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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    T-Mobile USA officially getting the iPhone before China Mobile? I can make a case for both of these.
  • Reply 2 of 34
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,724member


    It's about damn time.

  • Reply 3 of 34
    dagamer34dagamer34 Posts: 494member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 34
    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?
  • Reply 5 of 34
    greginpraguegreginprague Posts: 427member

    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."

  • Reply 6 of 34
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member


    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.

  • Reply 7 of 34
    markbyrnmarkbyrn Posts: 597member


    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.

  • Reply 8 of 34
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member


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

  • Reply 9 of 34
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member

    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'!

  • Reply 10 of 34
    charlesscharless Posts: 301member

    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.

  • Reply 11 of 34
    megabeetmegabeet Posts: 1member


    T-Mobile planning network compatibility with Apple's iPhone by end of year is a best news and good technique...<a href="http://www.newfulcrumpoint.com/">The New Fulcrum Point</a>

     

  • Reply 12 of 34
    core2core2 Posts: 49member

    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.  

  • Reply 13 of 34


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

  • Reply 14 of 34
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    dlux wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 34
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    *Bong… bong… bong…*


     


    Hear that, AT&T? The bell tolls.

  • Reply 16 of 34
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    *Bong… bong… bong…*


     


    Hear that, AT&T? The bell tolls.



    $2.50 for the first minute.

  • Reply 17 of 34
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member


    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.

  • Reply 18 of 34
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,428member


    Prediction: T-Mobile will never offer the iPhone.


    Reason: Apple will be buying T-Mobile first.

  • Reply 19 of 34


    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.

     

  • Reply 20 of 34
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    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.

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