Unlocked iPhone Spotted Running On T-Mobile’s 3G Network? It’s True…Sort Of

No, I’m not crazy and yes, this story is about an iPhone running on T-Mobile’s 3G network. Yes we’re talking 3G here because only the iPhone 4S really supports what T-Mobile quantifies as 4G anyway. A small, unknown factoid about how T-Mobile is handling some of its spectrum refarming is that in certain parts of the country, they are using the 1900MHz band (known as the PCS band) for HSPA+. We’ve come to expect that any time we’re talking about T-Mobile’s 3G and 4G phones, we’re talking about phones that operate on T-Mobile’s AWS band of 1700/2100. Well, depending on the part of the country we’re discussing, T-Mobile is utilizing spectrum on the 1900MHz band and because of this… Some unlocked iPhone users are picking up 3G signals.

For instance, this user from Howard Forums was one of the first individuals to bring this to our attention and then we went to work. Of course by going to work we mean talking to TmoNews resident spectrum guru Conan Kudo who broke the whole thing down:

First and foremost, the area we’re specifically talking about is Nevada as that is where this individual unlocked iPhone owner lives. However, 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.

So why is T-Mobile refarming this spectrum? In order to roll out HSPA+ 84, they need four carriers, meaning towers that the phones can connect with. AWS spectrum typically only provides two carriers (which is required for HSPA+42), aggregating AWS and PCS will support at least four or five carriers. That’s not true for all regions, but a good number of regions will require “dual-banding” to pull off HSPA+ 84.

Incidentally, the HSPA+ 84 network will allow T-Mobile to claim that peak speeds are 10-12 times faster than 3G, if 3G is being rated as HSPA 7.2. If it was being compared to EV-DO (which Sprint and Verizon run), it would be 26-27 times faster (EV-DO peaks at 3.2Mbps)!

Coming back around to the iPhone as a small handful of users have reported seeing T-Mobile 3G appear on the iPhone and speed tests yielded results that a 2G signal wouldn’t allow.

So what does all this mean in layman terms? For the moment, nothing… Unless you happen to be in an area where T-Mobile is refarming spectrum on the 1900MHz band and use an unlocked iPhone. Think back to the Samsung Vibrant and the knowledge that phone had a special antenna as T-Mobile had Samsung hook up the PCS band in the hardware so that the radio could receive and transmit on PCS for 3G. In other words, the significance of that device is that before it, we can’t recall any T-Mobile device that had UMTS 1900 support. T-Mobile has begun including the 1900 UMTS band in higher-end devices which explain why the Sidekick 4G didn’t include it, but the Samsung Galaxy S 4G did.

The bottom line is that in some areas, there is a real possibility unlocked iPhone owners could pick up pockets of 3G signal. It’s not going to be a scenario we see playing out all over the country, in fact it’s probably going to be pretty rare with lots of emphasis on rare. We’re not quite sure exactly what T-Mobile is up to, we do know HSPA+ 84 is currently in testing and we might learn some kind of launch time frame at CES in January. Until then, we’ll keep trying to figure out T-Mobile’s spectrum plans and see what other kind of hidden mysteries we can uncover. 

I understand for many of you, this story will look and read like a lot of bs. I hope you recognize that I wouldn’t run something like this if I didn’t think it had some merit. This is absolutely one of those things that is difficult, if not impossible to prove unless you know what are you looking for and where to go to find it. I can’t emphasize enough how unlikely it is you will find this signal at the moment but, without knowing T-Mobile’s plans for their 1900MHz PCS band, it’s possible we could see more of this pop up in the future but again, it’s likely to be rare. 

If you want to see if your area is working on the new PCS HSPA+ network, you’ll need one of the following devices:

  • Samsung Galaxy S 4G
  • Samsung Vibrant
  • Samsung Exhibit II 4G
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
  • HTC Amaze 4G
  • HTC Radar 4G
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
  • T-Mobile Springboard
  • Dell Streak 7
  • Dell Inspiron Mini 10
  • T-Mobile Sonic 4G Mobile Hotspot
  • T-Mobile Rocket 3.0

If you have a Samsung phone, you can check which frequency band you are using by going to the dialer and entering in the code “*#0011#”. There are also ways to temporarily and persistently disable and enable frequency bands from the software on Samsung phones. HTC users may need to look into the testing menu to find out how to check the band being used. We don’t know how to check on any other devices though, particularly the tablets, the laptop, the hotspot, and the data stick. They’ll work on the PCS HSPA+ network though.

Many many thanks to Conan Kudo who helped contribute to this report with his never-ending understanding of spectrum analysis.

More Info: HowardForums 1, HowardForums 2

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  • Foofighter28

    frequency rehome etc is being done to secure a band of spectrum for some future device…

    • What future device? There are several devices NOW that support it! There are other reasons for deploying PCS HSPA+, but it’s not for any particular device. It’s to beef up the HSPA+ network in order to make it ubiquitous for T-Mobile customers. T-Mobile’s PCS holdings are deployed more than their AWS holdings. They don’t have to go through as much red tape to upgrade them to HSPA+ as they do for deploying new equipment for AWS HSPA+.

      • Foofighter28

        there’s been some serious rehoming going on in a lot of markets, the initial thought was that we were trying to get spectrum cleared for LTE trial…but it’s not it’s for that Halo device as some high level executive smugly smiled when he explained why the frequency rehoming/retune was being done

        • Anonymous

          that is exactly why.. too many are switching for the halophone. We almost lost Katy Perry (who is a T-Mo sub that switched back to her Blackberry). I’m using celebs as an example because they have high exposure, but quite a few have gone from BB to iPhone and to another carrier because T-Mobile does not have an iPhone.

        • None

          While BB users, we have the Kardashions all on TMO.

        • BigMixxx

          and Kim is trying to call the Baylor QB right now….

        • Basically to understand this all. You know T-Mobile’s EDGE/2G network that once was in these locations is now being converted over to the same 3G/4G service. So NO more 2G. Since 2G ran at 1900MHz on T-Mobile its what is joining their 1700/2100 AWS 3G/4G network they have. Now its 1700/1900/2100 and thats all. And yes 2G covers 96% of Americans by T-Mobile LOL. Thought i’d point out what it says on their site LOL.

        • Anonymous

          Rehoming does not mean phasing out, it means moving spectrum away from GSM/2G/GPRS/EDGE to WCDMA/3G/4G/HSPA so both can run in the same spectrum band.

        • They are refarming as a temporary move because they must give warning before completely pulling off of 2G. They will tell everyone that they must get a 3G/4G phone by such and such date. Happened before.

        • “Moving away” wouldn’t be the right term then. It’s more like adding in WCDMA/3G/4G/HSPA signal alongside the GSM/2G/GPRS/EDGE signal.

        • Anonymous

          If both GSM and HSPA+ can run on PCS then why don’t they just do that?  Are there negatives to running both?

        • Yes. For one, the WCDMA signal used for HSPA+ can and does easily overpower the TDMA signal used for GSM, so WCDMA must operate at a much lower power. While operating at a lower power may improve capacity due to the spread-spectrum properties of WCDMA, it does make the effective range of each WCDMA cell much smaller. GSM also requires an extremely wide guard band in order to effectively divide up the TDMA signals for uplink and downlink. While the wide guard is built into the PCS band, an additional guard is required if you wish to run WCDMA on the same band. So you lose about 5MHz to guard within the band itself.

        • J-Hop2o6

          And how much spectrum does Tmo have on average in the PCS/1900 band? 20MHz?

          But I’ve been waiting for the day Tmo uses the 1900 band for HSPA+ since it penetrates walls better than AWS (2100 DL is the problem).. But I wonder if WCDMA’s “cell breathing” effect will still make it not as good as expected.. but they guy did have full bars on his TMO HSPA iPhone, so we’ll see comparisons one day.. but atleast we can move from 2G/GSM/EDGE sooner than later.. I didn’t think it was even this close (testing wise).

