This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
Apple has announced the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. All models are 5G-enabled, with the U.S. models supporting advanced 5G, known as millimeter Wave (mmWave). However, the Japanese models and others that are not for the U.S. do not support mmWave.
Starting from "What is mmWave", there are two main types of frequencies used in 5G: Sub6 and mmWave. Sub6 is suitable for covering a large area with decent communication speed (though faster than 4G), while mmWave is suitable for deploying ultra-high-speed communication in a specific area.
This refers to a relatively low frequency below 6 GHz. It can be used practically as an extension of the frequency used by 4G and is suitable for wide-area coverage. In Japan, both the 4.5 GHz and 3.7 GHz bands are available, with DOCOMO and KDDI allocating a 200 MHz range each, and SoftBank and Rakuten each allocating a 100 MHz range.
It refers to the higher frequencies in the 30-GHz to the 300-GHz band. However, it's not a strict distinction; the 28 GHz band used for 5G in Japan is also called millimeter wave.
It is characterized by its higher frequency compared to the aforementioned Sub 6. The higher the frequency, the easier it is for radio waves to go straight and the less likely they are to go around the shadow of an obstacle. They also tend to be attenuated by atmospheric moisture and rainfall, making them unsuitable for applications that cover large areas.
On the other hand, it has the advantage of providing a large bandwidth, and in Japan, the four Japanese carriers (NTT DOCOMO, KDDI, SoftBank, and Rakuten) each have 400 MHz of bandwidth allocated to them. The higher the bandwidth, the more capacity is available, making it suitable for localized applications in congested areas such as urban areas.
No problem with non-mmWave support, but...
Most of Japan's 5G areas are Sub6 at the moment, so there's no problem with a phone not supporting mmWave. However, it's a bit of a shame that we won't be able to use the mmWave coverage that's expected to be available in the near future, considering the lengthy iPhone replacement cycle.
The U.S. version of the iPhone 12 series, which supports mmWave, differs slightly in appearance from the rest of the models, including the Japanese version. The difference seems to be due to the design of the mmWave antenna.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.