T-Mobile USA Spectrum Refarming Lets Some iPhone Users Access 3G Data Speeds

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    While T-Mobile USA has yet to officially offer the iPhone due to an inability to reach an agreement with Apple on the development of new hardware to support T-Mobile's 3G/4G network standards, that hasn't stopped the carrier from quietly targeting iPhone owners with micro-SIM cards and over one million users from taking their unlocked iPhones to the carrier.

    Those users have, however, been limited to T-Mobile's slower EDGE network due to the iPhone's incompatibility with the 1700/2100 MHz bands used by the carrier for its faster data networks.


    TmoNews now reports, however, that T-Mobile USA has begun refarming some of its spectrum capacity in order to advance its next-generation HSPA+ 84 network, with those changes resulting in the carrier's 3G network moving over to the iPhone-accessible 1900 MHz band in some "pockets" of the country.
    The report notes that T-Mobile iPhone user access to 3G will remain "rare" as the spectrum refarming will only result in the required transition taking place in limited areas around the country. But for those users lucky enough to be in one of those pockets, they are already seeing data speeds well above what the iPhone has until been limited to on the carrier's EDGE network.

    Article Link: T-Mobile USA Spectrum Refarming Lets Some iPhone Users Access 3G Data Speeds
  2. macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    This can only be the work of Tim Tebow.
  3. macrumors 68000


    Jun 4, 2007
    New York City & South Florida
    I hope you watched SNL this weekend.

    Anyway, this sounds like pretty good news. I'm not sure I really see the appeal of T-Mobile in general, especially since there are so many other official network options for your iPhone to live on. But hey, faster speeds for more people is always better.
  4. macrumors 65816


    Sep 25, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    What happened on SNL in relation to this? I missed it and forgot to record it. :(
  5. macrumors 68020


    Sep 24, 2008
    Blazer town!
    Cannot wait from Portland, Oregon.

    Already have a unlocked iPhone 4S, waiting for the contract with ATT to be over!!!
  6. macrumors 6502

    Nov 4, 2009
    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)

    This is good for all the t-mobile folks.
  7. macrumors 68040


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    For people who want to be on GSM, but not with AT&T.

    (Try switching between two calls with a Verizon iPhone....IT IS A NIGHTMARE! With with T-Mobile/AT&T, just tap on the person's name..on my old VZW iPhone 4, You can't do that, and the swap button sometimes is greyed out, I was forced to hang up and call them back!)
  8. blackhand1001, Dec 19, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011

    macrumors 68030


    Jan 6, 2009
    Weird, this works fine on my verizon android phone. I think this is a problem with apples software rather than cdma. Either way T mobile is good for the industry as they help keep prices down on the larger networks.

    Edit: why did I get voted down. I was saying that it can be fixed in software which is a good thing.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2011
    …Go Patriots.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2010
    If anyone's near NYC and can confirm that we're getting 3G, I'm jumping ship! Can't beat 49.99 per line per month for unlimited everything.
  11. macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2011
    For me, at least, the appeal is price. My family has four unlocked iPhones on T-Mobile's Value plan. For unlimited texts, minutes, and unlimited (2G) data, we pay $50/line/month. A similar plan on AT&T would cost $90/line/month (2GB data/line).

    Even when you factor in the price of an unlocked iPhone ($650), versus AT&T's subsidized price ($200), you still save almost $500 per line over the course of the two year contract. Additionally, if you don't upgrade your phone at the end of the two years, you start saving $525 per line PER YEAR.

    I realize that the mobile data speeds are not nearly equivalent, but this is a compromise I'm more than willing to make, especially since I have WiFi at home and work.
  12. macrumors 68020


    Apr 15, 2004
    Washington DC
    This is why I'd switch to T-Mobile in a heart beat if they officially supported the iPhone.

    This is what 3G on the 4S is supposed to look like - I rarely get above 1.5mbit on AT&T in supposed HSPA+ coverage in DC.
  13. macrumors 65832

    Mar 18, 2009
    Although this is cool to see, it's really not practical right now to make use of. I think if you follow the article/sources it was just a few locations where they are testing the PCS band (1900mhz).

    I don't know much about the spectrum T-mobile has, but I wonder why they didn't make use of 850 & 1900 when launching 3G/UMTS and instead used solely AWS (1700) which was a very rare band.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 5, 2011
    T E X A S
    Good for those folks that can access 3G on their iPhones rather than the slow edge.
  15. macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2005
    This is good news.
    Hopefully someone can comment on their experience in So Cal.
    If 3G service is reliable, I am gonna try this out and hopefully leave AT&T.
    So tired of the high prices.
  16. macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2011
    Irvine, California
    Is there a map yet? I have had the best experience with T-Mobile.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2010
    I don't think there will ever be a map for this because the maps are made for end-users and it's dumbed down. It's not listed as megahertz or bandwidth, just as simple "3G or 4G" coverage.

    I think the only thing you could do is either use message boards from actual users themselves or maybe call technical support...

    I would call them but I doubt I'd get very far with an agent considering I have no account with T-Mobile.

    Likewise as people have said above, I would certainly switch to T-Mobile and save myself over $40 with a more-or-less identical plan, despite the fact that T-Mobile throttles you down from 3G to 2G once you pass 2G. (Note: You can buy a Premium package that has 5GB of unthrottled data per month for I believe an additional $15 or $20, I saw it on their website the other day...)
  18. macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    That is at least promising!

    Like others here, I use T-Mobile with an iPhone 3 GS because it is considerably less expensive than AT&T/Verizon/Sprint. I use T-Mobile's prepaid $50/month plan - unlimited data, voice, text. It'd be about double that on any other network with taxes (the $50 includes tax).

    And at least for now, I'm willing to accept slower data speeds because T-Mobile works reliably where I live and the areas I travel to.

    Hopefully T-Mobile will be able to expand their refarming efforts. Of course, if AT&T or anyone else offered anything like T-Mobile's pricing I'd be there.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2010
    Could you do us a favor and call tech support and ask about the refarming? Maybe if it's expanding nationwide?
  20. macrumors 604


    Mar 26, 2008
    Planet Earth
    thats great news for everyone on tmobile + cheaper

    but i rather keep my

  21. macrumors 68040


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    You have decided to cut out the carrier info at the top...hmm...sure it isn't Wi-Fi?
  22. macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Have not seen any 3G on 4s with tmobile in Ventura county yet (so cal)
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2008
    Off topic

    AT&T has decided I'm using too much of my unlimited data plan (top 5% yo) and so I went from 5.77Mbps to 0.09 Mbps. I knew they would throttle me, but I thought maybe they would cut it in half or a quarter at the most, but no they slowed me down 65 times over. This should be illegal.
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2010
    I think when they throttle you, they essentially remove your 3G speeds and knock you back down to 2G. That's what T-Mobile does anyway. Then again, 0.09 MBPS is pretty much "blazing fast" on Sprint. :D I wonder what Sprint throttles would look like? 14.4 kbps? lol
  25. TheSuperSteve, Dec 19, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011

    macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2011
    Puerto Rico
    Wait wait wait. 3G can go that fast? I get 217ms 0.32Mbps Download and 0.47Mbps Upload with Sprint. I'm paying $80 a month for this!

    [Edit]: 8Mbps down? That can't be right. That's more than DOUBLE my home Wi-Fi speed. You guys must be cheating somehow! IGNORANCE IS BLISS! DX

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