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T-Mobile US angling to get iPhone in late 2010, 2011?

updated 02:55 pm EDT, Thu March 18, 2010

T-Mobile could trump Verizon for iPhone deal

Deutsche Telekom chief René Obermann in an interview today hinted that T-Mobile USA is hoping to land a deal for the iPhone. The company leader didn't detail how involved T-Mobile might be in talks, if any, but did say to the FT that he hoped to have a deal as soon as late 2010 or 2011. Android would support the network in the meantime.

Apple hasn't commented on the story or any of its advance carrier plans.

While most have expected Verizon to be the first to break AT&T's iPhone exclusive in the US, a T-Mobile version would be theoretically easier to implement, albeit with changes. Apple is well known for having pronounced CDMA "dead" technology and would have to use an entirely different cellular chipset as well as forgo advantages it has had with AT&T, such as simultaneous calls and data. To use Verizon, the iPhone would either have to freeze data use during a call or else wait until 4G is available on both AT&T and Verizon in 2011.

However, while T-Mobile uses HSPA for its 3G like AT&T and most international carriers, it uses a non-standard 1,700MHz frequency that the current iPhone and most cellular chipsets don't currently address. Apple would have to develop a second version, a practice it has traditionally resisted. Chipsets that address four or more HSPA bands have been under development, but whether or not these could be implemented in time is still an unknown.

Obermann regardless faces pressure to act, as T-Mobile's US branch has struggled to add customers even when it had the first Android phones and other high-profile phone deals. AT&T's aggressive upgrade plans also give T-Mobile limited time to seize on frustration with its rival's overcrowded 3G network.

By Electronista Staff


  1. RiscX

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2002


    I have used t-mobile for the past year

    T-mobile service has been great for my iPhone the past 12-months, maybe less than a handful of dropped calls depending on remote areas I live, drive in. Only costs me about $150 for the whole year using pay as you go. Yeah I don't jabber on the phone as most do lol. Home the service becomes official ;)

  1. MajorBoothroyd

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2010


    RiscX nailed it.

    I've been more than happy since I switched my iPhone from AT&T to T-Mobile. Pay as you go rocks. My data usage is on WiFi, so I spend less than $150 a year myself. I was fine with AT&T for voice and data with pay as you go until they dropped the unlimited data and jacked up the rates. It doesn't surprise me that AT&T has The Death Star as their logo.

  1. ff11

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004


    I had the opposite experience

    A LOT of dropped calls, poor connections when I was with T-Mobile. Their customer service was second to none though.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2002


    Go for it TMO

    I've had TMO service for almost four years and have no complaints. Pre-ordered the G1 and have been happy with it for the most part, but if they get the iPhone, I'll do it.

  1. PTPro225

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2010


    avoid T-Mobile USA

    I used to work for T-Mobile USA so I can safely say,... avoid them if you can. They pride themselves on their customer service, but that's all that they had.

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