T-Mobile may have missed out on the iPhone party so far, but the company has big plans in the works that will allow iPhone owners to access higher speeds on its network. The company is spending $4 billion to launch 4G LTE with the help of Nokia-Siemens and Ericsson.
Not only will T-Mobile be rolling out LTE, but the company also plans to fire up 1900 MHz band 4G HSPA+ service as well. The wireless carrier plans to cover 75 percent of the top 25 markets with LTE speeds. The failed merger between T-Mobile and AT&T has netted the company AWS spectrum licenses as part of the deal.
T-Mobile lost over 700,000 customers in the fourth quarter of 2011. It's not clear if the network upgrade means the carrier will make a deal with Apple to carry the iPhone officially. It could mean that additional iPhone users out of contract move to the carrier if they can provide faster speeds and better compatibility. iPhone unlockers already use T-Mobile when they are looking to an alternative GSM service provider other than AT&T Mobility.
From the T-Mobile press release:As part of the company's network modernization effort, T-Mobile also plans to launch 4G HSPA+ service in the 1900 MHz band in a large number of markets by the end of the year. Network modernization trials have shown up to a 33 percent increase in HSPA+ data speeds as well as improved in-building coverage. Rolling out 4G HSPA+ services in the 1900 MHz band will also provide customers with the ability to use a broader range of devices, including the iPhone, on T-Mobile's 4G network.
T-Mobile is one of the largest carriers in the US, covering over 220 million people in 229 markets with HSPA+ service nationwide.