updated 11:15 am EST, Thu February 23, 2012
T-Mobile CTO makes iPhone target of 4G upgrades
T-Mobile's CTO Neville Ray used a call discussing the company's latest results to single out the iPhone as an objective. At least the switch to 1,900MHz for HSPA+ was highlighted as focusing on Apple. While he wouldn't say if that involved the LTE network as well, it was apparent the carrier was making changes to potentially court an iPhone launch.
"Our 4G network will be compatible with a broader range of devices, including the iPhone," Ray said.
In its results release, the company mentioned the iPhone a full seven times, blaming the absence of it for a loss of subscribers. Neither T-Mobile nor Apple has confirmed plans, although T-Mobile is repeating a pattern seen with Sprint where calls get increasingly vocal for an iPhone up to a potential launch. Sprint is now known to have had plans for an iPhone for months before the iPhone 4S launch made it official, and even while the company was being evasive on any prospects.
Ray further spoke about the details of the new network. LTE when it arrived in 2013 would use a 10MHz slice of spectrum capable of delivering about 72Mbps, or roughly the same as what Rogers had last year when it brought LTE to Canada. About 10 devices would be using the technology by the end of 2013.
Even with HSPA+, the company's $4 billion investment in its network would provide benefits, he said. It would be one of the earliest to use fully integrated cell sites where the antenna systems have base radios, shrinking their sizes. Going to 1,900MHz for HSPA+ would boost its power by about 16 percent.