        • On average, T-Mobile has 20-25MHz of PCS. Most markets on the eastern half of the country have at least 30MHz, while the western half has usually around 15-30MHz.

        • J-Hop2o6

          thx for the info Conan..  Can’t wait for HSPA+ over PCS in Seattle.

        • J-Hop2o6

          Well since AT&T dropped the deal to takeover T-Mobile, Tmo/DT gets the 4B, AWS spectrum, and a new roaming deal.. Hopefully Tmo’s aquired AWS spectrum helps out in the places with less AWS than other places.

        • Anonymous

          The free space path loss difference between PCS 1900 MHz and AWS 2100+1700 MHz is almost negligible.  So, W-CDMA 1900 at the same power levels should provide similar experience.  And, remember, compared to PCS 1900 MHz, what little you lose on the AWS 2100 MHz downlink (~0.85 dB), you gain on the AWS 1700 MHz uplink (~0.72 dB).  I would generally take the smaller path loss on the uplink because, in the link budget, downlink power levels from large base stations can be increased far more readily than can the uplink power levels from small handsets.

          AJ

      • J-Hop2o6

        I gotta question for Conan and/or WiWave.. Since there will be two HSPA+ (PCS & AWS) on one tower, who will be the primary? Is it in the phone that sets X as the primary, and Y as the secondary if X is overloaded? And can I switch the primary and secondary in the phone’s hidden settings? Wondering because I will set PCS as primary if its secondary, to test out (whenever that’ll be) between the two in my city (Seattle).

  • Anonymous

    This is awesome.  What this means is that the 1900mhz will also cut through buildings a lot better than 2100mhz. If Tmobile actually goes though with this and gets 1900mhz out and about, T mobile would get the iPhone very quickly. Apple wouldnt have to redo the iPhone AT ALL.

    • It doesn’t improve it by much. PCS (1900MHz) and IMT (2100MHz) are extremely close spectrally. While you’ll get slightly better building penetration, it’s not going to matter in most cases.

      • Sidekicker89

        does T-Mobile own more 1900MHz spectrum in other parts of the country? 

        • Yes. In areas like the Southeast, the Midwest, and the Northeast, T-Mobile has a lot more PCS spectrum than AWS spectrum for any given area on average.

          However, the reverse is true for Florida, the Pacific Northwest, New York, California, and Utah.

      • sino8r

        I agree… such high frequencies mean very little in terms of better building penetration. It would nice to have that old tv (700mhz) frequency! now that would be awesome! this is still good news for future/current devices on tmobile. I am an android fan but would love to see apple fans on tmobile be able to use 3G finally. as long as they don’t bottleneck our network too badly ;)

    • Anonymous

      T-Mobile’s weak 3G/4G coverage in certain areas and drop downs to EDGE isn’t due to the spectrum used.

      • Anonymous

        What is it from? This interest me a lot. It happens in my area a bunch I find

        • Anonymous

          cell shrinkage. an intentionally weaker 3G signal for higher network capacity for those in the coverage area

        • sino8r

          Lol! shrinkage ;) sorry! had to say it Damn Beavis and Butthead/plus Seinfeld are still bad influences on me even though I’m an old fart compared to most of y’all

      • Partially, it is. AWS was formerly used by the military, so one of the requirements is that the military needs to clear out of that band in a given area before T-Mobile can deploy on it. Additionally, not all areas have a lot of AWS, making the problem worse.

        Deploying HSPA+ on PCS would actually rectify this problem, as PCS is relatively unencumbered compared to AWS.

        T-Mobile’s PCS holdings are generally better built out compared to their AWS holdings. Legally, it’s easier to upgrade than to install new equipment for a new band. There’s a lot of red tape that goes along with deploying new towers on a new band. Upgrading an already used band to new tech is not nearly as bad.

        • Anonymous

          No, it’s not.. T-Mobile runs their 3G/4G network at much lower power levels than the GSM network because 3G/4G coverage is not essential and there are spectrum constraints especially in markets where they have already maxed out their holdings without moving to MIMO. Whenever a tower is upgraded to 3G/4G, the coverage is strong and nearly matches that of the 2G network until the network engineers come in and adjust the WCDMA power level.

        • I thought the power levels were lower because WCDMA at higher levels tended to overpower the GSM signal?

        • Anonymous

          No, power control or cell shrinkage can be used to mitigate network load. Look it up.

        • I see. Interesting. Taking advantage of the spread-spectrum properties of WCDMA to deal with network load. Good to know.

  • David, Remember an article you posted about T-Mobile going all 3G/4G by 2013 with slide shots?

    • I certainly remember it. This is in line with their plans. They’ve stopped selling 2G only devices on postpaid, they just need to stop for prepaid. That’ll be next year.

      • I found part of it. Its around Jan. 20 right before this AT&T/T-Mobile acquisition problem came too. Theres also another article that goes with this. Its the Nokia Siemens/T-Mobile coming out with LTHE 168/336. That would go along with this plan.

        • They also quoted a total cost of $1-2bn to deploy LTE in there thanks to their advanced HSPA+ network and all the work they’ve put in to make it that way.

        • OMG I made an error. Sorry I meant LTHE 336/672 not 168. 

  • Anthonyryan22

    What about the HTC Sensation 4G how come its not on the list and is it still supported if so how do you check for..?

    • HTC Sensation 4G supports only HSPA+ 900/1700/2100. No HSPA+ 1900 support in the T-Mobile variant.

      • Anonymous

        So a Sensation user who lives in a market where 1900 is converted to HSPA+ will start getting worse signal strength indoors then because he would only be getting the signal strength of whatever he was getting under 3G/4G?  In this scenario the Sensation user would have no access to edge at all correct?

        • For the immediate future, there would be some EDGE, but it would be weaker. Going forward, you’d be correct in that there will be no EDGE at all.

      • Cellular2k

        my box says UMTS 1700/2100/1900………

        • What? What phone is that?

        • Cellular2k

          The Sensation ,as does the box that my myTouch 4g slide came in. Both say UMTS 1700/2100/1900 on them. Check phonearena.com as they say it also.

        • Cellular2k

          my bad its not on phonearena but it does say it on my boxes, they are  tmo branded also.

        • What phone is it? Are you talking about the T-Mobile MyTouch 4G Slide?

        • Cellular2k

          my box says UMTS 1700/2100/1900………the sensation and myTouch 4g boxes from tmo.

  • Anonymous

    David the “3G” looks like it was edited…Just look at the picture..But if this is true…I will be very very happy!!! thanks

    • If you mean the top picture above the post text, yeah that’s edited. The speedtest.net result is not edited though.

    • If you mean the top picture above the article text, yeah that’s edited. But the speedtest screenshot is not edited at all. That is a genuine result from an iPhone.

    • The 3G in the first picture was edited, I did that for the post. The second picture is not edited.

  • tmotech

    Fascinating article! I wonder if, in a couple years, more areas of the country will see the 1900 band “refarmed.” 

    • Refarming will take only a year and a half at most. In areas where AWS is weak or hard to deploy for, expect PCS to be the primary band for HSPA+. If PCS is larger, then they’ll deploy HSPA+ there and LTE will be on AWS. If AWS is larger, then HSPA+ will be on AWS and LTE will be on PCS. Performance will still be even for both network types with this strategy.

