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T-Mobile planning network compatibility with Apple's iPhone by end of year

post #1 of 32
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T-Mobile has revealed plans for the wireless carrier's network to offer iPhone-compatible HSPA+ 4G service by the end of this year.

T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray made comments during a dinner event on Monday that T-Mobile will use 1900MHz spectrum for its upgraded network that would allow iPhone users access to 4G speeds, as noted by All Things D.

The company also announced its plans in a press release on Monday.

"As part of the company's network modernization effort, T-Mobile also plans to launch 4G HSPA+ service in the 1900 MHz band in a large number of markets by the end of the year," the statement read. "Rolling out 4G HSPA+ services in the 1900 MHz band will also provide customers with the ability to use a broader range of devices, including the iPhone, on T-Mobile's 4G network."

The carrier recently obtained much-needed spectrum from AT&T as part of the breakup fee of an attempted merger between the two companies.

Though T-Mobile is largely focusing on upgrading to an LTE network, the company has recommitted some of its 1900MHz spectrum for its HSPA+ 4G network, CNet reports. Current iPhone models are expected to be able to take advantage of the network as a result. Subscribers who use unlocked iPhones on the T-Mobile network are limited to 2G speeds at present.

Ray said a company marketing campaign targeting iPhone users would "make sense" later this year, but he stopped short of saying whether the company had any plans for one. T-Mobile is the only major carrier in the U.S. that does not sell the iPhone. The company blamed the launch of the iPhone 4S as the primary reason for a loss of more than 700,000 contract customers during the fourth quarter of 2011.

iPhone 4S


T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm said early this year that frequency band incompatibility is the "key reason" that the company doesn't officially offer Apple's iPhone. At the time, Humm suggested that the problem would be resolved over time as next-generation chipsets add support for more bands. T-Mobile, however, does not appear to be content with just waiting and has been "refarming" some of its spectrum to support the iPhone. Late last year, scattered reports emerged that small pockets of T-Mobile iPhone users were seeing HSPA+ 3G speeds after the carrier switched over to 1900MHz spectrum in some areas.

Rumors of a next-generation LTE-capable iPhone arriving later this year have also prompted speculation that T-Mobile could wait until its LTE network is up and running before initiating sales of the iPhone. T-Mobile announced on Monday that it had signed contracts with Nokia Siemens and Ericsson to build out its LTE network. The company will spend as much as $4 billion to transform its 4G network and plans to have nationwide LTE coverage next year.
post #2 of 32
T-Mobile USA officially getting the iPhone before China Mobile? I can make a case for both of these.

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post #3 of 32

It's about damn time.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #4 of 32
T-Mobile is unlikely to officially sell the iPhone any time soon due to the commitment of number of phones required, however they will be able to I officially support it much like any other GSM phone on their network. Considering none of their phones operate on 1900Mhz 3G, the PCS 3G network will end up being iPhone-only for quite some time.
post #5 of 32
USD 4Billion? Is not this the same name number AT&T reportedly had to pay Deutsche Telekom if the attempted merger fell through? To a theorist it might appear DT are just using those funds for this seemingly short-term measure. Does anyone see this as plausible?
Edited by Dispozition - 5/7/12 at 10:44pm
post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dispozition View Post

USD 4Billion? Is not this the same name number AT&T reportedly had to pay Deutsche Telekom if the attempted merger fell through? To a theorist it might appear DT are just using those funds for this seemingly short-term measure. Does anyone see this as plausible?

 

The article says that the $4 Billion is for building out the LTE network, not for refarming the 1900 mhz spectrum for HSPA+.  So the money is for their Long Term Evolution, not as a "seemingly short-term measure."

post #7 of 32

It's good that T-Mobile is gonna allow iPhone 4G.  It's also good that AT&T won't buy out T-Mobile.  AT&T is big enough and rotten to boot.  I honestly see the iPhone for T-Mobile and AT&T suffering because of their criminal data practice.

