New iPad being sold as 4G ready in UK

New iPad being sold as 4G in UK
So what actually is 4G these days?

UPDATE: Check out our new iPad review

Pre-registration for the new iPad has started up in a number of places, but a curious addition to the key selling points has raised eyebrows.

According to the likes of Vodafone and The Carphone Warehouse, the iPad has "Wi-Fi + 4G [which] connects to fast data networks around the world. So wherever you go, you can download videos, music and email quickly."

The problem is that, unlike the US, the UK doesn't have the same LTE speeds that allow up to 73Mbps download speeds on the go – so can Apple really claim next-generation speeds for the device?

The issue over what could be called 4G in the US raged for a while – some networks believed HSPA+ was enough to be considered a step on from 3G and the regulatory bodies eventually agreed.

Same but different

However, there has been no such affirmation over in the UK; despite the fact speeds of up to 40Mbps+ will be theoretically possible with DC-HSPA when it begins popping out in the summer.

We've been in contact with Ofcom and networks to work out what's actually going on – but you won't be able to ship in a US-version of the new iPad and connect to the 4G trials being undertaken by the likes of O2, as the frequency bands used are different.

It's a headscratcher – but if the new iPad is allowed to be called the iPad 4G in the UK, then expect a slew of confusingly-named devices from the likes of Samsung et al over here as well shortly after.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.