      • Finally someone confirming what I’ve been saying for over 2 years now. People had to realize that eventually Edge would be going away freeing up the spectrum for 3g/4g expansion. I really appreciate your wealth of knowledge Conan and Kudo’s to you, Pun intended :)  Now if Directv would only follow this path and quit selling SD receivers to free up bandwidth to remove SD channels and add more HD channels while via software downgrading pic to SD on subscribers who don’t want or need HD therefore not requiring every channel to be duplicated. Sorry for going off topic but to me these 2 issues are identical except for the actual content being used on each of their spectrum’s. Frank

  • Anonymous

    T-Mobile can upgrade to 84Mbps HSPA+ by using MIMO in a the existing paired spectrum for DC-HSPA

    • The spectrum is too crowded for that in most markets. For MIMO to work effectively, there needs to be some “guarding” going on to make sure that each channel is clear and distinct. We’re talking about 10MHz of AWS in regions where dual-banding would be occurring.

      In markets like NYC where they’ve got a large chunk of AWS (>20MHz), then they’ll go the MIMO route, probably.

      • Anonymous

        They can’t deploy 42Mbps HSPA+ let alone 84Mbps HSPA+ in those markets with 10MHz of AWS. You need at least 20MHz of spectrum to do both.

        • Precisely. That’s where PCS comes in. In most of these markets, T-Mobile has at least 30-40MHz of PCS spectrum. Additionally, using spectrum aggregation, they can bond different bands together to improve speeds. So while HSPA or LTE may be deployed on the smaller band, it can be aggregated with HSPA+ on the larger band to boost speeds even more.

        • Anonymous

          That doesn’t help them in the near future, like I said they would use their existing 5×5 dual-carrier with MIMO to move up to 84Mbps. Anything else is not feasible because they still need to run GSM.

        • For what do they need to continue running GSM for? They’ve already committed to total 2G GSM shutdown by 2013. They planned to begin next year. They’re just getting a jump start on it.

        • Anonymous

          Um, you’re joking right? There are over 20 million customers still on GSM. It’s not going anywhere. The most they can do right now is refarm to WCDMA.

        • That is what shutting down 2G GSM will lead to. They are continuing along the UMTS path. When I refer to GSM, I mean “GSM” the singular mobile standard, not “GSM” the family of standards. I usually refer to the family of standards as UMTS.

        • Anonymous

          No, no, NO.. GSM (2G/GPRS/EDGE) will not go anywhere until probably 2015, and that will be the START of things.

        • Then why declare that they are shutting it down to investors all over the world back in January? Why say it will be shut down as early as late next year in FCC filings?

        • Anonymous

          Are you aware of how the investor meeting went? It resulted to an asset sale.

        • Which AT&T confirmed that the agreement had actually been made before that presentation had been given.

          And the FCC filings came after the meeting too, so that’s still valid.

        • Anonymous

          Any FCC filings are an estimate, and much like AT&T FCC filings: Estimated lies

        • They’re not all lies. If the FCC has validated it with data they’ve collected, then I’d consider it to be as truthful as can be at the moment.

          Look, the Americas have the worst spectrum setup of any region in the world. This is even worse in the United States, as network operators have been given smaller chunks of spectrum than what most network operators in Europe and Asia get.

          Because of this, operators like AT&T and T-Mobile don’t really have a lot of options when it comes to deploying these more advanced versions of HSPA+.

          It’s a good thing that 2G GSM will be disappearing in a year or so anyway. The security officials are always screaming about 2G GSM being inherently insecure because it has the same security flaws as D-AMPS, being a TDMA system that was developed around the same time.

        • John Festa

          Last April, Knight Foundation and the Federal Communications Commission challenged developers and citizens from across the country to develop apps that deliver personalized, actionable information for the Apps for Communities Challenge. As a result, we received almost 70 entries from around the U.

        • John Festa

          Last April, Knight Foundation and the Federal Communications Commission challenged developers and citizens from across the country to develop apps that deliver personalized, actionable information for the Apps for Communities Challenge. As a result, we received almost 70 entries from around the U.

        • John Festa

          Last April, Knight Foundation and the Federal Communications Commission challenged developers and citizens from across the country to develop apps that deliver personalized, actionable information for the Apps for Communities Challenge. As a result, we received almost 70 entries from around the U.

        • John Festa

          Last April, Knight Foundation and the Federal Communications Commission challenged developers and citizens from across the country to develop apps that deliver personalized, actionable information for the Apps for Communities Challenge. As a result, we received almost 70 entries from around the U.

        • John Festa

          Last April, Knight Foundation and the Federal Communications Commission challenged developers and citizens from across the country to develop apps that deliver personalized, actionable information for the Apps for Communities Challenge. As a result, we received almost 70 entries from around the U.The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressionalstatute (see 47 U.S.C. § 151 and 47 U.S.C. § 154), and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the media, public safety and homeland security. The Commission is also in the process of modernizing itself.[3]The FCC took over wire communication regulation from the Interstate Commerce Commission. The FCC’s mandated jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions. However, the FCC also provides varied degrees of cooperation, oversight, and leadership for similar communications bodies in other countries of North America. The FCC has an estimated 2011 budget of US$335.8 million which is entirely funded by regulatory fees, and has a proposed budget of $354.2 million for 2012, which will also be fully derived from regulatory fees. It has 1,898 federal employees.[4]

        • John Festa

          The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressionalstatute (see 47 U.S.C. § 151 and 47 U.S.C. § 154), and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the media, public safety and homeland security. The Commission is also in the process of modernizing itself.[3]
          The FCC took over wire communication regulation from the Interstate Commerce Commission. The FCC’s mandated jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions. However, the FCC also provides varied degrees of cooperation, oversight, and leadership for similar communications bodies in other countries of North America. The FCC has an estimated 2011 budget of US$335.8 million which is entirely funded by regulatory fees, and has a proposed budget of $354.2 million for 2012, which will also be fully derived from regulatory fees. It has 1,898 federal employees.[4]

        • John Festa

          The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressionalstatute (see 47 U.S.C. § 151 and 47 U.S.C. § 154), and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the media, public safety and homeland security. The Commission is also in the process of modernizing itself.[3]
          The FCC took over wire communication regulation from the Interstate Commerce Commission. The FCC’s mandated jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions. However, the FCC also provides varied degrees of cooperation, oversight, and leadership for similar communications bodies in other countries of North America. The FCC has an estimated 2011 budget of US$335.8 million which is entirely funded by regulatory fees, and has a proposed budget of $354.2 million for 2012, which will also be fully derived from regulatory fees. It has 1,898 federal employees.[4]

        • John Festa

          The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressionalstatute (see 47 U.S.C. § 151 and 47 U.S.C. § 154), and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the media, public safety and homeland security. The Commission is also in the process of modernizing itself.[3]
          The FCC took over wire communication regulation from the Interstate Commerce Commission. The FCC’s mandated jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions. However, the FCC also provides varied degrees of cooperation, oversight, and leadership for similar communications bodies in other countries of North America. The FCC has an estimated 2011 budget of US$335.8 million which is entirely funded by regulatory fees, and has a proposed budget of $354.2 million for 2012, which will also be fully derived from regulatory fees. It has 1,898 federal employees.[4]

        • John Festa

          The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressionalstatute (see 47 U.S.C. § 151 and 47 U.S.C. § 154), and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the media, public safety and homeland security. The Commission is also in the process of modernizing itself.[3]
          The FCC took over wire communication regulation from the Interstate Commerce Commission. The FCC’s mandated jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions. However, the FCC also provides varied degrees of cooperation, oversight, and leadership for similar communications bodies in other countries of North America. The FCC has an estimated 2011 budget of US$335.8 million which is entirely funded by regulatory fees, and has a proposed budget of $354.2 million for 2012, which will also be fully derived from regulatory fees. It has 1,898 federal employees.[4]

        • LOL. No it is in the works. Customers will receive warning sometime in 2012 telling them they must upgrade to a 3G capable phone. These things do happen. T-Mobile is making a risky move by doing this but its been done before once TDMA did its shut down. But it is good because they could end up ahead of the others eventually.

