T-Mobile USA Spectrum Refarming Lets Some iPhone Users Access 3G Data Speeds

While T-Mobile USA has yet to officially offer the iPhone due to an inability to reach an agreement with Apple on the development of new hardware to support T-Mobile's 3G/4G network standards, that hasn't stopped the carrier from quietly targeting iPhone owners with micro-SIM cards and over one million users from taking their unlocked iPhones to the carrier.

Those users have, however, been limited to T-Mobile's slower EDGE network due to the iPhone's incompatibility with the 1700/2100 MHz bands used by the carrier for its faster data networks.

tmobile usa iphone 3g
TmoNews now reports, however, that T-Mobile USA has begun refarming some of its spectrum capacity in order to advance its next-generation HSPA+ 84 network, with those changes resulting in the carrier's 3G network moving over to the iPhone-accessible 1900 MHz band in some "pockets" of the country.

First and foremost, the area we’re specifically talking about is Nevada as that is where this individual unlocked iPhone owner lives. However, Nevada, parts of Northern California and the Pacific Northwest are also seeing some pockets of 1900MHz spectrum refarming for HSPA+. There are other parts of the country T-Mobile can refarm the 1900MHz spectrum but, the focus is on the Pacific Northwest, Nevada, Utah and California for right now from what we’re told. We should emphasize and emphasize greatly that this post does not mean that all of the aforementioned areas are seeing this refarmed spectrum, just pockets inside those areas.

The report notes that T-Mobile iPhone user access to 3G will remain "rare" as the spectrum refarming will only result in the required transition taking place in limited areas around the country. But for those users lucky enough to be in one of those pockets, they are already seeing data speeds well above what the iPhone has until been limited to on the carrier's EDGE network.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

baritz Avatar
161 months ago

Anyway, this sounds like pretty good news. I'm not sure I really see the appeal of T-Mobile in general, especially since there are so many other official network options for your iPhone to live on. But hey, faster speeds for more people is always better.

For me, at least, the appeal is price. My family has four unlocked iPhones on T-Mobile's Value plan. For unlimited texts, minutes, and unlimited (2G) data, we pay $50/line/month. A similar plan on AT&T would cost $90/line/month (2GB data/line).

Even when you factor in the price of an unlocked iPhone ($650), versus AT&T's subsidized price ($200), you still save almost $500 per line over the course of the two year contract. Additionally, if you don't upgrade your phone at the end of the two years, you start saving $525 per line PER YEAR.

I realize that the mobile data speeds are not nearly equivalent, but this is a compromise I'm more than willing to make, especially since I have WiFi at home and work.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dontwalkhand Avatar
161 months ago
thats great news for everyone on tmobile + cheaper

but i rather keep my

Image (http://i44.tinypic.com/azjhas.png)

You have decided to cut out the carrier info at the top...hmm...sure it isn't Wi-Fi?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Diode Avatar
161 months ago
This is why I'd switch to T-Mobile in a heart beat if they officially supported the iPhone.

This is what 3G on the 4S is supposed to look like - I rarely get above 1.5mbit on AT&T in supposed HSPA+ coverage in DC.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blue22 Avatar
161 months ago
AT&T is all about C.R.E.A.M....

Their ground, whther legal or not, is that they helped you buy that iPhone you are holding in your hand with like a $400 subsidy...therefore, you are stuck with them...if you didnt want that, you shouldnt have let them help you buy that iPhone yuo are holding.
Simple Economics

Well, "legally" they're not obligated to accommodate their customers unlock requests, but since they're the only major carrier that outright refuses to do this [normal & reasonable service] for their customers this only confirms beyond any shadow of a doubt that AT&T is in fact managed by a bunch of greedy cutthroat a$$hole$.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dontwalkhand Avatar
161 months ago
I hope you watched SNL this weekend.

Anyway, this sounds like pretty good news. I'm not sure I really see the appeal of T-Mobile in general, especially since there are so many other official network options for your iPhone to live on. But hey, faster speeds for more people is always better.

For people who want to be on GSM, but not with AT&T.

(Try switching between two calls with a Verizon iPhone....IT IS A NIGHTMARE! With with T-Mobile/AT&T, just tap on the person's name..on my old VZW iPhone 4, You can't do that, and the swap button sometimes is greyed out, I was forced to hang up and call them back!)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
eNcrypTioN Avatar
161 months ago
This is good for all the t-mobile folks.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...
iOS NES Emulator Bimmy Feature

NES Emulator for iPhone and iPad Now Available on App Store [Removed]

Tuesday April 16, 2024 11:33 am PDT by
The first approved Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator for the iPhone and iPad was made available on the App Store today following Apple's rule change. The emulator is called Bimmy, and it was developed by Tom Salvo. On the App Store, Bimmy is described as a tool for testing and playing public domain/"homebrew" games created for the NES, but the app allows you to load ROMs for any...
iGBA Feature

Apple Removes Game Boy Emulator iGBA From App Store Due to Spam and Copyright Violations

Sunday April 14, 2024 9:22 pm PDT by
Apple today said it removed Game Boy emulator iGBA from the App Store for violating the company's App Review Guidelines related to spam (section 4.3) and copyright (section 5.2), but it did not provide any specific details. iGBA was a copycat version of developer Riley Testut's open-source GBA4iOS app. The emulator rose to the top of the App Store charts following its release this weekend,...
Delta Feature

Delta Game Emulator Now Available From App Store on iPhone

Wednesday April 17, 2024 9:58 am PDT by
Game emulator apps have come and gone since Apple announced App Store support for them on April 5, but now popular game emulator Delta from developer Riley Testut is available for download. Testut is known as the developer behind GBA4iOS, an open-source emulator that was available for a brief time more than a decade ago. GBA4iOS led to Delta, an emulator that has been available outside of...
iGBA Feature

Game Boy Emulator for iPhone Now Available in App Store Following Rule Change [Removed]

Sunday April 14, 2024 8:06 am PDT by
A week after Apple updated its App Review Guidelines to permit retro game console emulators, a Game Boy emulator for the iPhone called iGBA has appeared in the App Store worldwide. The emulator is already one of the top free apps on the App Store charts. It was not entirely clear if Apple would allow emulators to work with all and any games, but iGBA is able to load any Game Boy ROMs that...
iPhone 15 Pro Action Button Translate

All iPhone 16 Models to Feature Action Button, But Usefulness Debated

Tuesday April 16, 2024 6:54 am PDT by
Last September, Apple's iPhone 15 Pro models debuted with a new customizable Action button, offering faster access to a handful of functions, as well as the ability to assign Shortcuts. Apple is poised to include the feature on all upcoming iPhone 16 models, so we asked iPhone 15 Pro users what their experience has been with the additional button so far. The Action button replaces the switch ...