T-Mobile Courting iPhone Users Anew By Offering 3G
T-Mobile USA plans to more aggressively target users of the Apple iPhone, even though T-Mobile itself does not sell the device. Starting this week, T-Mobile will have the iPhone 4/4S in its retail stores to be used for demonstration purposes (not for sale). T-Mobile hopes to sell SIM cards and cellular service to owners of unlocked iPhones. T-Mobile also revealed that it has shut down 2G GSM/EDGE services across 80% of its 1900MHz PCS spectrum and has migrated its 3G network from its AWS spectrum to its PCS spectrum in parts of Seattle, New York, and Las Vegas. This means T-Mobile iPhone subscribers in those areas will have access to 3G speeds in some neighborhoods. According to T-Mobile USA CTO Neville Ray, T-Mobile is seeing iPhone 4S data speeds that are 70% faster than those offered by rival AT&T on its HSPA+ network. T-Mobile is in the process of refarming its 1900MHz spectrum from 2G to 3G, in part so that it supports the 3G bands used by the iPhone. Ray said that it will have a "material" HSPA+ 3G footprint in the 1900MHz band by the end of the year. T-Mobile will use its freed up 1700MHz AWS spectrum to deploy LTE 4G starting in the second half of 2013.
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