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Thursday, May 08, 2008, 03:35 pm PT (06:35 pm ET)

Job listings hint at multi-carrier iPhone in Australia, Brazil

Following word from individual carriers of wider regional launches, Apple has posted a bevy of new job opportunities that allude to multi-carrier strategies in some — but not all — of the iPhone's new territories.

Posted shortly after America Movil and Vodafone announced their international deals with Apple to offer the iPhone, the listings for Australia, Brazil and Mexico all make clear whether new hires are meant to support one or more carriers.

In Australia, posts for a Lead Carrier Certification Engineer and a Field Validation Engineer both have any prospective candidates heading up the approval of iPhones with "Cellular Carriers," according to Apple, potentially making Vodafone's deal just one among others.

The new vacancies lend support to a rumor circulated late last week of a deal with Optus that also claimed the carrier wouldn't have exclusive access to the iPhone. This claim also had Optus announcing its strategy in mid-May, or within weeks of both the new multinational announcements and Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in mid-June.

A similar pattern is emerging with job listings for Brazil. Apple job entries for Carrier Certification Engineers in lead and general roles, as well as a third for a Field Test Engineer, also indicate that any of the future employees will be asked to help approve the touchscreen handsets for more than one provider.

The South American country has so far only been given iPhone support from America Movil's local division, Claro, but could potentially be served by carriers such as Brasil Telecom, Oi, Vivo, or Telecom Italia's Brazilian operation, TIM Celular. TIM is already poised to offer the iPhone in its native Italy, but hasn't announced any foreign agreements.

Enthusiasts in Mexico may have relatively limited choices, however. A solitary position for a Carrier Certification Engineer in Mexico City only makes mention of a single wireless carrier rather than the plural mentioned elsewhere. This would leave only America Movil's Telcel as the iPhone's supplier in the Latin country. Past rumors haven't suggested multi-carrier deals for the iPhone in the area.

Separately, the Australian listings also make mention of a need for experience with CDMA phone networks as well as GSM, EDGE, and UMTS, but is not believed to relate to the launch of a phone supporting the technology in the country: Telstra, the lone carrier continuing to support CDMA for the island state, shut down the service in late April in favor of its GSM and UMTS networks.