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Telstra, Optus confirm iPhone 5 on 4G networks

The new iPhone will work on 4G in Australia, but what does this mean for Vodafone?

In the wake of this morning's announcement that the iPhone 5 will be a 4G device, Optus and Telstra have come forward to confirm that the new iPhone will be compatible with both of their respective 4G networks.

The iPhone 5 will be available from next Friday. (Credit: James Martin/CNET)

In fact, Apple will be producing three models of the iPhone 5, with differing long-term evolution (LTE) chips to ensure that it's compatible with as many high-speed mobile services as possible.

In Australia, Telstra remains the dominant player for 4G, claiming that its service is available in more than 100 metropolitan and regional areas across Australia. (Click here for a full coverage map.)

Optus' slightly newer 4G network, however, is currently only available in Sydney, Newcastle and Perth, with Melbourne's network going live on 15 September. (Click here for a full coverage map.)

The big question is what Vodafone will do. Vodafone lags behind in the 4G department, and is not expected to launch an LTE network until next year, which may reduce its desire to push the new iPhone. Indeed, this morning, the Vodafone home page was heavily Apple-centric, but one device that was conspicuously absent was the iPhone 5.

Vodafone later updated its blog with the following statement:

Vodafone will be offering the new iPhone 5 from September 21. The iPhone 5 is fully compatible on our current network and the new Vodafone 4G network rolling out from early 2013.

The Vodafone Australia website as of 9.19am AEST. (Screenshot by CNET)

Apple had previously been fined AU$2.25m in Australia for marketing the most recent iPad as the iPad 4G, despite the fact it was incompatible with any local LTE services.

While the high speeds of 4G will undoubtedly prove to be a draw card for people looking to purchase the iPhone 5, both Apple and the local carriers will need to be careful with the marketing — even Telstra's advanced deployment reaches on 40 per cent of the population. The challenge will remain to sell the device in non-LTE-enabled areas, as well.

Updated at 11.35am: Added the Vodafone blog details.