T-Mobile to Release Software Update With LTE and Visual Voicemail Support for Unlocked iPhones on April 5

TmoNews reports that T-Mobile USA has issued an internal memo announcing that it will release a new carrier update on April 5 that will add LTE support for unlocked iPhones running on its network. The update will also bring Visual Voicemail and other features to the devices.

The T-Mobile Carrier Update is a minor iOS software update that enables official iPhone support by T-Mobile. When installed, the software update enables a handful of capabilities like Visual Voicemail, MMS Settings and Network/Device optimizations that customers do not have access to today.

On April 5, the software update will begin being pushed via OTA to all iPhone devices on the T-Mobile network with iOS 6.1.x or higher.

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The software update for existing handsets will come one week before T-Mobile officially begins offering the iPhone, although it has for a number of years catered to iPhone users seeking to bring their unlocked devices to the carrier.

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While existing T-Mobile customers using unlocked iPhones will be able to access LTE speeds in just a handful of cities, the carrier is working on rapidly building out its LTE network. Existing users will also continue to have some limitations on network access, as Apple will be releasing a tweaked iPhone 5 as part of the T-Mobile launch, with the new hardware providing full compatibility with T-Mobile's network including AWS Band 4 frequencies that are unsupported by iPhone devices sold to date.

Band 4 is where much of T-Mobile's 3G network is housed, an issue that has long forced iPhone users on the carrier to fall back to slower EDGE networks on Band 2. T-Mobile has been working hard to shift its 3G network over to Band 2 to provide greater 3G compatibility for existing customers, but the transition is not yet complete.

Top Rated Comments

daneoni Avatar
102 months ago
Always found it weird that more carriers didn't/haven't jump on the Visual Voicemail train. Such a useful feature. Ditto for HD Voice.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DarwinOSX Avatar
102 months ago

Always found it weird that more carriers didn't/haven't jump on the Visual Voicemail train. Such a useful feature. Ditto for HD Voice.

Apple requires carriers to include it at no additional cost. Others, like Android devices, don't, so companies like Verizon charge for Visual Voicemail. Apple also doesn't allow carrier bloatware or branding on their phones unlike Android which is festooned with logos and a crazy amount of bloatware. Verizon even put their logo on the home button of the Note 2

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5s is probably right around the corner in June...probably waiting before I make the switch over to TM.

Not sure how people can live with T-Mobile coverage unless its great where you live and you don't travel much. Whatever Verizon's faults are coverage isn't one of them. Especially LTE which nobody is even close to them on including AT&T.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hexonxonx Avatar
102 months ago
So is this going to be an OTA update or as with carrier updates on AT&T where we connected the phone to iTunes and got the update that way?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JPark Avatar
102 months ago

Obviously speed does not concern you. Maybe Verizon hits more markets (for now), but AT&T is much faster. And if you aren't on LTE, look out. Data speeds drop off considerably on Verizon. In fact, Verizon is the slowest of the four major US carriers in non-LTE markets.


I haven't done a direct comparison, but I can't believe it's slower than Sprint's non-LTE (assuming no Wi-Max, which iPhone doesn't support and which Sprint is killing off). Sprint's 3G is slower than AT&T's Edge.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nermal Avatar
102 months ago

So this https://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/26/t-mobiles-iphone-5-is-a-tweaked-model-a1428-phone-with-aws-support/ isn't a new hardware revision, just software tweaks? Great, else people who bought an unlocked 5 before this would've been burned.

EDIT: Or well, reading carefully, the T-Mobile note doesn't mention it'll add LTE support. Guess I'm wrong and it is new hardware.

The new hardware adds WCDMA 1700 (what T-Mobile calls "4G"). The existing hardware already supports LTE Band 4 and just needs the update.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Westside guy Avatar
102 months ago

Always found it weird that more carriers didn't/haven't jump on the Visual Voicemail train. Such a useful feature. Ditto for HD Voice.


I used to think this, but over the past few years I've come to realize I almost never get voice calls anymore.

Pretty much everyone is texting nowadays... even my 76 year old mom.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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