        • Anonymous

           obviously you have no idea of how long it took at&t to actually move those customers off of TDMA. Go back, look at the facts and timeline. 

        • AT&T is just slow period. No excuse for it really.

        • I know how long it took. I was an AT&T customer at the time it happened. Heck, I used a D-AMPS phone. The only reason it *finally* happened was because the government forced them to turn it off. We all started receiving information by mail from the government explaining that we need to switch to a GSM phone because they’ve ordered AT&T to turn off D-AMPS for security reasons.

        • Anonymous

          How do you know this?

        • Anonymous

          no offense, but Conan is actually correct.

        • Anonymous

          If you believe the FCC filings, yes.. if you have a brain.. no, he’s not. Furthermore, I cant reply in this thread anmore because I ca n barely read it.

        • He usually is, the man knows his stuff!

        • Gsm1900

          Actually, you are wrong. TMO is already starting to turn down GSM towers in areas of very low usage. They have eliminated all 2G only devices, and will likely start offering customers on older equipment incentives to move next year. They want that PCS open to do things exactly like his article.

        • Anonymous

          that’s a fukn lie. They still have EDGE/GSM only towers in many markets, EDGE/GSM repeaters in buildings and malls, EDGE/GSM Picocells and etc.

          they are NOT phasing out GSM. My local servicing tower is still GSM only!

        • I know damn well that they have 2G GSM only towers in many markets. Heck, I go to school in one of them! In Mississippi, it is really hard to deploy AWS HSPA+ because there are so many military bases. If they begin to deploy HSPA+ on PCS instead, they could finally upgrade the area where my school is. Outside of the school year, I’m in one of the few areas with AWS HSPA+.

        • I would say a very small percentage of those 20 million customers are on GSM due to having a 2g only phone, but instead are on 2g due to the fact that is what is currently active on that frequency in their area. If 3g became active on that frequency the only thing that would change is a improvement in coverage except for those very few who still have 2g only phones. I would estimate that less than 1 out of every 100 calls I take in tech support are 2g only phones.

  • Ipads2

    This is definitely fake look at the 3G

    • The first picture was quick work in Skitch, the second image was taken from the Howard Forums post which is not faked.

  • Anonymous

    Wait a minute… Wait a minute… Are you to tell me T-Mobile USA has the ABILITY to provide the million users running the iPhone on their network with 3G???  I understand you said it’s rare, but they should REALLY get on that if that’s the case.  Just imagine T-Mobile could advertise to buy the iPhone 4s unlocked from Apple and sign up for a Value Plan.  They could legitimately say they have the FASTEST iPhone.  This would be their last chance before the LTE iPhones come out.  Get on this T-Mobile!!!

    • This has been in the works for quite some time. They’ve only just managed to begin the work to migrate. Since they’ve seeded plenty of devices out there that support the band, users will be able to immediately take advantage of it. We’ll hear more about it next year.

      • Anonymous

        So what’s the pcs band used for now??  voice on gsm???   Also even though T-Mobile has a huge push for smartphones right now only 30% of their customer base uses them and only 15% have 4G smartphones.  So for them to shut down gsm completely a lot of customers would be impacted.  However I do remember basic flip phones like the Sony Erricson Equinox having ‘3G’ capability.

        • Most feature phones on T-Mobile have long since supported 3G, for this very reason. Voice and SMS/MMS are handled as part of the 3G system, so there’s no need to maintain the 2G GSM signal. Currently the PCS band is used in most markets to offer the legacy 2G GSM service. That service will be completely shut down by 2013, replaced with HSPA+ or LTE service.

        • Anonymous

          So is PCS used nationwide?  Also  when customers are inside buildings they usually have a drop down to edge. Typically it’s understood on T-Mobile your EDGE signal is strong as anything but your 3G/4G signal is flaky.  In fact devices will want to connect to 2G EDGE more often even though setting it to ‘wcdma only’ will give you 4g just fine but the average customer isn’t going to know that so it’s known that edge is a lot more reliable on T-Mobile.   What does this mean for signal reliability and penetration.  If some markets who are accustomed to great Edge reception indoors are then faced with that being shut off and replaced by spotty AWS wouldn’t that cause a lot of issues?  BTW: T-Mobile still sells the NOKIA X2 as a monthly 4G device which is EDGE only.

        • Monthly4G == Prepaid. Likely the 3G/4G signal will be far less flaky going forward. PCS spectrum covers most of the nation, but swaths of it aren’t covered. AWS, however, is actually nationwide with the exception of a couple of counties in the middle of the Great Plains.

        • Anonymous

          EDGE drop downs are due to cell shrinkage of the HSPA network.

        • Anonymous

          So they power down WCDMA only so it doesn’t overpower the GSM so if they shut off GSM couldn’t they power up the WCDMA?

        • Anonymous

          If they shut of GSM WCDMA coverage would need to be up to the level of GSM so yes. But we should hope for that well before GSM is off.

  • BigMixxx

    Didnt AT&T do this as well?  I recall seeing an article saying that they were reusing some of the old 800mhz spectrum for some of the 3g services….(I may be stupid here)…

    • They did indeed do that for New York and several other markets. They added 3G signal to their 2G towers in that area, though those towers are signal-wise weaker so that they don’t overpower the GSM signal.

      • BigMixxx

        Kinda what I thought.  So it is all out true that T mobile’s network is technically built for faster speeds…..more mobile capacity….

        with LTE being such the crab boil of the Wireless world…sounds like they may be moving around spectrum for something big…. Especially with Verizon buying up all of this additional spectrum in the range where their 3g/4g technology exists.

  • GinaDee

    How can I tell if my SGS2 is running on UMTS 1900 or AWS?

    • It’s a Samsung phone, just run the code in the dialer. A service menu will pop up showing you what frequency band it is currently operating on.

  • Anonymous

    I live there…. Nor Cal just by Nv border. But do not have a device listed above. 

  • BigMixxx

    Is that a 55ms ping ….full theoretical down?

    • 30014

      That’s nothing I’ve gotten 47ms ping, 10.89Mbps down and 3.05Mbps up during peak times mind you not in the middle of the night when no one is using the network. It’s all about backhaul. Eastern Atlanta suburbs if that matters.

      • Anonymous

        psh, in jacksonville i routinely get 15 down 3 up on my HSPA+21 phone

        • Wilma Flintstone

          man please, on my HD2 I get… Dang, I can’t even check it… No Flash browser anymore. Nevermind.

    • Anonymous

      The speed test was done with an iphone4s. The full theoretical down is 14.4mb/s. 

  • unkown10

    A friend of mine has an iphone on simple mobile with 3g speeds.

  • gera

    Does the samsung galaxy nexus have those bands?

    • Stan

      The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the first phone ever to have a pentaband (5 band) antenna.  This means it will be totally compatible with both T-mobile (aws) and AT&T (pcs) 3g/”4g” nationwide.

      • Wilma Flintstone

        Thats a Gyat Dangon lie right there. The Penta Band Award CLEARLY goes to Nokia as they’ve been dabbling in the Quad and Penta Band frequencies for Years. The Nokia E7 was the first Pentaband device. And it also has a Secondary Video Call Camera. It’s not the first POPULAR device with pentaband though.

        • However, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the first pentaband HSPA+ Android phone. The first quad-band HSPA+ Android phone was the international Samsung Galaxy S II.

      • Jameshjacksonjr

        Nokias phones all have Pentaband my Nokia n8 Nokia n9 unlocked phones both have penta band

  • macman37

    When AT&T learned about the speed results achieved with the 1900Mhz band, I’m definite that this is  more than likely what caused them to increase their bid 10 times more.  I sure as hell bet that it scared them when they thought of how many people would leave their crappy, spotty network for one that has faster speeds and can quickly potentially grow it’s network size to AT&T with T-Mobile’s great value deals.

