data plan" in the same sentence?

Actually my home state of Montana still doesn't have the iPhone yet at all. Maybe it's because it borders Canada.
     
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Mar 26, 2008, 12:13 PM
 
I know people who have been using the new Rogers & Fido $7 unlimited data plan with the iPhone successfully. The plan specifically states that non-Rogers/Fido phones are NOT included with the plan, but nonetheless, nobody is getting charged extra data fees, even if they are using WAY more than usual amounts of data than would be expected with standard phones (ie. ones that aren't smart-phones).

I don't know how long that will last, but it's at least an encouraging turn of events.
     
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Mar 26, 2008, 03:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I know people who have been using the new Rogers & Fido $7 unlimited data plan with the iPhone successfully. The plan specifically states that non-Rogers/Fido phones are NOT included with the plan, but nonetheless, nobody is getting charged extra data fees, even if they are using WAY more than usual amounts of data than would be expected with standard phones (ie. ones that aren't smart-phones).

I don't know how long that will last, but it's at least an encouraging turn of events.
Yup, just like I thought the case would be. Me and 3 others on Rogers with iPhones have all used about 20-30 megs a month (which seems to be the average for iPhone users in the US) and none of us have been charged a dime extra.

Life is so damn good with the whole internet in your pocket no matter where you go. Even better it is never considered "roaming" or long distance as long as you stay on your carrier. Since rogers covers 90% of Canada I am set.
     
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Mar 28, 2008, 09:50 AM
 
aS,

Do you think you'd use significantly more bandwidth if you had a 3G iPhone? Or do you think would your usage remain the same?

Cuz I'm wondering if Rogers would start enforcing their rules regarding data use if the people suddenly starting using way more data, with a 3G iPhone.
     
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Mar 28, 2008, 05:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
aS,

Do you think you'd use significantly more bandwidth if you had a 3G iPhone? Or do you think would your usage remain the same?

Cuz I'm wondering if Rogers would start enforcing their rules regarding data use if the people suddenly starting using way more data, with a 3G iPhone.
Being 100% honest.. prob not unless it had video chat. Then again with 3G I would think up all sorts of new idea's like streaming video's from my computers from home but I still know I would never really need to do that. Plus I hate to video chat.

Right now me and everyone I know with an iPhone on Rogers doesn't constrain themselves in the LEAST over how much edge data we use becuase we have unlimited. At the end of the month though none of us have gone over 30 megs and the average is 10-15 tops. That was also the average here in the last poll with the Americans.

80% of the people I know only use the edge for email, emailing pictures on the spot (instead of mms), and google Maps. The odd time they also go to a website to see store hours or check a price online. Google maps and email takes under 10 megs a month even if you go nuts.

The only reason I get up to even 30 megs is when I watch a couple youTube clips on the bus or when I want to run into someone and we suddenly want to remember what the A-Team opening theme was like.

It is really scary how often you are within open Wifi. I am finding Wifi more common than land lines nowadays.

Think about it, you have Wifi at home, at work, at ALL of your friends, coffee shops and every block as many open ones. You just put the passwords in ONCE and even if you erase the phone it still remembers them when you re-sync it. The only time you are in a rut for it is if you are in the car in which case you will just be using google and email not watching back to back youtube.

If Apple came out with a 3G iPhone with 32 Gigs in it tomorrow I wouldn't even flinch. Edge isn't as fast as wifi but what I use it for it is more than fast enough 90% of the time. Edge is way faster than dial up so I'll live.

The next iPhone is gonna need a lot more tricks than 3G and GB for me to upgrade... and I am normally the latest and greatest type.

But as for Rogers.... if they are having unlimited plans now when 2 months ago they had jack squat I don't think they would even get the iPhone from Apple if they didn't have their data plans in good order which is exactly what I think is happening. Even a 3G plan with 100 meg cap is a ton if I don't plan on video phoning.
     
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Mar 28, 2008, 05:14 PM
 
I forgot to mention many websites are iPhone optimized or mobile like facebook and various news sites so they are smaller in KB to begin with and load fast as hell with no ads.

I actually get around facebook faster on the iPhone over edge as it doesn't have all those ads and bloat. Check it even on your desktop:

Facebook | Login

Canada411

http://m.newsgator.com/Signon.aspx?R...%2fiPhone.aspx

Digg - Page 1
     
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Apr 3, 2008, 03:42 PM
 
CTIA 2008: 3G iPhone Coming In "Months?" - Gearlog

CEO Ralph De La Vega just said that "I think that you can expect all of our smart integrated devices to be 3G in the future, and I'm talking about months." When asked whether that includes the Apple iPhone specifically, he repeated, "I think that you're going to see our integrated devices be 3G devices in the not too distant future, and I mean months."
     
