T-Mobile USA Claims Next iPhone Chipset Will Support Carrier's AWS Bands

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    [​IMG]


    With the launch of the iPhone 4S, T-Mobile USA is now the only one of the four major U.S. carriers to not offer the iPhone, due in large part to the carrier's use of the Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum band for its 3G network, a situation that so far would require Apple to develop specific hardware compatible with the network. Some had hoped that the situation would be rectified over time by AT&T's planned acquisition of T-Mobile, but that deal has fallen apart in the face of scrutiny from regulators.

    [​IMG]


    AllThingsD now reports on comments from T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm again acknowledging that the AWS issue is an important reason for the carrier's lack of the iPhone, but reporting that the issue will be addressed both by migration of T-Mobile's spectrum bands and by new chipsets supporting AWS.
    CNET has more on the topic from T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray, who specifically claims that Apple's plans for the next iPhone chipset include support for AWS.
    New LTE networks are another factor in the discussion, with rumors suggesting that the iPhone 5 may indeed support the faster technology with greater unification of network standards across carriers. But with LTE still being built out and carriers having achieved varying stages of progress on their efforts, the iPhone and other smartphones will continue to require compatibility with 3G networks as a fallback option where LTE won't yet be available.

    Update: In a clarification to 9to5Mac, T-Mobile reports that Ray said only that Apple could use an AWS-capable chipset in a future iPhone model, not that he had specific knowledge of Apple's roadmap.

    Article Link: T-Mobile USA Claims Next iPhone Chipset Will Support Carrier's AWS Bands
     
  2. macrumors regular

    C00rDiNaT0r

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    #2
    Does this mean I can finally use 3G data on T-Mobile with my unlocked 4S?
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Big thumbs up for this. Would be great to have a nicely priced competitor like T-Mobile with the iPhone. My bill would be $40 less than Sprint for 2 lines on the Value family plan, with unlimited minutes and texts and unlimited data throttled after 2GB. I'd take that in a second.

    Here's hoping.
     
  4. macrumors 601

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    #4
    No - the frequency is not available for use in the firmware (it's disabled) - even if you could unlock it (which you probably cannot legally do) - the hardware has not been programmed with T-Mobiles spectrum in mind and it it simply will not work properly if at all.

    You are limited to 2G speeds no matter what.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    I don't think so, because it sounds like it's a physical HARDWARE change that will be going into the iPhone 5.

    ----------

    Well, there is some truth to the question. A few weeks ago people on T-Mobile were reporting getting 3G service in the southwestern United States in small parts. People have speculated it's because of a bandwidth/spectrum restructure from all the bonus revenue that came in from the failed merger with AT&T. Screen captures and speed tests seemed to verify that they were operating at 3G speed. Who knows?
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    nylonsteel

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    #6
    re original article


    word of the day - "unification"


    "New LTE networks are another factor in the discussion, with rumors suggesting that the iPhone 5 may indeed support the faster technology with greater unification of network standards across carriers"
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    eagandale4114

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    #7
    In those cases t mobile was using the frequencies used for hspa+. Since the 4s supports those frequencies t mobile customers were able to get 3G.
     
  8. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    The Qualcomm radio in the 4S and Verizon iPhone 4 already supports AWS. There's just no accommodation for it hardware, software or firmware. We had this discussion when the Verizon iPhone came out a year ago.
     
  9. macrumors 601

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    #9
    That's great if you pay full price, but what they don't tell you is that the Value plans do NOT include any phone subsidies. You are going to pay either way, either more monthly and less for the phone or less monthly and more for the phone.
     
  10. macrumors G4

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    #10
    I would certainly appreciate the ability to go with T-Mobile on the iPhone 5. It would make the unlocked phone that much more compelling.
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    dagamer34

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    #11
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/9A405)

    T-Mobile may get a shot at the next iPhone because AT&Ts 4G network uses AWS spectrum.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I'm still confused as to why people are getting 3G on the 4S then? Is it because of HSPA+? I thought it was restricted to EDGE because of the bands.
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    deannnnn

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    #13
    Are any US carriers running voice over 4G LTE yet? Last I heard, data would use 4G while voice still required 3G.
     
  14. macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Man, I *really* hate the stupid marketing names for frequency bands like "PCS" and "AWS".
     
