Why does everything in the UK take so long? We have the worst trains, the slowest 3G and as we should know by now, no ‘4G’ of any kind at all – at the moment. We even take longer than everyone to complain. Yet, isn’t that what we’re good at? Let me explain.
Soon after the new iPad was released I pointed out that though it was heavily pushed by Apple as ‘4G’, the LTE frequencies supported meant that it would only work on ‘4G’ networks in the US and Canada.
A few days, and a lot of iPad sales later, some Australian purchasers of said new iPad realised this and when they realised they’d been sold a 4G pup got rather irate. (Australia does have a ‘4G’ LTE network with Telstra, but it operates at 1800MHz – the iPad + 4G does not). Cue throwing of iPad’s on barbies and hurling abuse via the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), actions that have led to refunds.
It’s taken quite a while, but the UK has finally woken up to the same fact, and as Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC Technology journalist explains, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has also received some complaints. Only 40 of them though, which considering it sold three million in three days, doesn’t seem that many.
Of course, as the UK doesn’t have any live LTE ‘4G’ networks the issue isn’t as acute as in Australia, though in fact, as you can tell from this Which? conversation page, I was asked to contribute to, many UK punters thought that if Apple was selling a 4G iPad, there must be a 4G network.
At first I thought that this was as silly as the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, who famously thought that if you can’t see it, it couldn’t see you.
Then again, that’s probably a bit harsh. For punters who don’t want, or don’t care to pay attention to the finer details of mobile broadband technology, it’s not an totally unreasonable assumption to make. (Clearly, Joe Bloggs should be paying more attention to the finer details of mobile broadband technology).
Even for those that do know that the UK doesn’t have LTE now, the information that it won’t support the UK’s LTE when it comes online next year, comes very much as news to them.
It’s a problem.
As such, it seems that Apple has promised to remove all references to 4G from the UK website – though as it stands, they are still there.
It’s a 4G quagmire out there.
On the upside, it’s stopped raining here in London. It’s not all bad.