Deutsche Telekom hints iPhone 5S could support LTE Advanced

iPhone 5S (gold, two-up, left angled)

There has been little, if any, confirmation regarding the next iPhone’s improvements in the cellular radio technology department, which hasn’t stopped pundits from speculating whether or not the iPhone 5S features support for the ultra-fast LTE Advanced standard, also known as LTE-A or simply LTE+.

Samsung notably promised to offer an updated version of the Galaxy S4 with LTE+ soon and now a cryptic comment by Deutsche Telekom suggests the iPhone 5S could in fact work with the latest cellular networking technology that offers at least twice the download speeds of the current-generation LTE standard…

The German blog passes along a passage from Deutsche Telekom’s press release announcing the carrier will be launching the 150MBit/s LTE Advanced network later this month.

“Appropriate devices from other vendors will follow by the end of September,” a machine-translated statement reads. This is of course pure speculation as “appropriate devices” could mean a whole bunch of upcoming handsets.

However, with Apple launching its new iPhones next Tuesday, we think it’s fairly safe to assume that the iPhone 5S will support LTE Advanced. The Korea Times suggested as much back in July, claiming the Korean carrier SK Telecom and Apple were expected to unveil an LTE Advanced iPhone variant “in the coming months”.

“SK Telecom is approaching Apple to put our LTE-A technology on the upcoming iPhone 5S,” an anonymous executive for the carrier told the newspaper at the time. “We are in the middle of negotiations.”

LTE Advanced theoretically allows for simultaneous download and upload speeds of 300 megabits per second, or up to three times faster than current LTE theoretical speeds.

Back in the United States, Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Mobile is prepping to leapfrog LTE competition with high-speed LTE Advanced. The telco’s head of radio network and evolution strategy Yasmin Karimli told VentureBeat his company already has the latest hardware in place.

“Others may have hardware that’s two years old, so they may have to rip and replace,” he said.