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iPhone 5 will work on 4GEE 4G network in Britain, reports say

The new iPhone 5 will work on the UK's 4G network, joining the 4G versions of the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S3.

The new iPhone 5 will work on the UK's 4G network this autumn, reports say, joining the 4G versions of the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S3.

On the very day Everything Everywhere was given the go-ahead for 4G, The Guardian reports, Apple registered new devices on a secret 4G database held by the telecoms industry body the GSMA. Apple was clearly closely watching developments here in Britain before deciding whether to make the iPhone play nice with 4G.

Tests have been carried out in recent weeks by companies that make the kit that runs phone networks, including Huawei, Nokia Siemens Networks and Ericsson. They've tested iPhones using the 1,800MHz band, which will be used for the 4GEE network -- as Everything Everywhere's network is now named.

Other phones that will work on 4GEE are the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE, the HTC One XL (a 4G version of the One X), the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE, and the Nokia Lumia 920 and 820

Everything Everywhere, the mega-network formed by the merger of T-Mobile and Orange, has loads of spare airwaves since the two networks became one. So it decided to use some of that 1,800MHz spectrum for speedy LTE data, known as 4G because it's like 3G but faster.

The plan is controversial because it gives Everything Everywhere a huge headstart over rivals networks O2, Vodafone and Three. A headstart doesn't guarantee success for 4GEE -- but having the iPhone on the new network almost certainly does. 

Rival networks will launch 4G on the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands earmarked by Ofcom for LTE. Those airwaves will be auctioned off by Ofcom early next year, potentially giving Everything Everywhere the exclusive on a 4G iPhone for several months -- and that's only if Apple then releases an iPhone in this country that supports that other spectrum as well.

The new iPhone is announced this very evening, and is expected to go on sale relatively quickly. Keep it CNET for the first news and hands-on look at the new iPhone -- and in the meantime press play for our thoughts on what to expect:

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