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iPhone 5s Release Date Rumors: New Phone Will Have 4G LTE Advanced Capabilities

By Robert Christie r.christie@hngn.com | Jul 05, 2013 06:47 PM EDT

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The iPhone 5s will have 4G LTE-A capabilities, sources say (Photo : REUTERS/Bobby Yip )

The iPhone 5s will be getting a significant network upgrade, according to The Korea Times citing sources.

SK Telecom, the mobile service provider for South Korea, recently announced their new 4G LTE-Advanced network which is twice as fast as the 4G LTE in the United States. Currently, they are the only mobile service provider to offer LTE Advanced. The only phone with the capabilities to run on the network is the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-Advanced. SK Telecom is trying to change that.

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The mobile service carrier plans to expand the network to more handsets. It wants to have at least seven phones running on 4G LTE-Advanced by the end of 2013.

According to sources in the industry, Apple wants to determine how marketable LTE-A is before it tries to expand to China.

While the addition of an LTE-A capable phone won’t immediately help Apple in other parts of the world—LTE-A is only available in South Korea—it is a smart move to keep up with its main competitor in Samsung who has a head start on the new network.

It also gives the 5s an additional upgrade from the iPhone 5. When the iPhone 4s debuted, the only major difference between it and its predecessor was the addition of Siri.

LTE-A will not stay in Korea. It will eventually expand to other markets around the world. When it does, Apple will already be on board.

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