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09-11-2012, 04:43 AM #1
T-Mobile in the Process of Converting its 4G Network to Support Apple's iPhone
Ever since the original iPhone shipped in 2007, T-Mobile has been a host to unlocked iPhones on its network. The one downside all along has been the fact that iPhone users on T-Mobile only get the much slower 2G GSM frequency speeds. The 3G networks that T-Mobile built haven’t been compatible with the iPhone because they work on non-standard AWS (Advanced Wireless Spectrum) frequencies rather than those used by AT&T in the US and most GSM-aligned carriers worldwide. The wireless carrier also bet against the industry by siding with WiMAX rather than 4G LTE as its future, a decision that was yet again, incompatible with the iPhone. Furthermore, T-Mobile’s smaller subscriber base was never large enough to attract attention from Apple to develop support for its non-standard 3G or WiMAX networks (attention that ended up shifting towards Verizon with the CDMA model that iPhone created). All of this has left the company striving to support unlocked iPhone users in an unofficial way as the company scrambles to make the network changes necessary to start negotiations with Apple.
The company’s original plan was to get the iPhone revolved around a proposed $39 billion acquisition by AT&T last year, which intended to reuse T-Mobile’s spectrum to rapidly build out 4G LTE in the U.S. while improving coverage for existing AT&T users in the short term. The government stopped this deal to keep T-Mobile’s cheaper plans available to consumers. T-Mobile ended up with $3 billion in cash and $1 billion worth of spectrum as a parting gift from the deal. Since then, T-Mobile has been working to build out new 4G technologies that are compatible with Apple’s iPhone. Chief technology officer, Neville Ray, said the company would be repurposing its existing 1900MHz 2G service with 4G HSPA+, in order to “provide customers with the ability to use a broader range of devices, including the iPhone, on T-Mobile’s 4G network.” Portions of its recently built HSPA+ service, built out in New York City, Seattle, and Las Vegas are already able to support Apple’s iPhone 4S (it should be noted that T-Mobile was advertising its HSPA+ networks as 4G, despite it not being LTE, although it’s just as fast in some cases). Furthermore, in a recent interview with Gigaom, Ray stated that the existing iPhone 4S is already operating 70% faster on T-Mobile than it does on AT&T.
Ray also noted that T-Mobile is also building support for dual-carrier HSPA+, which can support 42 Mbps. The iPhone 4S can currently only handle HSPA+ up to 14.4 Mbps, but the new iPad arrived with support for dual-carrier networks alongside North American LTE, making it very likely that the next-generation iPhone will also support T-Mobile’s very fast dual-carrier 1900MHz HSPA+. Ray added that T-Mobile will “have a material footprint on HSPA+ at 1900 MHz by the end of the year,” and told the site that T-Mobile would begin aggressively courting unlocked iPhone users this holiday season.
It is expected that Apple will negotiate a carrier agreement once T-Mobile can offer broad support for iPhones on its network. T-Mobile iPhone users finally have something more concrete to look forward to.
09-11-2012, 06:56 AM #2
Makes me glad I've held on as a t-mobile customer.. the price difference is just excellent, plus I love not having to consider limits. I've been with them quite a long time so I'm grandfathered an a great deal I got a long time ago.. still slightly better than most of the plans they offer today... I don't use a ton of data because I'm usually near wifi but I am a huge texter and send a lot of pictures to friends and family.. My phone also replaced my land-line so not having to keep track of all that is very appealing to me.
I can't wait to get 4G speeds though .. get rid of this edge nonsense.
09-11-2012, 07:45 AM #3
I hope they switch soon because I'm ready to jump over to T-Mobile for their new unlimited plan. I'm tired of AT&T's throttling BS.
09-11-2012, 09:34 AM #4
I'm loving this, if everything works out i might just get the iPhone5 early other than waiting for a jailbreak, T-mobile has the best prepaid Pay-As-You-Go plan for 4G on the market right now, with $70/first 5GB @ 4G speeds/after 5G you get unlimited 2G/Unlimited Talk & Text... and if the iPhone5 increased its Wifi range i can pick up starbucks wifi while at work, saves my data usage..
09-11-2012, 10:09 AM #5
Last edited by Carvensno; 09-11-2012 at 10:11 AM.
09-11-2012, 11:01 AM #6
Akshay is it? You're not from around here are you, because if you were you would know that
T-MOBILE HAS NO WIMAX NETWORK AND NEVER DID! Just sayin...
Last edited by blkcadi; 09-11-2012 at 01:32 PM.
09-11-2012, 11:14 AM #7
I am SO excited for them to flip the switch in Chicago. I'm still rocking the $5.99 T-zones plan. $5.99 for unlimited 3g and eventually 4g data? Yes. Yes please.
(I keep flicking my 3g on to see if it's up, nothing yet!)
09-11-2012, 03:49 PM #8
Of course the reason why its upgrading because of the prior merge attempt, they stopped all upgrades but since that merge was declined by the FCC, it needs to upgrade. Apple denied T-Mobile US because their network could not fully support its iPhone to its full potential and the only way it will allow it is to have 4G support for iPhone for Apple to even consider T-Mobile.
09-11-2012, 07:11 PM #9
09-11-2012, 07:26 PM #10
09-11-2012, 07:57 PM #11
I realize that this may be hard to swallow, but the key here isn't the HSPA+, it's the fact that T-Mobile has decided to do what AT&T did, and support the dual antenna setup on the iPhone 4S... The iPhone 4 will see NO difference, however, it should also be able to utilize T-Mobile's "4G" network as 3G towers.
Of course, NONE of this matters for most of us, because we all know that these kinda of upgrades take time to roll out. I'm tired of all the "Newer, Bigger, Better, Faster" crap the carriers keep playing at... They spend so much time upgrading the big cities that they forget about smaller markets who pay the same prices for crappy service. I'm still suffering with EDGE! If they don't fix it within the next year, I'm switching to CDMA, because even slower 3G is better than AT&T's EDGE.It's not where you've been, or where you're going..
It's where you are.
Reflect on the past, plan for the future, mod for today.
09-12-2012, 09:37 AM #12
Your confusion comes from Apple's initial reluctance to call HSPA+ "4G" when they knew the next phone would be true 4G LTE. Apple relented and started calling it "4G" due to market pressure from carriers and the fact that every other phone with the same radio tech claimed to be "4G."
The story is this:
T-Mobile is gaining access to AT&T's towers as part of a contingency agreement after the proposed merger fell through. As a result, 3G GSM iPhones that didn't support T-Mobile's AWS frequency (and were forced to use Edge) will soon be able to function at full 3G speed. "4G" HSPA+ GSM iPhones that don't support AWS frequency (the iPhone 4S) will begin to operate with "4G" HSPA+ speed.
All of this applies to USA-only. In the rest of the world, T-Mobile uses a standard GSM band that *is* supported by any GSM iPhone 4 and 4S.
Last edited by Shigoroku; 09-12-2012 at 09:54 AM.
09-12-2012, 11:34 AM #13
Already seeing it here in parts of Boston:
Last edited by justincase; 09-12-2012 at 11:40 AM.
09-12-2012, 11:39 AM #14T-Mobile needs to put up or shut the **** up!
T-Mobile needs to put up or shut the **** up! They have been saying this for the past year and a half and we are yet to see 3G connectivity on the iPhone. I am so tired to hearing them say they are gonna do or not do!