21 Comments

Summary:

T-Mobile is now ready to start marketing its HSPA+ service to unlocked iPhone owners in one city, though T-Mobile’s CTO said more will quickly follow. Previously iPhone users could connect to T-Mobile at mere 2G speeds. Now they have a 42 Mbps network at their disposal.

T-Mobile’s network modernization in Las Vegas is now complete, which means the carrier can now support mobile broadband speeds on the iPhone. T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray announced at GigaOM’s Mobilize conference on Friday that T-Mobile will begin marketing its “4G” HSPA+ service to unlocked iPhone users in Vegas on Monday.

T-Mobile has been overhauling its network, realigning them with the 3G bands supported on most North American GSM phones, while simultaneously clearing frequencies for its future LTE network. T-Mobile has already revealed that it has converted over thousands of cell sites in New York City, Seattle and Las Vegas and many of T-Mobile’s current customers using unlocked iPhones have already encountered big boosts in speeds on a site by site basis.

But Ray said Friday that the spectrum refarming process is now 75 percent complete in Vegas, providing the consistency of coverage necessary to let start marketing HSPA+ to potential iPhone users. Until now, any iPhone on T-Mobile’s network was limited to 2G EDGE speeds.

Older generations of the iPhone won’t be able to access the full bandwidth of T-Mobile’s dual-carrier HSPA+ network, which can support theoretical speeds of 42 Mbps — though they will still get 3G connectivity — but anyone willing to shell out the dough for an unlocked iPhone 5 would be able to access the fastest HSPA network in the country. LTE support on T-Mobile, however, won’t be available until next year when its network overhaul is complete.

As for the rest of the country, Ray said its quickly turning up the new HSPA+ network at PCS in cities nationwide. He wouldn’t reveal any specifics on when the process will be finished, but he has said that a “material” portion of T-Mo’s footprint will be iPhone ready by year-end.

Check out the rest of our Mobilize 2012 coverage here, and the live stream can be found here.

  1. How does this effect the 4S ? Is it going to have “big boosts in speeds” as well ?

    Share
    1. The 4S doesn’t support dual-carrier HSPA+ but itv does have a 14.4 Mbps chip in it.

      Share
  2. Yes the 4S will be able to reach maximum speeds available on the phone, just like any other provider. Because the maximum the phone can handle is HSPA+ anyways, so yes you will get the same speeds on the 4S as lets say AT&T, which is fast

    Share
  3. A new unlocked Galaxy Nexus bought from Google for $350 works great in T-Mobile. The awesome Google Maps comes with free turn-by-turn navigation.

    Share
  4. I’ve ready 4S test speeds in 3G spots running around 5-10 mb download, 3 mb upload..

    the iPhone 5 should get closer to 20mb down and still come in around 3-5 mb up on HSPA+

    The real question – Will the i5 LTE from ATT really work on tmo’s new LTE-Advanced network.. If so.. that will be one rocking phone..

    Share
    1. No,
      AT&T’s LTE network runs in the lower 700MHz frequency while T-Mobile’s LTE network will run on it’s AWS band (1700MHz/2100MHz). If you think incompatibility with 3G/HSPA+ networks are difficult then wait until you see the nighmare that is coming with incompatible LTE bands. You will still however, be able to get HSPA+ between AT&T and T-Mobile phones due to their expected continued support of 1900MHz for many years to come but the LTE will only be compatible on the network for which the phone is designed to receive LTE originally.

      Share
      1. Hi Tony, actually the AT&T/Canadian iPhone supports LTE at AWS so it will work on T-Mo’s network.

        Share
  5. So, as they refarm AWS for LTE, what happens to all those TMO smartphones that only have 1700 MHz HSPA (which I believe is most of them)

    Share
    1. Hey Paul, T-Mobile is actually leaving some HSPA+ in place in all markets, so in AWS devices will still be to access the network.

      Share
    2. I believe they’re refarming 2G spectrum(s) 850 and/or 1900 mhz and converting it/them to 3/4G.

      Share
  6. TMO Rocks ,

    Share
  7. hoping soon will be available on california long beach

    Share
  8. Anyone know any source for cities slated to get refarmed?

    Share
      1. There is no official roadmap of the rollout? For instance, there are a few places where the iPhone connects to 3G network, but it’s very sketchy. I’d like to know if they are just getting started, or if this is it. What is the coverage supposed to end up looking like.

        Share
  9. https://twitter.com/umts1900

    theyre keeping an update as ppl start to pick up 1900 mhz on their devices

    Share
  10. I will get it soon this product.

    Share
  11. I hope I will get soon on Nepal.

    Share
  12. Looks like this is great news for people joining the Solavei network, which is working with T-Mobile to bring iPhones and the $49 all you can eat mobile plan – you guys see their offering? http://solavei.com/jeffmills

    Share
  13. I am a member of solavei and have been waiting for this. Kevin you need to do a write up on solavei they are partnered with t mobile and have added 30k subscribers in the last few weeks alone. Watch the full presentation by the CEO. I can answer most basic questions. http://1234g.info

    Share
  14. my old iphone 4 connects to 3G tmobile. 2.45mbps DOWN and 1.16Mbps up

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post