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Apr 3, 2008, 03:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
It is really scary how often you are within open Wifi. I am finding Wifi more common than land lines nowadays.

Think about it, you have Wifi at home, at work, at ALL of your friends, coffee shops and every block as many open ones.
Not here.

As long as the OWNERS of wireless base stations are responsible for illegal acts performed via their internet connections, we're not gonna see open WLAN heaven like in the New World.
     
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Apr 3, 2008, 04:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
As long as the OWNERS of wireless base stations are responsible for illegal acts performed via their internet connections...
Interesting. Where would that be?
     
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Apr 3, 2008, 04:54 PM
 
Germany.
     
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Apr 5, 2008, 06:16 PM
 
     
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Apr 5, 2008, 09:05 PM
 
Then you can wait another 1-2 years for Fido to offer unlimited 3G data plans.
     
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Apr 6, 2008, 01:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
Then you can wait another 1-2 years for Fido to offer unlimited 3G data plans.
Fido already offers an unlimited 3G data plan. It's the same $7 plan as you have with your iPhone on Rogers. With that plan it doesn't matter if you're running 3G HSDPA or if you're running EDGE, or GPRS for that matter. It's all the same price.

Technically, the iPhone doesn't qualify for this plan, but you've already demonstrated with your iPhone that Rogers/Fido is not enforcing the no-iPhone policy.
     
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Apr 6, 2008, 03:42 PM
 
I just hope the 3G iPhone's battery life doesn't suck.
     
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Apr 6, 2008, 04:03 PM
 
i think it will just be third generation bluetooth as a smack to the face of apple people everyone
     
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Apr 6, 2008, 04:49 PM
 
Huh?
     
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Apr 6, 2008, 04:58 PM
 
i think it will be 3rd generation huh.
     
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Apr 6, 2008, 06:43 PM
 
So your answer to the question "When the iPhone gets 3rd-generation cellular network support, which type of 3G will it be?" is "Bluetooth"?

Oh.
     
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Apr 6, 2008, 11:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
So your answer to the question "When the iPhone gets 3rd-generation cellular network support, which type of 3G will it be?" is "Bluetooth"?

Oh.
Noooooow you got it
     
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Apr 7, 2008, 01:17 PM
 
Hahaha.

Um.
     
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Apr 8, 2008, 12:08 AM
 
So wait, rogermugs, are you making a joke that nobody gets? Or are you in all seriousness making a comment… that… nobody… gets?



I'm puzzled.
     
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Apr 8, 2008, 03:23 PM
 
     
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Apr 8, 2008, 04:23 PM
 
^ Uh-oh, sounds like someone got a nastygram from the turtlenecked one.
     
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Apr 8, 2008, 05:36 PM
 
Sounds like somebody was a bigmouth and tried selling his speculation as a fact.
     
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Apr 9, 2008, 01:12 AM
 
We now have the answer. The next iPhone will be 3.5G HSDPA.



WITH ITS NEW S-GOLD3H TM baseband, Infineon Technologies extends its well known S-GOLD baseband family to support the 3.5G mobile phone generation. The integrated dual-mode HSDPA/WCDMA/E-GPRS modem technology, together with high speed multimedia hardware accelerators and the advanced connectivity options enable S-GOLD3H to fulfill the requirements of tomorrow's mobile phones.

INFINEON IS one of the early platform vendors to support HSDPA category 8 (7.2 Mbit/s). The implementation of equalizer based advanced receiver technology improves the data throughput, especially at high data rates, by up to 40%. In addition, the software programmable slot processing in the HSDPA Rx path provides further flexibility for performance enhancements. The HSDPA performance of S-GOLD3H meets and exceeds all test cases as specified in the 3GPP standard.

INFINEON' S 3.5G physical layer architecture is future-proof and designed for an easy upgrade to higher HSDPA data rates, HSUPA and also Rx-diversity.


P.S. It would seem that UBS's statement back in Feb. was correct:

Originally Posted by Eug View Post
UBS believes it will be HSDPA

In a research note to clients, global equity research analyst Nicolas Gaudois said his checks indicate that the German chipmaker will provide a "new systems solution" for the new iPhone HSDPA platform, which will include a digital baseband controller, power management unit (PMU), and radio frequency (RF) module.

"We believe this is one of the HSDPA solutions design wins management referred to as being due to ramp in [the second quarter of 2008]," he wrote. "Consistent with these checks, our Apple analyst Ben Reitzes believes that 3G iPhones will be released by mid-year."
( Last edited by Eug; Apr 9, 2008 at 01:20 AM. )
     
 
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