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New claim says iPad HD will have 4G LTE

Apple's next iPad is once again said to be getting 4G LTE networking, the speedier standard that has become abundant on competing smartphones and tablets.

The antenna bar on the iPad 2.
The antenna bar on the iPad 2.
Josh Lowensohn/CNET

It's looking more and more likely that Apple's next iPad will be able to connect to next-generation cellular networks, according to a new report.

Citing a source familiar with the upcoming tablet, Reuters today reported that the next iPad will support 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networking, a technology that is faster than 3G, and that has become prevalent inside smartphones and tablets made by Apple's competitors.

This is the latest in a series of claims saying Apple's next iPad--which a reliable source yesterday told CNET (and separately VentureBeat) is called the "iPad HD"--will sport 4G LTE. A report from Bloomberg in January made that claim, as did a separate report from The Wall Street Journal last month.

Compatibility with 4G networks was a topic of intense interest ahead of the introduction of the second-generation iPad, as well as in the months ahead of the iPhone 4S launch in October. Apple has not included it in any of its portable products so far.

In a call with analysts last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the technology "would force design compromises we're not willing to make" in regards to adding it to the iPhone. The iPad, on the other hand, has long seemed the more likely candidate to get 4G LTE technology, given its larger size and battery.

Apple is widely expected to take the wraps off the next iPad at its event tomorrow morning, with a new report today claiming that the device will go on sale on March 16. CNET will be there to cover the event live.