  • Anonymous

    I guess if you can’t get the iPhone from the factory to run on our 3G there’s always conforming to it by creating a capable band. Not bad t-mo very sneaky but not bad.

  • Colombiatulua

    David this post it is real, depend where you are you will be able to run on 3G. I have an iPhone 3GS unlock year ago when I turn on the 3G on the phone it show not signal but today after I saw this report I put my sim card in the phone and have signal edge but signal with the 3G. I want to post the picture but I could not to do post it here. Good report. Ps my iPhone it is jailbreak

    • Where are you located? This report is VERY scattered and I expect only a small handful of people to be able to duplicate this story. BY small handful of people I mean like 10 or 20 people, I don’t expect wide numbers since the pockets of 1900PCS that are on are very scattered.

      • Colombiatulua

        Arlington, Texas

        • colombiatulua

          David I sent you the pic on twitter. Let me know if you get it.

        • It’s entirely possible that you’d be getting it, since Tarrant County, TX has 30MHz of PCS. More than enough to activate HSPA+ on it…

        • colombiatulua
  • Anonymous

    This is really good news!!!! This is the best news I’ve heard in ages!!!

    I really hope that this is true and 1900 gets redeploy as HSPA+ as soon as possible. The phones I can potentially get will dramatically increase. Main reason is, I never go for subsidized phones, mainly go the importing route. Honestly, I could care less if the iPhone works because I’m not really an iPhone fan.

  • Sattv

    so this week in Price ut my Tmobile phone has been locking on to the AT&T network then Thursday went back to Tmobile on 4g is this part of the new system, i can still do a manual network search and lock on to AT&T

  • People actually still want the iPhone?

    • Anonymous

      everyone wants the iPhone, i get asked that question if we have the iPhone everyday at work.  

      • Wow I can’t believe that, the phone is so outdated. There’s always a phone for everyone, and some people really enjoy the iphone. That’s good for them, as long as they’re happy.

        Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

        • Anonymous

          Its really not outdated, its a good phone dont get me wrong, i just think a lot of people ask for it because its all they know/see because apple advertises so much. I always get asked “what phone is like the iPHone’ well everything we have is like the iPhone. They basically want a touch screen phone with apps. Google just doesnt advertise nor the OEMs so no one really knows about android, and Win phone 7 is starting to get out there.

        • you are so right, people don’t know that’s why they buy apple iphones. they’re watching the advertisements and not knowing is there a better products out there on the market. but well say, you’re right on the money. if only they knew

          Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

        • Oh J. Williams, always believing that you know what is the best on the market! :-)

        • I try. How’s the iPhone? Lol

        • Still my opinion as the best phone on the market. Smooth as butter.

        • Definitely your opinion

        • Bratty

          Some enjoy the quality of the iphone. Others get dazzled by big screens. You pick.

        • I sure can pick, I have them all. some of us like variety, are you able to pick?

          Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

  • Tmofan_99

    This could mean a legit t-mobile iPhone! Since apple doesn’t want to develop a phone on their 3G spectrum, they will make it like AT&Ts and they really won’t have to change anything at all!

    Oh and no 3G speeds in Houston, ex on my unlocked t-mobile iPhone :(

  • Tmofan_99

    This could also fore tell their plan B if the AT&T merger doesn’t go through.

  • 2000jetta

    Do what some T-Mobile customers are doing. Get the mifi mobile puck, it currently costs $19.99 a month same as many data plans. Carry it in your pocket connect with WiFi on any iPhone and you have 4G speeds funky work around but hey if you want 4G speeds on the baby screen iPhone it works. (had to put in a crack about the size of the itty bitty screen)

    • Dfireballwow

      LOL OMG LOL very funny. I have an Iphone right now cuz someone the other night decided they needed my Amaze more then I. Sucks i bought that phone out right. Any ways I HATE THIS PHONE!!! iPHONES SUCK!!! I only have it cuz It was given to me by my ex

      • Anonymous

        PHP insurance?

  • Anonymous

    You missed the H on HTC Amaze.

    Can’t wait for those speeds to come, and I welcome potential iPhone users

  • HectoRome

    Just checked my SK4G and verified that I DO Have AT&T as an available Network to select from!
    Entering the code *#0011# displayed that I am on 17/21 Band 4 while on T-Mob’s network here in Chandler, Arizona . . .

    • All T-Mobile phones can connect to AT&T’s 2G GSM network on 850/1900. There’s a separate network selection item for 3G AT&T if your phone can detect it.

      • HectoRome

        No “3G ATT&T” Option to select Only “AT&T”
        Selected AT&T Network Entered – *#0011#

        Result Below
         
        3G
        UMTS: CS+PS
        RRCSTATE : CELL_PCH
        PLMN : 310-260
        WCDMA 17_21 Band 4
        FREQ DL: 2087 UL :1862
        CellID XXXXX LAC XXXXX PSC XXX
        RSCP : -105 ECIO : -7
        PDP_REJ_CAUSE :

        • You might be in a market where they’ve unified the identifiers. Where I am, AT&T still uses two separate identifiers for the 2G and 3G networks.

        • HectoRome

          Dang, looks like my ‘Sammy’ Only wants to play with T-Mob.  Thank You Conan Kudo you are one well informed Tech-Bro ! ! !

    • Anonymous

      the Sidekick 4G has no AT&T 3G bands, but if you can roam on AT&T that doesn’t mean much.

      • HectoRome

        Thank You, learning so much from you here and on the ‘Howard Forums!’

  • Boy03892003

    David, since you know the most about T-Mobile’s Network and with this article in the air do you think TMO will offer the iPhone in the future or will we see one only if a merger goes thru?

    • No offense, but do people really not see how things have gone so far. Verizon had 6 months before Sprint got it, so it stands to reason that Sprint is going to get at least 6 months before the iphone is launched on another carrier. Seeing as a T-mobile exec has been quoted as wanting iPhone on T-mobile, I would not be surprised if T-moblie is working on getting it in the spring or summer regardless of ATT’s takeover plans. Unless Sprint shelled out for a longer exclusivity, but I doubt that.

  • Tito!

    makes me happy to live in Utah :) …. for HSPA+ 84 reasons! XD

    • Likewise. :-P Hopefully this refarming goes that way. The military bases near me keep HSPA+ from being deployed here, otherwise it probably would have already.

  • jonathan3579

    Okay, so I just ran the code on my GS2 here in Houston, TX and this is the picture… Hint: It says PCS1900: IDLE. Does that mean it is functioning here? 

    http://tinypic.com/r/9iz6ls/5

  • Anonymous

    Despite any reports to the contrary, 2G GSM is not likely going away on T-Mobile anytime soon.  According to T-Mobile’s third quarter report this year, 3G/4G W-CDMA device uptake has been increasing but has still reached only 30% (10.1 million subs).  So, T-Mobile has the vast majority of its subs still using 2G GSM only devices.  Additionally, T-Mobile has too numerous smaller and rural market coverage areas that are still 2G GSM only.  Before any extensive 2G GSM shutdown can occur, T-Mobile has to greatly increase its 3G/4G W-CDMA device penetration and HSPA+ coverage overlay.

    AJ

    • Initial deployment of WCDMA on PCS does not require completely turning off 2G GSM. It will require cutting back the capacity of 2G GSM and transmitting WCDMA at lower power levels until 3G penetration levels have risen to acceptable levels to turn off 2G GSM and raise WCDMA power levels to normal.

      • Anonymous

        Your comment requires some clarification and/or correction.

