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T-Mobile rolls iPhone-friendly 3G as part of 84Mbps upgrade

updated 01:50 pm EST, Sat December 17, 2011

T-Mobile 3G goes to 1900MHz in some areas

Multiple reports have emerged of T-Mobile switching on 3G for frequencies that existing unlocked iPhones and other devices can use. At least some parts of Nevada and some parts of Northern California and the Northwest are seeing 1,900MHz repurposed to be used as additional carrying space for the HSPA+ 84Mbps network anticipated for 2012. Those who live in the altered areas are seeing speeds faster not just than they would on EDGE but faster than AT&T's real-world 3G, at 7.92Mbps down and 1.8Mbps up.

Existing T-Mobile devices can use the 1,900MHz band as well, mostly including Samsung's Galaxy S/S II variants and Galaxy Tabs as well as the HTC Radar and Huawei Springboard. These usually have to be put into a frequency checker, such as by dialing #0011# on Samsung phones.

The frequency support by itself isn't likely to reflect any immediate plans to carry the iPhone. T-Mobile only needs 1,900MHz in some areas to get the four virtual carriers on 3G that it needs to reach the 84Mbps peak. To get consistent access, Apple would still need to implement 1,700MHz 3G that the iPhone 4S doesn't support and would most likely have to wait for the 2012 iPhone at best.

Adding support in some areas could still foster iPhone adoption on T-Mobile in some areas now that Apple regularly sells unlocked iPhones in the US. T-Mobile already has over one million iPhones on its network despite many having to use a hardware unlock and T-Mobile only recently offering micro SIM cards. Many are those who either wanted the only other carrier they could consider for an iPhone before Verizon or who don't want to give up a good plan on T-Mobile but also aren't impressed with its Android and Windows Phone models. [

by MacNN Staff



  1. siromega

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Broadband PCS band..

    T-Mobile owns a lot of broadband PCS licenses (ranging 2.5Mhz to 15Mhz across the country). Activating 3G in this band gets them fairly good iPhone 3G coverage. I'm still trying to draw up a map of those licenses.

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Great news!

    This is great news. As a T-Mobile customer with an iPhone, I'd be delighted if it did more to attract and reward iPhone users. With the growing numbers of post-plan iPhones around, T-Mobile could attract a lot of iPhone users even without a phone to sell.

  1. macman72

    Joined: Dec 1969


    AT&T's Reason for Increasing Their Bid for T-Mobil

    I am definitely sure that these results are why AT&T has increased their bid 10 times to acquire T-Mobile. AT&T saw a big loss in customers when they pondered what would happen if T-Mobile merged with some other interested buyer like Sprint or the Dish Network to help increase the usage of the 1900Mhz band across the country. When you ask some AT&T Mobile Phone network reps, they will tell you that T-Mobile has a really fast data network that AT&T would love to use - well everyone, this 1900Mhz frequency band is more than likely it.

  1. georget

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So, what's the deal with T-Mo's Frequency Soup

    Can anyone sort out the frequency soup going on here? So, all along the ball was in T-Mobile's court? They always seemed to blame Apple for not supporting their network.

    From Wikipedia and, T-Mo has 3G on 1700/2100 bands and 2G on 850 and 1900. While the iPhone 4S supports UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA on 850, 900, 1900, 2100.

    I'm guessing that the fact that 1700/2100 are combined indicates that it's not the same as Apple's 2100 support.

    But, all T-Mo had to do was switch over some of their 850 or 1900 spectrum from 2G to 3G? And they waited all these years to do that? WTF?

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