In an interview with CNET on Wednesday, T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray alluded to reportedly inside information in saying that Apple's next iPhone iteration may include a radio chipset capable of operating on the company's AWS network, meaning the number four U.S. cell carrier may finally get to sell the popular handset.
"The next chipset will support AWS," Ray said. "The challenge that existed in the past will go away."
All current and legacy iPhone models are incapable of communicating with T-Mobile's unique AWS spectrum band, which is used by only a few U.S. carriers like Cincinnati Bell and MetroPCS. Ray believes that this technical hurdle was to blame for keeping the iPhone away from T-Mobile's network.
Ray's statements come on the heels of those from Chief Executive Officer Philipp Humm, who said on Tuesday that the AWS frequency band was the "key reason" that the iPhone is not offered on the company's network.
Citing access to the roadmap of chipsets on the market, Ray said that Apple has the option to include AWS into an upcoming version of the smartphone, though is quick to state that the iPhone maker could completely ignore the older wireless protocol and continue without T-Mobile's business. The company later noted that Ray was not privy to Apple's plans, and thus his statements should be considered mere speculation.
Map of current HSPA+ T-Mobile coverage | Source: T-Mobile
Apple is expected to move to LTE, the wireless standard which AT&T, Verizon and Sprint are currently in the process of rolling out. Ray commented that T-Mobile could deploy LTE in certain areas, and the carrier will continue to aggressively improve its existing infrastructure by concentrating on HSPA+, which the company dubs as "4G."
The news comes during T-Mobile's recovery after an deal was scrapped in December.