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post #8 of 32

Even if T-Mobile gets the iPhone officially, there 'unlimited' data plans come with high speed caps that make their prices perhaps the worst of any of the carriers.  For example, to get just 2GB of high speed data with just minutes of voice calls, you're going to pay at least $69 a month, and a data only plan is $39.99 for 2 GB a month.  When you hit the cap, it throttles back to an incredibly slow 50-100 kbps but much slower in my tests.  I do like T-Mo's pay by the day plan (only pay for days used) and it's useful for those needing a backup or secondary phone but getting a primary plan on T-Mobile - not a chance.

post #9 of 32

<insert HSPA+ is not 4G, speeds will not be "4G", etc.>

post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

<insert HSPA+ is not 4G, speeds will not be "4G", etc.>

 

I think they should throw everyone off and call it "4H" instead.

 

Oh, the other carriers are still using 'G'? Our network goes to 'H'!

post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

Considering none of their phones operate on 1900Mhz 3G, the PCS 3G network will end up being iPhone-only for quite some time.

Actually, their Galaxy S II, the Amaze 4G, the Exhibit II, the Lumia 710, the Blaze 4G, and the unlocked Galaxy Nexus all support 1900 MHz 3G, and given that the first two are probably T-Mobile's most popular phones, I think it's safe to say that a decent percentage of T-Mobile's smartphone userbase will be able to use the PCS 3G right away.

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post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dispozition View Post

USD 4Billion? Is not this the same name number AT&T reportedly had to pay Deutsche Telekom if the attempted merger fell through? To a theorist it might appear DT are just using those funds for this seemingly short-term measure. Does anyone see this as plausible?

Actually if you look at their lineup, most of their smartphones have supported 1900 Mhz 3G for quite some time.  

post #13 of 32

Hmmm....right about the time Apple will release their LTE iPhone.   T-Mobile....you are late to the party.

post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

I think they should throw everyone off and call it "4H" instead.

I like that. Then they could offer a free cow with every contract.
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post #15 of 32

*Bong… bong… bong…*

 

Hear that, AT&T? The bell tolls.

post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

*Bong… bong… bong…*

 

Hear that, AT&T? The bell tolls.

$2.50 for the first minute.

post #17 of 32

Start with full iPhone support

I'm on T-Mobile with an iPhone and I like their plans and service. What I don't like is being told that my iPhone is not-supported.

 

T-Mobile needs to:

 

1. Fully support iPhones as if they were purchased from them. There are so few models, that shouldn't be hard.

 

2. Make up for T-Mobile's current deficiencies. Offer iPhone users extra benefits (i.e. free SMS) until the new 3G/4G/LTE data services come online.

 

After all, we brought our own phones to T-Mobile. It didn't have to subsidize their cost. That should count for something.

post #18 of 32

Prediction: T-Mobile will never offer the iPhone.

Reason: Apple will be buying T-Mobile first.

post #19 of 32

This is because due to the pending AT&T subsuming of T-Mobile Apple did not bother to add 1700MHz (the T-Mobile 3G Frequency) to the iPhone4S (there were claims that AT&T paid them off under the table to not make the iPhone4S T-Mobile compatible). If it had then T-Mobile would have been able to offer 3G iPhone support. This would have allowed the Unlocked/Unsubsidized iPhone4S to be used as well as (if T-Mobile wanted) T-Mobile sold iPhone4S handsets. Right now, just by selling the SIM Cards, T-Mobile supposedly has 7% of all iPhones in use. Thus even without actually selling the phone their share could go up.
 

post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post
Prediction: T-Mobile will never offer the iPhone.

Reason: Apple will be buying T-Mobile first.

 

Not happening.

post #21 of 32

Given T-Mumble's track record, THIS IS A LIE.

post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Not happening.

Don't go out on a limb with that.

post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post
Don't go out on a limb with that.

 

Apple's not buying a carrier, nor becoming one themselves.

 

And T-Mobile has just stated they'll be supporting existing iPhones' 3G. They'll get to 4G eventually, and that's not even the point. A dozen or so odd regional carriers have the iPhone now, they don't have LTE, and people still use them.

post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

I'm on T-Mobile with an iPhone and I like their plans and service. What I don't like is being told that my iPhone is not-supported.

