LTE carrier support globally for the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C
The new iPhones – iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C now are the devices with the most LTE bands of all smartphones currently. They dethroned the previous title holder Xperia Z ultra because in the Sprint model of the device they have managed to cover up to 13 LTE bands.
The truth is that global LTE devices often dream of such coverage as the Apple iPhone 5S and 5C. The veritable multiband model that Qualcomm has made available probably has its variations in the iPhone 5S and 5C. The four model numbers for each of the newly-announced 5s and 5c, come with 7-13 LTE bands support each, depending on the region they will be sold at.
Apple promises in the fine print that “unlocked iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S and iPhone 5 models may support LTE networks outside the country of purchase when using a valid SIM from a supported carrier,” so Sprint iPhone users are in luck, but the 11-band 5s and 5c models on AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are not far behind either.
A1533/A1532 are the unlocked models meant for Verizon/AT&T/T-Mobile, whereas the A1453/A1456 Sprint versions will be tied to the carrier, as those are only sold with a 2-year contract.
If you have a good standing in Sprint you might ask them to unlock your device after 3 months of usage, though if you are fresh new customer that period may as well extend to 18 months.
Even if you can get a hold on the Sprint model unlocked, or the one for the other major carriers, it will indeed work with most European/Asian LTE networks, save for band 7 (2600 MHz) of the typical European bands 3, 7 and 20 subset, which is also used in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It seems that iPhone is still a little bit ahead of all the rest smartphones when it comes to LTE compatibility.