This is why T-Mobile USA won’t officially carry Apple iPhones

“By the end of the year, T-Mobile customers will be able to run their iPhones on its networks. But not by way of any formal deal with Apple. Instead, T-Mobile plans on making its network compatible with the iPhone,” Chris Spera reports for BYTE. “How exactly? It is refarming its spectrum, which means that the service that’s currently using that frequency will be moved to another frequency.”

“Because T-Mobile is on a 1700 MHz AWS spectrum frequency, the network is incompatible with the iPhone. Effectively, they are moving their 3G support 1700 MHz AWS to 1900 MHz. This should happen by October, but the phone must be jail broken, AT&T must unlock it, or the customer has to buy the phone unlocked,” Spera reports. “This is significant because no other cell carrier in the world except T-Mobile USA uses 1700 MHz AWS for 3G/4G/HSPA+. The move to 1900 MHz means that their network is now potentially compatible with every other GSM handset available.”

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Spera reports, “You’re still going to have to remove/jailbreak any carrier lock that may exist on any smartphone in question, or purchase it factory unlocked to use it on T-Mobile USA; but this means that phones like the iPhone 4/4S or the HTC One X, currently locked to AT&T, can be used on T-Mobile’s 4G/HSPA+ network once they are unlocked. The iPhone will never, ever officially be offered by T-Mobile. Period. Well, not unless they decide to write the $15.8 billion check to cover the subsidy that Apple is currently requiring from them.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Sprint CEO Hesse: We’re very happy with Apple iPhone, even though we won’t make a cent on it until 2015 – May 16, 2012
Apple iPhone have-nots: T-Mobile USA customer losses continue to mount – May 10, 2012
Not having Apple’s revolutionary iPhone caused 1,900 layoffs at T-Mobile USA – March 23, 2012
Without Apple’s iPhone, T-Mobile USA continues to shed customers – February 23, 2012
T-Mobile USA didn’t get the iPhone because of its unique 3G bands – January 11, 2012


    1. Agree. WTF does the writer mean my “refarming its spectrum?” Reassigning or restructuring probably. Repurposing perhaps. But refarming? Give me a break.

      OTOH, you saw it here first: It will become the latest in a string of MBA-speak technotalk words. Refarming indeed.

  1. Thats actually not true about Tmo being the only company in the world that uses AWS 1700. In Canada they use the AWS spectrum as well. WIND and Mobilicity use it. Along with many regional carriers in the US that use AWS for EVDO access.

    1. “All I got from this article was that the writer doesn’t know the difference between jailbreak and unlock.”

      So true. Really not a big deal now that AT&T will unlock out of contract phones. I’m thinking about it…. would cut my bill in half.

      1. What are the benefits to getting an unlocked iPhone when contract is up? Isn’t it a hassle to do? Or could I have a pay-as-you-go prepaid card or something?

  2. That ALSO means, that T-Mumble WIL NEVER, EVER be a network/carrier player in the US and WILL DIE.. HAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAHAHA!!!! Stupid.. Claimed the CMO (he was an idiot anyway), AND WILL GET HUMM…


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