News: T-Mobile Frequencies Mean No iPhone For Now

Posted on January 11, 2012

Although the possible merger with AT&T would have provided a slightly different outcome, it seems that the biggest obstacle for T-Mobile customers who want an iPhone are the network’s frequencies. This has been known for awhile, since any unlocked iPhone will work on T-Mobile, but usually only operate on EDGE speeds. The iPhone may officially come to T-Mobile someday.

In an interview with AllThingsD‘s Ina Fried, T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm talks about the future for the iPhone on his network. Humm points to future chipsets and Apple’s cooperation to bring the iPhone to the last major American carrier not to have it:

“The key reason we didn’t have the iPhone in the past is we are on different band than globally the market was…That is something which will change over time. Chipsets are also evolving to be able to allow for more bands.”

As always, though, the decision is up to Apple, Humm acknowledges.

As far as GSM carriers go, I would like to see someone put a bit of pressure on AT&T. It could be interesting to see what T-Mobile’s different pricing structure would mean, especially if people are eventually able to bring their own iPhones (once the chipsets catch up):

Those plans, which offer lower monthly rates to those who forego a device subsidy, can indeed save many customers money, but they are also complicated to make sense of.

“I think it’s more complicated because it means you separate out the handset from the rate plan…On the other hand, it is more honest. It is a way for customers to optimize based on what they need.”

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