Wednesday, May 22, 2013

KDDI advertising greatly misrepresented iPhone LTE coverage area

UPDATE: Nikkei article now online (in Japanese and behind a registration wall).
UPDATE 2: The government Consumers Affairs Agency has an official announcement here (PDF). All I can say is just WOW!

iPhone 5 75 Mbps LTE service [Band 1 (2100 MHz)] was extremely limited at launch. In addition, The stated plans for expansion to 96% was limited to the LTE bands used by Android smartphones [Bands 11 and 18 (1500 and 800 MHz)], and there were in fact no plans to expand iPhone LTE coverage. Thus, as of March 31, 2013, iPhone 5 75 Mbps coverage is at only 14% of the population.

96% coverage including the iPhone by April 2013.
Back around the announcement of the iPhone 5, I recall being utterly amazed that AU by KDDI could build out their 2100 MHz (Band 1) LTE network from 0 to cover 96% in about half a year. Their existing network relied on 1500 and 800 MHz (Bands 11 and 18), which is what their other smartphones are using.

More on Japanese frequency bands.

I don't recall saying anything at the time, but I should have because it was indeed too good to be true. The 96% was the coverage percentage NOT for the iPhone network but for their OTHER networks.

The predicted coverage rate by April 2013 for KDDI's 2100 MHz iPhone LTE network was actually 14% at the time advertising was produced. The excuse I'm hearing is that the advertising team used the wrong information.


  1. Any source article?

  2. Here is a similar article, in Japanese, from Yahoo Japan:

  3. This morning top story on Fuji TV tokudane.