Next iPad to have 4G?
Will Apple's next iPad tablet come with the ability to connect to the newer and faster 4G networks?
A report on The Wall Street Journal quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that US carriers Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. will sell such a version of the iPad.
If LTE isn't available, the new iPad will default to a slower network technology, WSJ quoted another source as saying.
The WSJ's report came amid a heated battle to cash in on big investments in mobile broadband - and rumors that Apple is planning to announce its latest iPad in the first week of March.
On the other hand, WSJ said it is not clear if other carriers will also sell a 4G iPad, saying Sprint Nextel Corp., T-Mobile USA and Apple declined to comment.
The WSJ report said AT&T and Verizon Wireless are the only two U.S. carriers that currently sell the iPad, and are also the only two that offer the fast, next-generation wireless technology known as LTE.
If the new iPad works on those LTE networks, it would help the two carriers get demand for the faster service - similar to how the original iPhone increased demand for 3G wireless data plans.
LTE iPad to test networks
WSJ quoted Richard Doherty, director of research firm Envisioneering Group, as saying an LTE iPad would test how well carriers' networks could handle heavier data use.
Doherty said Apple's current iPad, the iPad 2, consumes on average about four to eight times the amount of data as an iPhone.
"The new iPad will test carriers to see how robust their networks are," Doherty said.
Carriers are eager to move users over to LTE, because it handles data traffic much more efficiently than today's 3G networks.
Verizon executives estimate LTE networks are 50 percent more efficient than 3G networks. — TJD, GMA News
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