 

T-Mobile needs to:

 

1. Fully support iPhones as if they were purchased from them. There are so few models, that shouldn't be hard.

 

2. Make up for T-Mobile's current deficiencies. Offer iPhone users extra benefits (i.e. free SMS) until the new 3G/4G/LTE data services come online.

 

After all, we brought our own phones to T-Mobile. It didn't have to subsidize their cost. That should count for something.

 

They problem is that T-Mobile can NOT fully support the iPhone (ie: Offer 3G support) until Apple delivers a iPhone that supports T-Mobile's CURRENT 1700MHz 3G frequency (something that they deliberately did NOT do [for whatever reason - possibly partly due to AT&T's attempt to subsume T-Mobile] with the iPhone4S). Current iPhones that use 1900Mhz (like AT&T) will be usable on T-Mobile as they introduce 1900MHz service as they are promised.

post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

I'm on T-Mobile with an iPhone and I like their plans and service. What I don't like is being told that my iPhone is not-supported.

 

T-Mobile needs to:

 

1. Fully support iPhones as if they were purchased from them. There are so few models, that shouldn't be hard.

 

2. Make up for T-Mobile's current deficiencies. Offer iPhone users extra benefits (i.e. free SMS) until the new 3G/4G/LTE data services come online.

 

3. After all, we brought our own phones to T-Mobile. It didn't have to subsidize their cost. That should count for something.

 

1. How? If your device somehow fails are they supposed to troubleshoot it for you? If they have some network setting that needs to be changed, how would they do that since the phone is designed to not be supported on their freaks?

 

2. Why should they offer one customer special deals that others don't get simply because they have a different phone? It's not their fault that Apple chose to use a different chipset that doesn't support their network, and it's not Apple's fault they use a different freak either. T-Mobile isn't responsible for you or anyone else buying an incompatible device and you saying they should is ridiculous.

 

3. And they didn't tell you your phone was supported, quite the opposite in fact and it's well known it doesn't work with their 3G bands. Why do you think it's okay to buy something that isn't made for the service you use and then demand that they bend to your desires when you bought the wrong device? They shouldn't subsidized your ill informed decision. (Maybe you did know it was unsupported, but that doesn't excuse the fact you're making ridiculous demands.)

 

They are already bending over backwards to accommodate customers with incompatible hardware as it is. Be thankful they aren't AT&T and trying to do everything they can to make your experience the worst it can possibly be while milking you for the most money they can.

post #26 of 32

About time, Apple & T-Mobile should have been working much more closely on this a LONG TIME AGO!!!

post #27 of 32

I dont get why apple doesnt just make an iphone for only tmobile and the other virsion for all the others.

post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidprettykool1 View Post
I dont get why apple doesnt just make an iphone for only tmobile and the other virsion for all the others.

 

They're no longer in the business of making a phone that only works in (less than) half the market.

post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidprettykool1 View Post

I dont get why apple doesnt just make an iphone for only tmobile and the other virsion for all the others.
They haven't even had to do that since 2010 with their use of the pentaband chip. All they have to do, HW-wise is add the appropriate power amp. The reasons for no T-Mobile USA iPhone likely falls squarely not being able to reach an agreement on the prove of the handset.

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post #30 of 32
When we look and hope for the possibility of T-Mobile USA getting the next iPhone, we have to keep in mind that with the iPad now being sold with 4G LTE capability, the next iPhone will have it as well. Knowing that only 2 of the 4 major carriers {Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile} had 4G LTE markets, I was surprised to see that Apple released it when there wasn't many 4G LTE markets on AT&T. Shortly after watching the Keynote, I drove down to an AT&T Wireless store and asked the salesperson how many 4G LTE markets they currently have; he searched his computer and told me that they only had 35 markets at that time. After speaking with a few T-Mobile branch managers, they told me that their 4G LTE deployment would actually start in the 4th quarter this year. Tmonews.com's David Beren told me that they want 170 markets up by the summer of next year. With seeing how little number of 4G LTE markets that AT&T had to get the opportunity to sell the new iPad, I would say that T-Mobile has a good chance of selling the new iPhone when it's introduced if they have 35 4G LTE markets as well.
post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


They haven't even had to do that since 2010 with their use of the pentaband chip. All they have to do, HW-wise is add the appropriate power amp. The reasons for no T-Mobile USA iPhone likely falls squarely not being able to reach an agreement on the prove of the handset.

