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Summary:

T-Mobile has two markets that are officially iPhone ready, but unofficially there is a lot of upgrade activity going on nationwide. Unlocked iPhone owners in Las Vegas and Kansas City can now access T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network. By year end that list should be far greater.

t-mobile-iphone-feature

T-Mobile’s network overhaul may not be going as quickly as some unlocked iPhone owners may have hoped, but it is happening. On Monday, T-Mobile said in a blog post that it has successfully retuned its 3G network in Kansas City to the 1900 MHz PCS band, which just happens to make it compatible with all generations of the iPhone.

KC is only the second city T-Mobile has officially announced as upgraded – Las Vegas was the first – but there has been a lot of activity going on behind the scenes since T-Mo started this process in the summer. Website Airportal.de is keeping a tally of HSPA+ sightings in T-Mobile’s PCS frequencies. The submissions are all unverified, but the map shows activity in dozens of cities from Boston to Los Angeles.

T-Mobile isn’t selling the iPhone, of course, but the carrier has always aggressively recruited iPhone owners to its SIM-card plans. T-Mobile claims to have more than 1 million customers on such bring-your-own-iPhone plans. The problem was, until now, it wasn’t able to offer those customers anything beyond 2G data speeds due to the incompatibility of the iPhone’s 3G radios with the T-Mobile network. With the network overhaul, that all changes.

T-Mobile expects to complete the relocation of its HSPA+ network – which T-Mobile refers to as 4G – in its entire 229-market footprint by mid-2013. After that it will build an LTE network in the spectrum HSPA+ vacated. At that point, T-Mobile also hopes to have closed its merger with MetroPCS, which will give its sizable hunks of new 4G bandwidth in key cities like New York and San Francisco. By the time the overhaul is complete in 2014, T-Mobile’s networks will by in synch with those of the other major North American operators, and hopefully that spells the end of T-Mobile’s long incompatibility with Apple devices.

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  1. They are pretty big and their service works very well. In my country are only 3 service providers and T Mobile is most popular one.

  2. Your sources are terrible. Please do more research before you write minimalizing articles. Go get your iPhone unlocked, get a SIM and you will be amazed how much better your phone works on the TMO network for data in many more markets yhsn just two. Oh, we do sell thr iPhone. Just call a B2B rep and they’ll st you straight.

  3. Craig Campbell Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    Their 1900MHz HSPA+ is up and running in patches in the Chicago northwest suburbs. The site serving my apartment fired up last week and seems to be up permanently. At work, I have great outdoor coverage, but in building my phone flips back and forth between HSPA+ and EDGE. International Galaxy Note II.

    1. Hi Craig, There seem to be quite a few Chicago sitings on Airportal. Could be in the next batch of markets to “officially” launch

      1. I’m certainly hoping so! I see a bunch of sightings on airportal around O’Hare airport. I’ll be there later in the week – excited to see if they have the coverage there or not – it would certainly make sense to trial at such a major airport.

  4. Metro Detroit has patchy 3G now as well. I first started noticing it a little over a week ago. Sometimes service will quickly go from 3G to no service then back to Edge as I drive about, but just knowing theyre working on it here is encouraging. News reports ive read suggest the reframing for iphone compatibility (not 4G generally) is due to be completed by December 2012.

  5. Will middle Kansas ever be 4G?

  6. I have an iphone 4S and Tmobile plan in south Jersey. My phone was 2G Edge only….until today. 3G popped up today and I’m loving the new speeds. :)

  7. I got T-Mobile 3G signal on my iPhone 3GS this afternoon at the intersection of 95N and 93S, in Woburn, MA. The signal lasted for about 6 seconds. I will be around Woburn again this evening.

    1. I live in Dana Point,Ca and I have 3G in the entire city!!! I have a 4s and so does my wife on AT&T. My 3G on TMO seems to be faster than her 4G on AT&T!

  8. I’m getting good tmobile 3g reception on my iphone 4 in Long Beach, CA

    1. What part of Long Beach? I am on the west, by Carson.

  9. some people keep telling me that you cant use an iphone with t mobile, i just dont get it why???

  10. Getting 3G all over the place in Chicago starting this past Thanksgiving weekend! Now question is, will it show 4G at some point, or will it ALWAYS show 3G and give me 4G speeds? Just curious.

    1. Hey Anthony, is this on the iPhone? Unless its an iPhone 5, I believe it will always show 3G even if you’re linked to the HSPA+ network. Apple doesn’t only defines 4G as an LTE network, though T-Mobile’s network can hit some near LTE speeds.

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