4G LTE 700, 750, 850, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz (Bands 1, 2, 4, 5, 13 17)
HSPA+ 850, 900, 1900, 2100, AWS (1700, 2100) MHz (Bands 1, 2, 4, 5, 8)
GSM 850, 900, 1700, 1900MHz
As suspected, it does not support CDMA-2000 and it does not support LTE Bands 11 and 18 (1500 and 800 MHz), which means that with KDDI, the only option will be Band 1 LTE, which in May had extremely limited coverage.
|N7 LTE with KDDI?|
Google says it'll work on all three of Japan's major carriers (DoCoMo, Softbank and KDDI's au).Technically that is true, because all operate a Band 1 LTE (2100 MHz) network. However, if you intend to actually have a good mobile experience, we recommend staying away from KDDI, for now.
KDDI lacks the appropriate LTE coverageYou may recall that back in May, KDDI was caught greatly exaggerating their Band 1 LTE coverage. They claimed over 95% coverage, when in fact they had less than 15% and no plans for expansion. While KDDI is certainly working to increase coverage, that's just an amazing misrepresentation. KDDI does have the stated LTE coverage with Bands 11 and 18 (1500 and 800 MHz), but unless the modestly-priced N7 has some uber multiband LTE radio, the only way to support all Japanese carriers is with Band 1, and KDDI doesn't have the coverage.
KDDI 3G is likely incompatibleIf you use LTE in Japan and pay attention to the network displayed in the status or notification bar, you'll notice that it often falls back to "H" or "3G", indicating no LTE signal. The problem is that, unless the N7 LTE model includes a dual WCDMA/CDMA-2000 radio in addition to the LTE radio, there will be no fall back for KDDI users.
Instead, what will most likely happen right now is, anytime you would see an "H" or a "3G" icon with a SoftBank or docomo SIM, you'll see a BIG RED X or 圏外 (out of area) icon with KDDI.
Wait for clarificationOf course anything is possible. Yes, LTE coverage will improve with time, and yes, Apple makes LTE hardware that fully supports SoftBank (WCDMA) and KDDI (CDMA-2000). Therefore it's not impossible for the N7 to do the same. It is just highly unlikely to get that in a budget tablet priced between 30,000 and 40,000 yen. Even a Japan-specific model seems unlikely at that price, given the total increase in manufacturing costs.
It could be as long as a month before it's available if the Engadget article is correct. We'll be sure to keep you appraised of carrier options. As we've long said, an MVNO is perfect for a second, data-only device.