Excitement turned to dismay for hundreds of Manx Telecom customers this week as it was revealed that iPhone owners could be waiting until the end of September to use 4G.
Launched to much fanfare on Tuesday morning after months of publicity, the high speed mobile internet service will only be available to Apple iPhone users following a system update.
Manx Telecom’s marketing director David Smith said: “We are aware that a number of customers with 4G ready handsets were disappointed in not being able to access 4G when the network was launched on July 29, as they are still waiting for manufacturers’ software updates.
‘While this issue only affects a minority of handsets, we share the disappointment of our customers who have to wait to use 4G.’
Only the most recent Apple smartphones – the iPhone 5, 5S and 5C models – are affected by the delay, as older models lack the hardware to support 4G.
Some Samsung smartphones also need an update.
To enable the service, Manx Telecom must receive approval from manufacturers after testing each 4G-ready phone on their network. Every device has been approved during testing, but some software updates have yet to be released by manufacturers.
Updates to the Samsung phones are expected within three weeks, but Apple are notoriously secretive about their upcoming releases.
They have confirmed to Manx Telecom that the update will arrive in September, suggesting that users may have to wait until the release of iOS8, the latest version of their mobile operating system, to get the update.
Mr Smith said: ‘We are liaising with our suppliers on an ongoing basis to ensure that our customers receive software updates as soon as they are available.
‘Customers affected can rest assured that we’ll be contacting them direct, as soon as we have more news.’
He continued: ‘This is an important process dictated by each handset manufacturer and ensures that the 4G customer experience offered by Manx Telecom is the best it can possibly be. However, it’s important to note that major telecoms providers, such as O2 in the UK, experienced similar issues affecting their customers.
‘The vast majority of our devices – including the Apple iPad Air, Samsung Galaxy S5 and all other devices from Sony, Nokia, HTC, Huawei, Blackberry and Motorola – are working on 4G today.
‘And there’s more good news because we have received approval for our new superfast 4G network from all manufacturers. The software updates are either available now or – as in the case of selected Apple, Samsung and LG devices – will be available very soon.’
Rival network Sure will be launching its 4G service in mid-November.
An up to date list of devices that are working on 4G is online at www.manxtelecom.com/4ghandsets
At the time of going to press, the following handsets sold by Manx Telecom have been approved as 4G ready by the company:
Apple iPad (fourth generation); Apple iPad Air; Apple iPad mini; BlackBerry Z1; BlackBerry Q10; BlackBerry Q5; BlackBerry Z30; HTC One; HTC One (M8); HTC One Max; HTC One mini; HTC One mini 2; HTC One X+; HTC Windows Phone 8X by HTC; Huawei Ascend G6; Huawei Ascend P2; LG Nexus 5; Nokia Lumia 1020; Nokia Lumia 1320; Nokia Lumia 1520; Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet; Nokia Lumia 625; Nokia Lumia 820; Nokia Lumia 920; Nokia Lumia 925; Sony Xperia Tablet Z; Sony Xperia SP; Sony Xperia Z; Sony Xperia Z Ultra; Sony Xperia Z1; Sony Xperia Z1 Compact; Sony Xperia Z2; Samsung Galaxy S5.
4G-enabled but awaiting software updates from manufacturers: Apple iPhone 5; Apple iPhone 5c; Apple iPhone 5s; Samsung Galaxy Ace 3; Samsung Galaxy Mega; Samsung Galaxy Note 2; Samsung Galaxy Note 3; Samsung Galaxy S4; Samsung Galaxy S4 mini.