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69 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 151737 3-Sep-2014 16:24
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Will be overseas next month and was planning on picking up a new iPhone while there. Except Spark tells me I need a CDMA iPhone for their network. And the CDMA phone isn't sold unlocked in Canada or the US.

Anyone here who's bought an unlocked US or Canadian iPhone 5/5c/5s GSM here to NZ? Did you get LTE working on Telecom/Spark?

Cheers! cool

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1121252 3-Sep-2014 16:26
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Spark / Telecom haven't run a CDMA network for quite a few years now.

You will need 850/2100 WCDMA to work fully on their network. Band 3 LTE 1800Mhz if you want 4G

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1121277 3-Sep-2014 16:38
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You would have needed to buy the CDMA iPhone 5 if you wanted LTE compatibility with NZ networks, however this in no longer the case with the iPhone 5S/5C as all models support band 3 (1800 MHz).

The iPhone 6 may be a different story, but apple always list supported LTE bands for each model here

www.apple.com/iphone/lte

Also keep in mind that rural LTE is rolling out, no current iPhone model supports it but it is likely some iPhone 6 models will.


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  Reply # 1121280 3-Sep-2014 16:39
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They are also using 700mhz LTE (Band 28?) plus 2600mhz LTE, def not CDMA as that network closed a while ago

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  Reply # 1121286 3-Sep-2014 16:46
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When people refer to "CDMA", they're typically talking about CDMA2000. You don't need that. You do, however, need WCDMA at 850 MHz. All iPhones since the 3G support this.

For LTE you need band 3, and bands 7 and 28 are preferred. No iPhone currently supports band 28, but it'll probably be supported with at least some models of the iPhone 6.

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  Reply # 1121328 3-Sep-2014 17:37
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I think when they said you need the CDMA version, it was because there are different band support for each model.

For the iPhone 5 for example, there was the GSM for the US that supported a few bands of LTE and the standard GSM+WCDMA ones. Then there was the model A1429, that came in CDMA and GSM variants. the GSM one was sold in most places around the world, and the CDMA was mostly the US.

The CDMA iPhone supported LTE 1, 3, 5, 13 and 25 as well as all the GSM and WCDMA bands. The GSM A1429 (sold in NZ) was only supporting 1, 3 and 5 with the WCDMA and GSM bands, but had CDMA disabled. 

Compared to the US GSM version, it supported only LTE 2, 4, 5 and 17. None of which NZ uses. 

So I'm guessing they said to get the CDMA version because it's going to be more compatible in NZ as opposed to the US GSM version which is way different to the standard international GSM version. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone_5#Network_compatibility

This could have changed since the 5S and C, but I knew about this so was easier to find. 

TLDR: the CDMA version is the same as the international GSM, except it supports more LTE and CDMA bands.




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1121348 3-Sep-2014 18:18
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This is really helpful--and confirmed what I suspected: the Spark CSR was conflating CDMA and WCDMA. When I queried about the frequency they dug their heels in so I let it go.

My old retina iPad didn't work on LTE here for the reasons stated above (I'm Canadian and had bought it in Canada before I even knew I'd be living in NZ). And no one at Telecom Spark could explain this for me. 

We'll know the specs next week; I'll let you know what I decide :)

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  Reply # 1122881 6-Sep-2014 03:31
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jawnbc: This is really helpful--and confirmed what I suspected: the Spark CSR was conflating CDMA and WCDMA. When I queried about the frequency they dug their heels in so I let it go.

My old retina iPad didn't work on LTE here for the reasons stated above (I'm Canadian and had bought it in Canada before I even knew I'd be living in NZ). And no one at Telecom Spark could explain this for me. 

We'll know the specs next week; I'll let you know what I decide :)


One thing to make sure of - that it isn't locked to a network because once you've left the country it will be near impossible to get it unlocked. Had a family friend who came from the UK thinking he could BS his way into getting Apple to unlock his iPhone he bought over from the UK that was locked to the 3 network.




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