  15. macrumors 68040

    acfusion29

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  16. macrumors member

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    #16
    Not true:

    New contract on Sprint for two lines:
    2 4Ss: $400
    $150/month for 24 months : $3600
    Total: $4000

    T-Mobile Value Plan for two lines:
    2 4Ss: $1300
    $65/month (5GB data cap) for 24 months: $1560
    Total: $2860

    Total money saved with T-Mobile : $1140

    That is quite a bit of money saved! So here is hoping the future version of the iPhone 4S and 5 support AWS.
     
  17. macrumors 68040

    dontwalkhand

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    #17
    GREAT NEWS

    NOW THAT ALL Carriers will have an iPhone, the other carriers will have to all compete again. And it will definitely stir up innovation in the phone industry again.
     
  18. macrumors regular

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    #18
    Where did you come up with a $65 family plan for Tmo?
     
  19. macrumors 601

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    #19
    Look again, that should be $65/line, or $130/2 lines. So the calculations should be:

    T-Mobile Value Plan for two lines:
    2 4Ss: $1300
    $130/month (5GB data cap) for 24 months: $3120
    Total: $4420

    I am on a T-Mobile family plan but it is an older grandfathered My Faves plan, and I have looked into the Value plan to see if it would save us money but it would actually cost more even on a monthly basis. Plus we would pay full price for the phones (I am the only one out of 5 lines with an iPhone).
     
  20. macrumors 68030

    Amazing Iceman

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    #20
    Marketing names??? Those names have technical meanings.
    I would say 3G and 4G would qualify more as "Marketing names".
     
  21. macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #21
    Now if cellphone hardware was not so insanely expensive.
     
  22. macrumors 68030

    Amazing Iceman

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    #22
    I have an even older T-mobile plan with Unlimited Data for $ 20.00 and unlimited Voice for 2 phones for $89.00. I know there's a new plan for loyalty customers, but requires getting into a 2-year contract, which I didn't want to do, as I want to get an iPhone.
    Regardless how I calculate it, T-Mobile Plans are way much less expensive than AT&T, and that is the only reason why I haven't switched yet.

    An iPhone for T-Mobile would be the best news in a long time, but I'm not sure it will happen. I've been hearing rumors like this for a long time already. I'll just be hopeful and wait a little... :rolleyes:

    ----------

    The new stuff is always expensive... Remember how much the first Radio Shack phones used to cost? Those big lunch boxes used to go for over $700.00. At that time, I don't believe there were any subsidies. You would have to pay full price with no way around it.

    The good thing about Android devices is that these loose their original value very quickly. Today's $400.00 phone would be $50 in about a year; and sometimes free.

    ----------

    You are right about that, but I have noticed that long time customers get much better deals on new phones.
     
  23. macrumors 68040

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    #23
    iPhone users on T-Mobile USA's networks are only getting 2.5G EDGE cellular data speeds -- regardless of which version of the Apple handset the user has (original iPhone, 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S) -- because the chipset doesn't support the AWS band (1700/2100MHz).

    In preparation for launching their next-generation HSPA+ network, T-Mobile USA has been refarming some of their 1900MHz spectrum allocation and putting 3G cellular data there.

    This is for an extremely limited portion of T-Mobile USA's coverage area. Some people in these limited areas are now seeing 3G cellular data connectivity with their iPhones (3G, 3GS, 4, and 4S, but not the original iPhone). This is not a nationwide change in the availability of 3G cellular data for iPhone users on T-Mobile USA's network.
     
  24. Moderator

    840quadra

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    #24
    Sadly it's the cost of everyone wanting to have the smallest, and fastest possible (for whatever reasons justified or not) handset on the market.

    Because phones are turning into both companions / status symbols (in some people's eye), they are going to be a bit expensive.
     
  25. macrumors newbie

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    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #25
    Don't "3G" and "4G" have specific definitions determined by the ITU? (I know many carriers ignore those and just make up their own.)

    Maybe I shouldn't have said "marketing names". What I am getting at is "Personal Communications Service" and "Advanced Wireless Services" are generically meaningless phrases that were assigned specific meanings. Using "PCS" to denote cellular telephony and data services in the 1900 MHz band implies that somehow communications services outside that band are not personal or not communications services, or whatever.
     

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