Tmobile 3g

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by wchong, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. wchong macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2006
    Miami, Fl
    I heard somewhere that the 3g service that t-mobile is rolling out later this year is not going to be compatible with the new 3g iPhone.

    is this true or not?

    b/c if it's true, then i'd get an iphone right now seeing as i don't have to wait for 3g if i have t-mo.
  2. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    Let me make sure I have the question right. You're asking if a service that does not yet exist is compatible with a theoretical phone that has no released specifications. Do I have that right?

    Did you hear it from your best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend who heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with a girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night? I guess it's pretty serious.
  3. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    If the 3G iPhone supports the same frequencies that T-Mobile's likely to use (1700/2100), then it should work.
  4. wchong thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2006
    Miami, Fl

    woa! innocent question here.

    now if at&t and tmo use different frequencies then the iphone 3g will only be compatible with at&t so as to reduce the amount of unlocked iphones out there.
  5. rjohnstone macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2007
    PHX, AZ.
    T-Mobile and AT&T use the same frequencies. (primarily 850 in urban areas)
    In certain portions of the US, AT&T leases tower bandwidth from T-Mobile towers.
    It's when you get out side major cities that it becomes spotty.
  6. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    AT&T's GSM network is 850 and 1900.
    T-Mobile's GSM network is only 1900.
    Depending on the area of the country, they both allow roaming on each others network.

    As you can see from the chart a post or two ago, when it comes to their 3G networks, they are going to be using different frequencies.
  7. wchong thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2006
    Miami, Fl
    so do you think apple is going to release the iphone2 restricted to the frequencies of AT&T only?
  8. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Apr 10, 2003
    The "Garden" state
    I thought T-Mobile bought some weird flavor of 3G that was different...or am I just having a brain misfire this morning?
  9. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Like rjohnstone pointed out, there are parts of AT&T's network coverage that actually use T-Mobile's network to provide that coverage. If the 3G iPhone can't use the freq. that T-Mobile's 3G network uses, then that limits AT&T's coverage somewhat. At least on the 3G side.

    I think it was just the frequencies that were a little off, but I haven't kept up on HowardForums as much as I used to, so there may be more. :)
  10. rjohnstone macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2007
    PHX, AZ.
    Not true. At least in AZ anyway.
    T-Mobile is 850 here.
    A good friend of mine is a T-Mobile tower maintenance supervisor here.
    He gave me the complete breakdown on what they use.
    AT&T and T-Mobile use the same frequencies in urban areas.
    That applies to both voice and data service.
    When AT&T switched from TDMA to GSM, they didn't have any GSM towers here, so they leased tower bandwidth from Voice Stream (now T-Mobile).
    AT&T built their new towers based on the ones they leased bandwidth from for compatibility reasons.
  11. bokdol macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2002

    great reference by the way
  12. cdd543 macrumors 6502


    Oct 13, 2006
    Tmo 3g(whenever it is released) and ATT 3g run on different frequencies so it will not be compatible as mentioned above.
  13. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Your friend oversimplified things. :eek:

    In any given area, only two wireless carriers can use the 850mhz band. The other carriers use 1900mhz.

    The FCC licensed the 850mhz band way before T-Mobile was even known as VoiceStream, so when it (T-Mobile) started to build its network, the only band it could use was 1900mhz.

    So T-Mobile's native network is 1900mhz only. AT&T's was around back in the day, so its network is 850mhz and 1900mhz, depending on location.

    In your area (Phoenix), both AT&T and T-Mobile are 1900mhz. The two 850mhz carrier are Alltel and Verizon.

    In other areas (esp the midwest, like Louisville), AT&T is 850mhz and T-Mobile is 1900mhz. So it's not a true statement that AT&T and T-Mobile use the same freq. in all urban areas.

    If you're curious, if you enter a zipcode into this website, it'll show you which carriers have native coverage and which bands they use:

    I don't think you'll find any area where T-Mobile operates their own 850mhz coverage.
  14. wchong thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2006
    Miami, Fl
    thx for the website
  15. kdawg macrumors regular


    Dec 14, 2004
    Unfortunately it is going to be incompatible. It has nothing to do with the current frequency that is in use. 3G utilizes another frequency. The spectrum that they bought will not be compatible with the next 3G iphone. People who 3G phones in Europe will be downgraded to 2.5 G. I am guessing that is what a 3G iphone will run at.
  16. TimmyDee macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2007
    Very useful link. Thanks.

    If you take a look around that site, it shows that both T-Mobile and AT&T will be using 1700 and 2100 MHz bands in the future in some regions (San Francisco, for example). My guess is that there will be similar tower sharing agreements for 3G as we have seen with 2/2.5G. Add into that the fact that Apple will probably be using the same multi-band chipset in all 3G iPhones so they can support roaming in foreign markets and simply to save on cost. I'm thinking that a 3G iPhone will be compatible with all possible GSM 3G frequencies.
  17. SnakeXs macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2007
    So has anyone come to any concrete conclusion?

    I'm debating waiting for 3G iPhone with T-Mobile, as I'm in NYC and thus under their 3G network.

    Will it work? Will I be stuck with Edge as long as I'm with T-Mo? :(
  18. neven macrumors 6502a

    Oct 10, 2006
    Portland, OR
    Yes, and the conclusion is that we don't know.
  19. SnakeXs macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2007
    Awesome. :p

    Oh well, I guess I may just guinea pig it unless more people chime in.

    Thanks. :D
  20. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Post of the week right here!

    This could be the answer for 95% questions in here right now.
  21. Diode macrumors 68020


    Apr 15, 2004
    Washington DC
    3G on 1700 is the weird part about t-mobile's implementation. There are quad-band chips that would support 850/1700/1900/2100 which would make a phone compatible with AT&T AND t-mobile but as someone pointed out it would not make good business sense.

    If I were to make a educated guess I would say Apple, if they roll out a 3G phone with a quad-band chip, will do so on 800/850/1900/2100 to be compatible with the 800 in Japan while still giving full coverage to AT&T in US.
  22. SnakeXs macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2007
    Except the service DOES exist, just not nationwide.

    Almost, though. Nice try.
  23. onlycopunk macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2008
    But the phone could also be region specifically locked to the carriers frequencies could it not? So even while the phone might be capable of using all 4 frequencies for data, the hardwiring of the phone could be locked to only 2?

    That is assuming voice and data are independent of each other. But then again, what do I know about all this crap?
  24. gonzofever macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2008
    Tmobile is only 1700Mhz

    Because Tmobile is the only one using 1700Mhz DATA, You cannot purchase any Apple Iphone, European, or Asian 3G phone because they DONT use 1700Mhz DATA. The reason Tmobile uses 1700Mhz DATA is because that was the band that Tmobile purchased from the latest U.S. Government auctions. Tmobile in Europe uses 2100Mhz DATA just like every other European GSM provider; i.e Vodafone. Tmobile USA does not use 2100Mhz DATA.
  25. macfan406 macrumors 6502

    Dec 27, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    iPhone 3G and T-Mobile is possible

    For GSM and EDGE, the status has not changed. iPhone's EDGE bands will work on T-Mobile.

    iPhone 3G Supports the 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz GSM, GPRS, and EDGE Bands
    T-Mobile Runs on the 850, 1900 MHz GSM, GPRS, and EDGE Bands. That is unchanged!

    iPhone 3G supports the 850, 1900, 2100 MHz 3G Bands
    T-Mobile runs on the 1700, 2100 MHz 3G Bands. 3G IS POSSIBLE ON T-MOBILE!!

    -:apple:'s iPhone page (Tech Specs)

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