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Sur la tablet: Apple iPad 4, iPad mini add Sprint LTE support

WiWavelength

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by Andrew J. Shepherd
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 12:05 PM MDT

 

Over the past six months, Apple's iPad 3 has racked up millions of sales, yet Google's (and Asus') Nexus 7 and Microsoft's Surface tablets have grabbed the headlines over the summer and into the fall. Yesterday, Apple struck back by not only rolling out iPad 4 the same year as iPad 3 but also introducing the long rumored iPad mini. S4GRU readers will recall that Sprint was left out of the iPad 3 sweepstakes, Sprint's nascent LTE network making its debut a few months after iPad 3's announcement. Certainly, some will bemoan that iPad 3 has been replaced in only half the usual yearly upgrade cycle, but Sprint users definitely benefit, as Sprint is fully in the fold this time with LTE support on the VZW/Sprint/global versions of both iPad 4 (A1960) and iPad mini (A1955).

As soon as Apple's announcement event concluded yesterday, authorization filings for the new Sprint compatible iPads (iPad 4, iPad mini) started popping up in the FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) database. So, joining our series of articles on on the HTC EVO 4G LTE, Samsung Galaxy S3, Motorola Photon Q 4G, and soon to be released LG Eclipse and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is an RF capability focused look at Sprint's first two iPads:

  • CDMA1X/EV-DO band classes 0, 1, 10 (i.e. CDMA1X/EV-DO 850/1900/800)
  • EV-DO Rev B Multi Carrier (i.e. 2xEV-DO, 3xEV-DO)
  • LTE bands 1, 3, 5, 13, 25 (i.e. LTE 2100+1900/1800/850/750/1900)
  • LTE 1900 1.4/3/5/10/15/20 MHz FDD carrier bandwidths
  • W-CDMA bands 1, 2, 5, 8 (i.e. W-CDMA 2100+1900/1900/850/900)
  • DC-HSPA+ (i.e. Dual Carrier)
  • GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Wi-Fi hotspot (2.4 GHz only) support for all cellular airlinks
  • Maximum RF ERP/EIRP (iPad 4): 23.10 dBm (CDMA1X 850), 22.90 dBm (EV-DO 850), 30.12 dBm (CDMA1X 1900), 29.08 dBm (EV-DO 1900), 23.30 dBm (CDMA1X 800), 23.40 dBm (EV-DO 800), 29.78 dBm (LTE 1900)
  • Antenna gain (iPad 4): -1.58 dBi (Cellular 850 MHz), 2.44 dBi (PCS 1900 MHz), -2.24 dBi (SMR 800 MHz)
  • Antenna locations (iPad 4): (see FCC OET diagram below)

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The inclusion of EV-DO Rev B Multi Carrier and the imposed limitations -- Cellular 850 MHz only, no 64-QAM -- are a bit curious. But these limitations will have no ramifications for use in North America, where EV-DO Rev B has not been deployed. All told, though, both iPad 4 and iPad mini look to be solid RF performers. Not surprisingly, since they share the same Qualcomm MDM9615 modem with iPhone 5, both iPads carry over basically the same airlink capabilities from the Sprint compatible iPhone 5 -- see S4GRU writer Ian Littman's article. And it should be noted that iPad mini, despite its diminutive size, does not lag behind its larger sibling. All ERP/EIRP figures are within ~1 dB between both iPads. In fact, for both EV-DO 1900 and LTE 1900 maximum EIRP, iPad mini trumps iPad 4 by ~0.5 dB. Furthermore, both iPads in their high ERP/EIRP outputs are less like power and size constrained handsets, more like mobile hotspots. Indeed, both iPads appear to be very capable hotspot devices.

 

Sources: FCC, Apple

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As an iPad third-gen owner, I've seen my device run circles around other VZW LTE devices (all of them phones) in terms of speed and reception. Gotta love a much larger battery (even compared to a Razr Maxx), which allows the LTE radio in the device to run full-tilt.

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Stick a couple capacitive buttons on either side of the home switch and a microphone and call it the Galaxy Note 3.

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Do we know what kind of data plans Sprint will be offering? Are they providing non-contract data like AT&T/VZW and will these be available on other tablets?

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wait, there's an iPad 4? Not that I will by it, but that news must have bypassed my overworked ass

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Do we know what kind of data plans Sprint will be offering? Are they providing non-contract data like AT&T/VZW and will these be available on other tablets?

 

Looks like they have announced plans.

 

http://tinyurl.com/cykmxm8

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Hello Fellow Sprint Users! I have a quick question. I have decided to purchase one of Apple's new iPad Models, however I am torn as to which carrier I should chose. I live in Orange County, CA but no LTE yet, should I go with AT&T or buy the Sprint model and hope to receive LTE soon?

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Hello Fellow Sprint Users! I have a quick question. I have decided to purchase one of Apple's new iPad Models, however I am torn as to which carrier I should chose. I live in Orange County, CA but no LTE yet, should I go with AT&T or buy the Sprint model and hope to receive LTE soon?

 

What part of OC? I have heard people are getting bits of lte in bellflower and Lakewood which means almost in northern oc.

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I live in Orange County, CA but no LTE yet, should I go with AT&T or buy the Sprint model and hope to receive LTE soon?

 

This is a Sprint network focused site, so understand that you are likely to hear the benefits of Sprint. Plus, AT&T is a terrible, rapacious company that you should patronize as little as possible.

 

In Sprint's favor, its LTE deployment, once complete in Orange County, should be superior in many ways to that of AT&T. In all markets, Sprint is initially deploying 5 MHz FDD bandwidth. AT&T, on the other hand, is deploying 10 MHz FDD bandwidth in some markets, 5 MHz FDD bandwidth in others. Los Angeles is one of those others.

 

So, in greater Los Angeles, Sprint LTE and AT&T LTE will both be on par for LTE bandwidth, but Sprint likely has fewer subscribers yet greater cell site density. And that could add up to a Sprint advantage in LTE speed/capacity.

 

AJ

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What part of OC? I have heard people are getting bits of lte in bellflower and Lakewood which means almost in northern oc.

 

I live in Irvine, CA. I currently have an iPhone 5 with Sprint aswell. I want access to LTE but of course I'm not alone on that request haha. I just want to finally get a taste of the future!

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I don't know if its on iPhone but there's an app called sensorly that tracks all networks and coverage including sprint lte.

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