        Correct, “[i]nitial deployment of WCDMA on PCS does not require completely turning off 2G GSM.”  But it does require recycling at least 10 MHz of PCS spectrum from 2G GSM to 3G/4G W-CDMA.  And T-Mobile has to weigh carefully its PCS and AWS spectrum resources per market versus its 2G GSM and 3G/4G W-CDMA usage statistics per market before recycling any GSM 1900 spectrum in a given market.

        In short, T-Mobile does not want to take X number of GSM only subs currently operating on 20 MHz of GSM 1900 bandwidth in a certain market and cram those subs down to 10 MHz of GSM 1900 bandwidth unless X is a sufficiently reasonable number of GSM subs to subsist on 10 MHz of spectrum.

        And why should W-CDMA 1900 require “lower power levels” to coexist directly adjacent to GSM 1900?  Lower power levels should not be necessary, nor should additional guard bands.  W-CDMA uses a chip rate of 3.84 Mcps but a carrier channel bandwidth of 5 MHz.  As the chip rate is considerably lower than the carrier channel bandwidth, the guard bands are already built into the 5 MHz carrier channel.  This is not entirely efficient vis a vis spectrum management in North America, but it is the Euro centric nature of W-CDMA aligned with the way that Europe allotted 3G spectrum in the UMTS 2100+1900 MHz band.

        Not to mention, AT&T W-CDMA 1900 currently coexists directly adjacent to AT&T GSM 1900.  And, depending upon particular combinations of PCS license assignments, AT&T W-CDMA 1900 currently coexists directly adjacent to T-Mobile GSM 1900 in some markets.  Does AT&T W-CDMA require “lower power levels”?

        Please clarify.  Thanks…

        AJ

        • I’m basing my expectations on how AT&T handled WCDMA+GSM on the same band. In addition to the spread-spectrum benefit, they kept the power levels lower in order to not drown out the GSM signal. At least that’s what the AT&T engineer told me. 

          I verified this myself with a rather non-scientific test of hooking up a 3G MicroCell right next to a full tower that broadcasted 2G GSM only (literally a foot away from me). The MicroCell activated on the same frequency band and it broadcast at full power, which drowned out the 2G GSM signal. Prior to activating it, I’d get full bars of 2G GSM service, or around -60 dBm. After turning on the MicroCell, my phone would be unable to maintain a 2G signal. The phone reported no bars, and the phone status indicated -110 dBm.

          Both the GSM tower and the MicroCell operated on the PCS band.

        • WiWavelength

          Double post deleted.

        • Anonymous

          No, the AT&T engineer was likely incorrect or gave you an overly simplified answer.  And the AT&T microcell (or femtocell) is not a scientifically representative sample.  Likely, the microcell set up a W-CDMA 1900 carrier channel that may have overlapped the GSM 1900 channels.  That is why the W-CDMA signal swamped the GSM signal.  In a macrocell environment, though, such would not happen, as any W-CDMA and GSM deployments would be, at most, adjacent.  They would not overlap.

          For reference, here is an FFT graph of a W-CDMA 1900 carrier channel.  Note that the power envelope drops to the noise floor at +/- 2.4 MHz on either side of the carrier channel center frequency.  In other words, the carrier channel bandwidth is less than 5 MHz, and the guard bands are built into the 5 MHz allotment.

          See the the FFT graph:

          Edit:  I have tried to post this message several times but keep receiving a moderator approval message.  Since approval may not come anytime soon, I am posting this again without the included URL, as maybe that is the hang up.  I will try to edit in the URL to the FFT image later.

          AJ

        • I see. This does make a lot more sense than what the AT&T engineer said. Any idea why they are so reluctant to deploy MIMO?

        • Anonymous

          MIMO is only as good as its availability.

          Think of MIMO like a two lane road that, in some stretches, includes a passing lane.  If the passing lane is offered only once every 15 miles, then it does not much aid in the flow of traffic.  The same goes for MIMO.  If a second orthogonal spatial channel is available only infrequently, then MIMO does little to boost the overall throughput of the downlink.Because of their typically small size, handsets do little to aid MIMO availability.  Even if some handsets are large enough to contain Rx antenna diversity, the two antennas cannot be spatially separated very far.  And MIMO relies upon spatial separation to achieve orthogonality — the farther apart the Rx antennas, the better MIMO performs.

          Hence, larger devices, such as tablets and laptops, are much better suited for MIMO.  Handsets are still the “killer app” for wireless in general, certainly for W-CDMA, so that may be one reason why T-Mobile has yet to pursue any W-CDMA Release 7 (or Release 9) categories with MIMO.  But, as tablet usage continues its ascendance, so may MIMO.

          AJ

        • The Galaxy Nexus has a MIMO Wi-Fi N antenna, and the iPhone 4S technically has a MIMO cellular antenna that doesn’t actually operate in MIMO. Is it likely that going forward, we will see MIMO on handsets more, since they are starting to do it anyway?

        • Anonymous

          A few thoughts…

          Handsets are getting larger to accommodate larger screens — the Galaxy Nexus is a good example — so Rx antenna diversity may become more feasible, hence more common.

          But the specs that I have seen for the Galaxy Nexus indicate that, while it does support 802.11n, such is limited to MCS index 7, which supports only one spatial stream, not MIMO.

          Additionally, the mere presence of 802.11n Rx diversity MIMO in a device could be little more than “specsmanship.”  It does not automatically indicate performance improvement.  To judge accurately, we need to see MCS index statistics.  In other words, we need to see how frequently and under what conditions a device with Rx diversity and MIMO capability can actually take advantage of multiple spatial streams.

          For example, on my 2011 MacBook Air right now, my 802.11n connection is at MCS index 14 (5 GHz spectrum, 40 MHz channel bandwidth, 64-QAM modulation, 800 ns guard interval, and two spatial streams for 243 Mbps raw throughput).  So, under current conditions, the Rx diversity, MIMO, and two spatial streams do provide notable performance improvement on my Wi-Fi network with my laptop.

          Again, though, that is with my MacBook Air, which is much larger than is any handset, and my 802.11n network at 5 GHz, which is much higher frequency than is Cellular 850 MHz, PCS 1900 MHz, etc.  Both greater Rx diversity antenna separation and higher frequency can benefit MIMO.

          As for the iPhone 4S, it does not have a MIMO antenna, per se, because it cannot accommodate multiple spatial streams.  But, yes, it does have two Rx diversity cellular antennas, top and bottom, that the handset can alternate or combine.  Though Rx antenna combination is not MIMO, it can result in up to 6 dB S/N ratio improvement, if I remember my correlated/uncorrelated signals theory correctly.

          AJ

        • Would a handset like the Samsung Galaxy Note be considered large enough for cellular MIMO antennas to be feasibly included on the device? Or would they need to get larger?

    • Anonymous

      The 10 million number is just smartphone uptake, not including 3G dumbphones but yes.. they are not phasing out GSM anytime soon. Too many are still using GSM only devices, T-Mobile still has much stronger GSM coverage in most major markets due to cell shrinkage of WCDMA coverage

  • Anonymous

    ok, speaking totally in a hypothetical manner, could going to 1900 make it easier for say, a Sprint to purchase/merge with T-Mobile? I know they use totally different technology, but with Sprint doing their “Network Vision” upgrade which makes everything a card and software install at the tower(this is how they are doing LTE, plugging in an LTE card at the tower)..
    Sprint only uses 1900 for voice/data on CDMA….

    I know totally hypothetical, but it kinda makes sense!

    • No. Aside from the legal issues, Sprint’s Network Vision technology does not have support for UMTS WCDMA, only UMTS LTE.

