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Old 05-12-2009, 05:28 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I just received the following from my AT&T rep. Take it for what it's worth...

Apple happy with AT&T, indicates no plans for CDMA iPhone [blog] -
Asked Wednesday about his company's exclusive relationship with AT&T -- cited by some as a barrier to further iPhone penetration -- Apple interim chief Tim Cook responded by praising the carrier as 'the best wireless provider in the US,' explaining that its GSM foundation gels with Apple's goal of providing 'one phone for the entire world' while rival CDMA technology 'doesn't really have a life to it.' Cook reiterated that Apple chose AT&T (then named Cingular) as its exclusive partner in the US because of its support for GSM, the mobile networking standard in use worldwide by the majority of cellular phone providers. That enabled Apple to launch and sell one unit globally. The second generation iPhone 3G added support for UMTS service, the third generation mobile network standard that all GSM providers are moving toward. While many phone makers sell versions of their handsets for both GSM/UMTS worldwide and Qualcomm's rival CDMA mobile network technology operated by Sprint and Verizon Wireless in the US, doing so requires twice the development effort. For Verizon, the primary competitor to AT&T in the US, the next generation mobile network means Long Term Evolution (LTE). That future specification is sometimes referred to as 4G, but is really the next stage of 3GPP development. AT&T currently operates a 3GPP Release 5 network now being upgraded to incorporate newer improvements in the 3GPP specifications; LTE is simply a name attached to the forthcoming 3GPP Release 8. Once LTE networks are built out over the next several years, Verizon's CEO told the Wall Street Journal that an LTE version of the iPhone would make Apple "more likely" to want to work with Verizon in addition to AT&T. AT&T has already stated that it plans to upgrade its existing network incrementally, which is a much easier path toward LTE than Verizon's plans to completely replace its CDMA/EVDO network with LTE. During that time, AT&T will also be able to continue to advertise a faster mobile network, and Apple will be able to leverage global support for 3GPP mobile networks to release increasingly faster versions of the iPhone
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