T-Mobile doesn't offer the iPhone, but that hasn't stopped iPhone users from using T-Mobile. It's estimated that around one million T-Mobile customers use unlocked iPhones to access the carrier's slower EDGE network. The iPhone is incompatible with the 1700/2100 MHz bands used by T-Mobile for its faster data speeds, but a recent refarming of its spectrum capacity has caused some pockets of the country to be iPhone-accessible.
According to TMONews, a very few unlocked iPhone users are picking up 3G signals in parts of Northern California and the Pacific Northwest:
"Nevada, parts of Northern California and the Pacific Northwest are also seeing some pockets of 1900MHz spectrum refarming for HSPA+. There are other parts of the country T-Mobile can refarm the 1900MHz spectrum but, the focus is on the Pacific Northwest, Nevada, Utah and California for right now from what we’re told. We should emphasize and emphasize greatly that this post does not mean that all of the aforementioned areas are seeing this refarmed spectrum, just pockets inside those areas."
Deutsche Telekom has begun accepting pre-orders for a device they don't even know exists yet. Without any knowledge of a release date, name, or hardware specifications the German carrier started handing out golden tickets for the next generation Apple handset.
A spokesman for the carrier told Bloomberg that customers can visit Deutsche Telekom stores to receive their ticket. The strict first-come, first-served system allows one pass per customer and is not being advertised. This is the first time that Deutsche Telekom will not be the exclusive carrier during a new iPhone launch in Germany. Other German carriers began offering the iPhone last October.
3G is better than 2G, and according to the latest Apple rumor T-Mobile iPhone users may be getting an upgrade in October. A T-Mobile employee told MacTrast that Apple is developing an iPhone that would operate at 3G speeds via T-Mobile USA's network.
In June, a T-Mobile spokesperson said they were carrying more than a million unlocked iPhones on their network. The unlocked devices are stuck using T-Mobile's EDGE network, and can't access T-Mobile's faster 3G or 4G speeds.
Only three short weeks until AT&T activates iPhone MMS on the 3G and 3GS. The company announced today that service would be made available via software update on September 25.
AT&T has been coping with an onslaught of data usage, and they expect the situation will get worse as soon as iPhone users start texting with pictures and videos. Wireless use on the AT&T network has grown 350 percent year-over-year for the past two years. The company released the following announcement:
Next year could be it for AT&T. Customers are losing patience with spotty service. Lawyers are filing class action lawsuits about the lack of MMS. Now Piper Jaffray senior research analyst Gene Munster has forecast the end of Apple's iPhone exclusivity deal with AT&T.
According to Munster, the economics of the situation don't make sense for Apple, as evidenced with the success they've had in France moving to a multiple carrier business model. Market share for the iPhone in France has increased to 40 percent since they ended an exclusive deal with Orange.
Interested in your own personal cell tower? AT&T is poised to release its femtocell solution for individual users, dubbed the MicroCell. iPhone users rejoice, you have not been forgotten. iTunes has started delivering a carrier update that will support the use of 3G iPhones with the MicroCell device.
Carrier updates are files that include settings which tell the iPhone how to connect to the cellular network and where to look for data such as maps, stocks, and weather. The AT&T MicroCell will require a broadband Internet connection, GPS reception, and will provide support for up to ten 3G mobile devices (even if they're not iPhones).