      • Anonymous

        They could add the support later, which I believe was his point. 

        but to answer OP, 

        No it would not help. first of all Sprint plans on using 1900 for the bulk of their LTE network, so they would most likely want to have that free to use for LTE, not have the HSPA+ network on. They would probably prefer all the Tmobile customers be on the AWS band, so they could easily repurpose the PCS for LTE. Also I think Sprint is done with merging with companies of different technologies. We all saw how bad they handled the Nextel merger.  They are now going to end up killing the Nextel branding for their mistake. Also lost so many Nextel customers in the process of repurposing. I believe they had 20+ million pre-merger and now are around 7 million.

         If they merged with Tmobile and made the same mistake, they would have lost a partner in battling the big two and push themselves further back in the race. I think they realize that Keeping it a two headed monster fighting the big two is smarter than trying to eat them up.

  • TMOLOYAL

    The trial market for the south region is Birmingham, AL. This is something that is going to happen in the next year as long as this AT&T BS does not progress to quickly or dies all together. While the overall transfer of traffic from 2G to 3G is only around 30% on average, in cities where the 3G/4G coverage is well established that number is much higher and the traffic has been significantly off loaded from 2G freeing up a lot of 1900 MHZ spectrum to be reallocated to high speed services and free up much needed spectrum for capacity on the 3G/4G network. 

    • I wish they would hurry up and deploy WCDMA on PCS here in Mississippi. There’s only pockets of HSPA+ out here and T-Mobile owns a lot more PCS than AWS in Mississippi.

    • Jarrod

      I know what you mean about the pcs spectrum being unloaded, When I switch my phone to 2G only the speeds are pretty decent for what it is at .25 download.

  • Rensorek

    Anyone noticed the screen shots seemed shopped? Anyone see the BIG BLACK BLOTCH in the 3G area of the screen shot on the first image? And the crooked/unaligned 3G on the second one??

  • Anonymous

    First, some technical background…

    A single 3G/4G W-CDMA carrier channel is 5 MHz x 5 MHz bandwidth for 10 MHz total spectrum outlay.  Thus far, T-Mobile has deployed 3G/4G W-CDMA primarily or exclusively in its AWS 2100+1700 MHz spectrum.  In T-Mobile’s AWS 20+ MHz licensed bandwidth markets, it is using W-CDMA Release 8, Category 24 — otherwise known as (non MIMO) Dual Carrier HSPA+ 42.  In T-Mobile’s AWS 10 MHz licensed bandwidth markets, it is using W-CDMA Release 7, Category 14 — otherwise known as (non MIMO) HSPA+ 21.  As far as I know, T-Mobile has not implemented any MIMO categories.

    Now, on to recycling some PCS 1900 MHz spectrum from 2G GSM to 3G/4G W-CDMA…

    Among the top 50 markets, T-Mobile has PCS licensed bandwidth of 20 MHz to 40 MHz.  Here are three fairly comprehensive lists:

    -PCS 20 MHz licensed bandwidth:  New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, DC, Miami, Cleveland (23.6 MHz), San Diego (25 MHz), Milwaukee, Tampa-St. Petersburg (25 MHz), Buffalo, New Orleans (25 MHz), Hartford, Sacramento (25 MHz)

    -PCS 30 MHz licensed bandwidth:  Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, San Francisco-Oakland, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Atlanta, Seattle, Cincinnati, Phoenix, San Jose, Indianapolis, Portland, Columbus, San Antonio, Memphis, Louisville, Providence, Salt Lake City, Dayton

    -PCS 40 MHz licensed bandwidth:  Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Rochester, Birmingham

    In order to recycle PCS spectrum and deploy 3G/4G W-CDMA 1900, T-Mobile most likely requires PCS licensed bandwidth of at least 30 MHz.  So, the PCS 20 MHz licensed bandwidth markets need not apply.  Sorry, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, etc.  Those markets will probably not see 3G/4G W-CDMA in PCS spectrum anytime soon.

    But T-Mobile’s AWS 10 MHz licensed bandwidth markets are stuck at HSPA 21+ and are the markets most in need of recycling some PCS spectrum from 2G GSM to 3G/4G W-CDMA.  Again, from the top 50, here is a complete (or nearly so) list:

    -AWS 10 MHz licensed bandwidth:  St. Louis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Buffalo, Rochester, Memphis, Louisville, Dayton, Birmingham

    Particularly of note, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Kansas City, Rochester, and Birmingham are on both the PCS 40 MHz and AWS 10 MHz licensed bandwidth lists.  That means that these markets are almost assured candidates for recycling some PCS spectrum for 3G/4G W-CDMA.  In fact, these PCS 40 MHz markets probably have enough spectrum to deploy Dual Carrier HSPA+ 42 in recycled PCS spectrum.

    Additionally, AWS 10 MHz but PCS 30 MHz markets St. Louis, Cincinnati, Memphis, Louisville, and Dayton probably have enough PCS spectrum to deploy one HSPA+ 21 carrier channel in recycled PCS spectrum.

    Unfortunately, AWS 10 MHz and PCS 20 MHz markets Milwaukee and Buffalo are probably out of luck.  They likely lack enough AWS spectrum and PCS spectrum, alike, to advance beyond their single HSPA+ 21 carrier channel in AWS spectrum anytime in the foreseeable future.

    AJ

    • Anonymous

      If they want to maximize their limited holdings and go to 84Mbps HSPA+ they really have no choice but to move to MIMO.

      • I’m not entirely sure what’s up with the RF engineers that handle HSPA+ for AT&T and T-Mobile, but they’re really uncomfortable with deploying MIMO. They outright avoided talking about it in FCC filings, technical interviews, etc. When Sprint brought it up in their technical filings, AT&T and DT did not refute it or even acknowledge the point. Evidence seems to point them wanting to continue to go the multi-carrier model of HSPA+ rather than the mixed MC/MIMO model.

        • Anonymous

          What exactly is MIMO?

        • Anonymous

          MIMO means multiple in multiple out. It allows you to send multiple data streams over one channel.  you could theoretically double or even triple your speeds over the same channel, because sending one data package would take half the time. Think about it like having two mouths instead of one. you could eat a pizza in half the time. 

          Also MIMO needs No line of sight, so instead of needing a direct path from your transmitter to your receiver, your data could bounce off of buildings. It prefers to bound off buildings, which helps the antennas differentiate  the multiple signals, and have more propagation. This is good news for cities, because normally buildings hinder signal and cause interference, but now they would help boost the signal. 

        • Anonymous

          So what’s stopping T-Mobile USA from doing this? Cost?

        • As WiWavelength explained earlier, it is difficult to implement MIMO on handsets because they are so small. MIMO antennas need to be a certain distance away so they don’t get confused. It’s easy to implement them in tablets and laptops, but phones are a challenge. I personally suspect that as phones get bigger, the possibility of a MIMO cellular antenna in phones will rise…

  • Anonymous

    Conan Kudo: I just want to say you kinda have an idea of what you’re talking about, and you kinda don’t.

  • Roger Sales

    Where can one look up T-Mobiles Spectrum holdings, by region or otherwise? Similarly, I know T-Mobile doesn’t have any real holdings of 850 mhz, but does that mean they have absolutely 0 or just very very little? if so, where in the US?

    • Anonymous

      From its SunCom acquisition in 2007, T-Mobile acquired one CMA in South Carolina.  So, T-Mobile has a Cellular 850 MHz license in those three counties but nowhere else in the US.  For all intents and purposes, T-Mobile has no Cellular 850 MHz spectrum.

      AJ

    • They have three counties in South Carolina. 25MHz of 850MHz. Not entirely sure how they got it, but it’s there.

      The FCC filings over the year for docket 11-65 have included spectrum assets of both AT&T and T-Mobile by CMA and BEA. Additionally, you can request information from the FCC directly.

  • MIKEEEEE

    using an iphone on t-mo’s network is like driving a british car in america.

    sounds really cool to your friends but, don’t tell them how bad it really sucks.