Just because there may be a problem with T-Mobile and Apple reaching an agreement for T-Mobile to sell the iPhone, that does not apply to the unsubsidized Full Price/Unlocked iPhone4S. So long as the phone is built to support the T-Mobile 1700MHz 3G frequency, I would have the option to buy the iPhone outright and use it just like I can currently use other non-1700MHz iPhones (getting only Edge speeds). So far as I am concerned, there is a difference between a T-Mobile iPhone (ie: One being sold by T-Mobile) and a T-Mobile SUPPORTING iPhone (ie: One that has the needed 1700MHz 3G frequency). You are painting the issue as one where T-Mobile and Apple being unable to reach a purchase agreement is the cause when it is simply that Apple will not add the support and get the full price for the phone up front with their direct-to-consumer unsubsidized iPhone4S. Note also, that until the iPhone4S AT&T had a contractual exclusive on the GSM iPhone (ie: That Apple was forbidden to even offer it to T-Mobile). Thus 2010 is too early since the iPhone4S was a 2011 (or 2012) phone.

post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Rosenberg View Post

Just because there may be a problem with T-Mobile and Apple reaching an agreement for T-Mobile to sell the iPhone, that does not apply to the unsubsidized Full Price/Unlocked iPhone4S
Sure it does. You can't hack in the AWS operating band. HW is required to work with T-Mobile USA's 3G network, therefore Apple has to be decide to put the HW in the device to support T-Mobile USA... just as I stated.
Quote:
So long as the phone is built to support the T-Mobile 1700MHz 3G frequency, I would have the option to buy the iPhone outright and use it just like I can currently use other non-1700MHz iPhones (getting only Edge speeds). So far as I am concerned, there is a difference between a T-Mobile iPhone (ie: One being sold by T-Mobile) and a T-Mobile SUPPORTING iPhone (ie: One that has the needed 1700MHz 3G frequency).
There is a difference to Apple, too, which is why Apple has not added the requested 5th band in their penta-band baseband chip that only had 4 bands enabled. Technically there was a 5th band included for the FCC testing but it was for a Japan's largest carrier, which Apple still hasn't contracted with.
Quote:
You are painting the issue as one where T-Mobile and Apple being unable to reach a purchase agreement is the cause when it is simply that Apple will not add the support and get the full price for the phone up front with their direct-to-consumer unsubsidized iPhone4S.
Why won't Apple add it? You claim it's because they would get the full price of the device up front. That makes absolutely no sense!
Quote:
Note also, that until the iPhone4S AT&T had a contractual exclusive on the GSM iPhone (ie: That Apple was forbidden to even offer it to T-Mobile). Thus 2010 is too early since the iPhone4S was a 2011 (or 2012) phone.
That's axiomatically wrong 3x.

1) The deal with AT&T ended at or near the end of 2010. Note that Verizon had the iPhone 4 in early 2011.
2) AT&T had no exclusive contract with a "GSM iPhone" as there are many dozens of countries and carriers selling the iPhone. If you meant to write they had an exclusive deal to prevent other GSM-based carriers (but allowing CDMA-based) in the US from carrying the iPhone you'll have to A) prove it, and B) explain why AT&T was more concerned with T-Mobile and GSM-based MVNOs and regional carriers than with Verizon and Sprint?
3) If" 2011 (or 2012)" allowed them to add the support and they didn't and there is room for the support according to the baseband specs then according to your rationale they would have added it, yet they didn't which means your reasoning about Apple's being able to get the full price for the device is not accurate.

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