Report: iPhone 4S Users Gettng 3G Connections on T-Mobile
Remember when T-Mobile noted there were more than a million unsanctioned iPhones on its network? Turns out, T-Mobile may be showing iPhone users even more love: It’s been reported that some owners of unlocked iPhone 4Ses are connecting to T-Mobile’s 3G network — something previously unavailable because of T-Mobile’s specific spectrum.
Because the iPhone historically supported the 1900MHz spectrum but not the 1700/2100MHz dual-band combo T-mobile implements for its full 3G service, iPhone users have not really been able to get full wireless support. But starting with the 3G model, the iPhone has supported the 2100MHz spectrum, which is half the spectrum of T-Mobile’s network. However, that could be changing quickly.
A tip of the hat goes to TmoNews.com (a T-Moible based news site) for aggregating the discoveries. According to widespread web forum reports, users are waking up to their iPhone 4S with 3G on T-Mobile. The reason? T-Mobile apparently has been repurposing the 1900MHz spectrum to become its HSDPA+ spectrum, or “4G.” Naturally, it’s not really 4G, but because the iPhone 4S supports both the 1900MHz and 2100MHz spectrums in addition to HSDPA, the HSDPA- enabled 1900MHz and the 2100MHz is a combination that makes the iPhone 4S a fully compatible T-Mobile device.
But of course, there is a caveat: This repurposing is happening only in areas where coverage is less robust, such as Nevada. TmoNews.com calls the situation “rare,” but realistically, I see no reason why T-Mobile couldn’t eventually do this across the country. Perhaps T-Mobile is testing the waters now that its acquisition deal with AT&T has completely collapsed, but maybe there are too many legacy devices still using the 1900MHz spectrum for normal phone activity.
This discovery shows just how mobile networks work in the United States, not to mention how many mobile phones and devices could be portable but aren’t, thanks to carrier locks and restrictions. The more fun rumor is that the next iPhone could easily come to T-Mobile, should T-Mobile and Apple optimize the network and/or device for each other. Clearly, it’s not a technical issue. With 2012 looming just over the horizon, it’s only a short six months before we get the serious scoop on the next iPhone.