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.

Top Rated Comments

baritz Avatar
132 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
132 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
132 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
132 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
132 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
132 months ago
This is good for all the t-mobile folks.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

intel vs m1 max chip purple

Benchmarks Confirm Intel's Latest Core i9 Chip Outperforms Apple's M1 Max With Several Caveats

Wednesday January 26, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Benchmark results have started to surface for MSI's new GE76 Raider, one of the first laptops to be powered by Intel's new 12th-generation Core i9 processor. Intel previously said that its new high-end Core i9 processor is faster than Apple's M1 Max chip in the 16-inch MacBook Pro and, as noted by Macworld, early Geekbench 5 results do appear to confirm this claim, but there are several...
General Dropbox Feature

macOS 12.3 Will Include Cloud Storage Changes Affecting Dropbox and OneDrive

Tuesday January 25, 2022 3:31 pm PST by
Dropbox today announced that users who update to macOS 12.3 once that software version becomes available may temporarily encounter issues with opening online-only files in some third-party apps on their Mac. In a support document and an email to customers, Dropbox said it is actively working on full support for online-only files on macOS 12.3 and will begin rolling out an updated version of...
Apple Watch Red Yellow Green Feature 1

Apple Launches Black Unity Braided Solo Loop With 'Unity Lights' Watch Face

Wednesday January 26, 2022 6:05 am PST by
Apple today announced the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop for the Apple Watch, as well as a new downloadable watch face, to celebrate Black History Month. Following the launch of the limited edition Black Unity Apple Watch Series 6 and Sport Band in 2021, Apple today launched the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop as part of its celebrations for Black History Month this year.Apple is launching a...
ios 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 With Fix for Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Wednesday January 26, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3, the third major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.3 come almost two weeks after the release of iOS and iPadOS 15.2.1, minor bug fix updates. The iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in ...
iOS 15

Everything New in iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4: Face ID With a Mask, Emojis, Apple Card Widget, Universal Control and More

Thursday January 27, 2022 12:08 pm PST by
Apple today seeded the first betas of iOS 15.4, iPadOS 15.4 to developers for testing purposes, adding a slew of new features to the latest iOS operating systems. iOS 15.4 is the biggest update that we've had to iOS 15 to date, and it brings Universal Control, Face ID with a mask, new emojis, and tons more. Face ID With a Mask With iOS 15.4, there is now an option to unlock your iPhone...
mobeewave

Upcoming iOS Update Will Allow iPhones to Accept Credit Cards Directly Using NFC

Wednesday January 26, 2022 6:00 pm PST by
Apple is working on a new payments service that will allow iPhones to accept payments directly on device with no additional hardware, reports Bloomberg. Right now, iPhones can accept credit cards with add-ons like the Square Reader, but Apple's new technology will eliminate the need for a third-party product. Individuals and small businesses will be able to accept payments with the tap of a...
macOS Monterey on MBP Feature

Apple Releases macOS Monterey 12.2 With Safari Vulnerability Fix

Wednesday January 26, 2022 10:19 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Monterey 12.2, the second major update to the macOS Monterey update that launched in October. macOS Monterey 12.2 comes over a month after the release of the 12.1 update, which brought SharePlay support. The ‌‌‌macOS Monterey 12.2‌‌ update can be downloaded on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. Apple has also...