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T-Mobile USA to Be Ready for iPhone by End of 2012, LTE Coming in 2013

T-Mobile USA yesterday announced its plans to begin work with Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks to roll out LTE service in 2013, taking advantage of spectrum it obtained from AT&T last week following the failed merger of the two carriers. But perhaps more importantly for iPhone users, T-Mobile's network improvements will allow it to offer HSPA+ service in the 1900 MHz band compatible with current iPhone hardware "by the end of the year".
As part of the company’s network modernization effort, T-Mobile also plans to launch 4G HSPA+ service in the 1900 MHz band in a large number of markets by the end of the year. Network modernization trials have shown up to a 33 percent increase in HSPA+ data speeds as well as improved in-building coverage. Rolling out 4G HSPA+ services in the 1900 MHz band will also provide customers with the ability to use a broader range of devices, including the iPhone, on T-Mobile’s 4G network.
T-Mobile already has over one million iPhone customers on its network and has been beefing up support for those customers even though they are currently limited to T-Mobile's much slower EDGE data network.


T-Mobile USA began refarming its spectrum late last year, allowing a small number of users to access 3G speeds on the 1900 MHz band compatible with the iPhone. With yesterday's announcement, that refarming will spread nationwide and make it possible for the carrier to fully support the iPhone without Apple being required to build hardware specific to T-Mobile and a handful of other carriers using the 1700/2100 MHz AWS bands for their 3G/4G service.

AllThingsD notes that T-Mobile USA Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray acknowledged that the spectrum refarming will allow the carrier to aggressively target current AT&T customers whose contracts have lapsed by the end of the year.
Ray declined to comment on whether the company would directly target iPhone users in a big marketing push planned for later this year.

“It would make sense,” Ray agreed, but added, “We’re not there yet.”
Apple is widely expected to include LTE support in the next-generation iPhone, and a September-October release in line with rumors would still leave T-Mobile behind the curve with its LTE network not rolling out until 2013. But the carrier would certainly be in a much more competitive position simply by offering a fast HSPA+ network supporting the iPhone.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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29 months ago
SEE! Look what happens when we don't allow monopolies via mergers. Innovation!
Rating: 11 Votes
29 months ago

SEE! Look what happens when we don't allow monopolies via mergers. Innovation!


Amen! I am stoked to read this news as we need another carrier for competition in the states (especially another GSM/LTE carrier). This should be a win/win for everyone (don't give up Deutsch Telecomm!)

(I believe the comment meant if AT&T had acquired t-Mobile competition would be more hampered and thus less reason for more innovation/development of another carriers service/infrastructure. Now that t-Mobile is going in for the fight, it will keep others on their toes - and I'm glad the merger was halted, we don't need another Ma Bell)
Rating: 5 Votes
29 months ago
It will be nice to have an alternative to AT&T.
Rating: 5 Votes
29 months ago

SEE! Look what happens when we don't allow monopolies via mergers. Innovation!


This isn't innovation and really has nothing to do with the merger falling through other than the fact that they were forced to do it to stay alive.
Rating: 5 Votes
29 months ago
this is good. I might be even able to use my iPhone at home by the end of the year. Screw ATT!
Rating: 4 Votes
29 months ago

The only bad part is - T-Mobile would have done this sooner had they not been in negotiations for a merger.


Agree and disagree -

T-Mob now actually has money due to the failed takeover (merger my butt).

However, the parent T-mobile was really not interested in the US operations so it was not going anywhere.
Rating: 4 Votes
29 months ago
This is great news for the budget conscience smartphone user. All those iPhone 4 and 4S's that will get unloaded when the LTE iPhone gets released this year will work quite nicely with T-Mobile's value plan (or daily prepaid options). The other major carriers don't even try to compete with T-mobile Value (aka bring your own phone) plan.
Rating: 3 Votes
29 months ago
So will an unlocked iPhone 4 (with only HSPA) work on the re-farmed HSPA+ spectrum? i.e. is it backward compatable? If so, I may let my ATT contract end in July and try out T-Mobile. Always liked them best anyway.
Rating: 3 Votes
29 months ago
What was the point in T-Mobile using moon-frequencies in the first place?

They've been "incompatible" with everything for years and years and years. Yeah, it's good that they're switching NOW, but why couldn't they have started this back in 2009 or whenever?
Rating: 3 Votes
29 months ago

this is good. I might be even able to use my iPhone at home by the end of the year. Screw ATT!


What, you didn't want to spend $150 + $20 a month on the Microcell? ;)
http://www.macrumors.com/2010/03/24/atandt-set-to-roll-out-nationwide-3g-microcell-availability-beginning-next-month/
Rating: 3 Votes

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