  • Anonymous

    On the HTC Amaze 4G, to check W-CDMA band class or ARFCN, try to enable the hidden Field Trial app.  From the dialer, enter…

    ##33284# (i.e ##DEBUG#)

    Or, for the hidden Field Test app, enter…

    *#*#7262626#*#*

    In both cases, you may need to press Call.  Or the app may launch with the final key press.  Or the app may removed/locked out.

    Please report your findings.  If you need assistance in selecting the correct menu or interpreting the results, do not hesitate to ask.

    AJ

    • Didn’t work on my Amaze. I’m rooted on the stock ROM.

    • Anonymous

      Neither ##33284# nor *#*#7262626#*#* seem to be active with the Amaze, at least not unrooted with stock ROM.

      *#*#4636#*#* does work, but that Phone information screen does not display W-CDMA band class nor UARFCN.

      So, here is another dialer code to try…

      ##3282#

      Again, you may or may not need to press Call.

      Also, Any Cut and LauncherPro, both free from the Android Market, can allow you to create a home screen shortcut to any activity.  Try both.  Once you hold a spot on a home screen to add something, select Shortcut, then Activities or Any Cut.  From the long list, look for Field Test or Field Trial.  There may be multiple entries for both.  And you may have to try them all until you find one that works.

      Good luck!

      AJ

  • PCS1900 is the code that Samsung uses to refer to 2G GSM on the PCS band. It is called UMTS1900 if 3G was running on that band.

  • Anonymous

    Does the “E” above the data transfer indicator in your screen cap indicate EDGE?  If so, then you have your answer.

    AJ

  • Roger Sales

    In regards to the government still occupying AWS bands, if T-Mobile has legal rights to the bands because they purchased them, what is the hold up? Isn’t there any way they can force them off the band? Seems a bit unfair to be paying for what you’re not allowed to use.

    • I don’t really know. It’s rather difficult to get a straight answer about the whole mess. I’ve tried talking to everyone except the Department of Defense. I might wind up calling them about it too…

    • Anonymous

      They were required to evacuate March earlier this year or last (can’t remember) – so, idk what r who is spreading these rumors but T-Mobile has AWS working all around the US.

  • You’ve turned on the 3G radio, but the iPhone has not detected a 3G signal on T-Mobile to connect to.

  • HTC Sensation 4G on PhoneArena says UMTS 900, 1700/2100, 2100.

    T-Mobile MyTouch 4G Slide on PhoneArena says UMTS 1700/2100, 2100.

    FCC documents concur with these assessments. I’m not sure why the box says it has UMTS 1900 support when it clearly doesn’t.

    • Cellular2k

      but is does have 1900 support and that is what matters, my Cliq2 has 850 and I have used it locally here on at$t’s 3g network.

  • guest

    Seeing this in Birmingham, Alabama as well. My factory unlocked iPhone 4S is getting 3G signal at over 6mbps.

    • Can you provide a screenshot of the Speedtest app showing it?

    • Jarrod

      What parts?

  • josue cifuentes

    so i currently have a galaxy s2 (I9100) so this means i can use tmo’s 3G or 4G (hspa+) 

    • The GT-i9100 will be able to use T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network in zones that have PCS HSPA+. These are small pockets right now, though. The majority of the HSPA+ network is AWS HSPA+.

      • josue cifuentes

        so that means i cant use it on 3g or 4g ? thanks for answer my question :D

        • Sorry, no. You should probably trade that GT-i9100 in for an SGH-T989 (T-Mobile branded Galaxy S II). It holds its own against the GT-i9100 performance wise, and supports a wider range of 3G/4G frequencies. Plus, Wi-Fi Calling!

        • josue cifuentes

          Hell no lol….i got it for free (i got it from spain) not unless you can hook me up with one for free lol

        • Value plan deal going on today and tomorrow. Galaxy S II free with Value plan.

        • josue cifuentes

          where’s the “value” when i have to pay a $200 migration fee….explain that ?

        • You’re still under contract then? I figured you weren’t…

        • Anonymous

          Multiply the plan you are currently on times 24 months.  Then multiply the Value plan times 24 months and add the migration fee to that total.  That should come out cheaper than your current plan and that’s where the value is.

  • Anonymous

    ok so hold on does this mean that slowly but surely t-mobile will be using the 1900 band everywhere? if so i cant wait!!!! iphone 5 here i come!

  • Gwapo

    So I don’t need to return my Iphone 4s??? Yippeeeee!!!!

  • Well, if Apple doesn’t want to make an iPhone that is compatible with T-Mobile’s AWS bands or if it’s too expensive for T-Mobile to make a deal with Apple to support AWS, then why not have T-Mobile refarm the whole country’s 1900 bands to 3G? (excluding places where 3G phones aren’t available)

    Will this happen in NYC, perhaps? :-D

    • Refarming the whole country to run HSPA+ on PCS and AWS is the eventual game plan.

      • Anonymous

        Maybe.  But GSM 1900 is not going away anytime soon.  So, depending upon T-Mobile’s merger or partnership prospects, many T-Mobile markets may go directly from GSM 1900 to LTE 1900.

        AJ

        • If T-Mobile stays on track with the plans they discussed over the last two years, I’d expect them to be ready to completely shut down 2G GSM by late 2013 or early 2014. At the same time, they’ll be ready to either expand the PCS HSPA+ frequency widths, or deploy LTE. I see no reason for T-Mobile to keep 2G GSM around for too much longer due to the lack of additional spectrum. From what I’ve heard, next year will be the big year of deploying PCS HSPA+ instead of AWS HSPA+. 

          Most markets that have AWS blocks larger than 10MHz already have HSPA+ now. The remaining markets that don’t, generally have PCS blocks larger than 25MHz (usually 30MHz or more), which leads me to believe that those regions of the HSPA+ network will be on PCS rather than AWS. The unused AWS will probably be used for a supplementary HSPA+ channel for HSPA+84 if they need it.

    • Anonymous

      No, New York and certain other markets are unlikely.  In those markets, T-Mobile lacks enough PCS 1900 MHz spectrum to operate both GSM and W-CDMA reliably in that band.  To do so would take away 10 MHz of bandwidth from T-Mobile’s GSM only subs and roaming customers, leaving them with minimal GSM capacity.  That is why T-Mobile cannot simply “refarm” its PCS spectrum everywhere nationwide, at least not at this point in time.

      See my post down the page.  It contains lists of markets and spectrum holdings.AJ

  • Wait.. So if i buy the HTC TITAN on AT&T with bands (
    UMTS 850/1900/2100 MHz  ), unlocked it and put in my T-Mobile sim i’d get 3g in Minneapolis???

    • Potentially, yes.

      • Hmm, seems really risky though. I wouldnt want to make that commitment and risk having extremely dodgy 3g signal that could potentially disappear at any moment.

  • Anonymous

    How much pcs does att and verizon own respectively?

  • Kahlayoh

    Question from a noob! I punched in the code as stated below into my Samsung Galaxy S2 and I see a bunch of numbers! Can you enlighten me as to what I’m supposed to be looking at and how to read it? Thanks

    • If you are on 3G/4G, you’ll see either “WCDMA 17_21 Band 4” or “WCDMA 1900 Band 2”. If you are in an area that has PCS HSPA+, you’ll see it say “WCDMA 1900 Band 2”.

      • Kahlayoh

        While on 4G the first line says “RRC: IDLE, Band4” So I’m assuming I’m not on PCS HSPA+ since i see no Band2. Thank you for your response.

  • Qlj222

    david you wrote 
    TC Amaze 4G lol its correct its HTC Amaze 4G

  • Qlj222

    david you wrote 
    TC Amaze 4G lol the correct way is HTC Amaze 4G

  • Joe

    I live i birmingham alabama and mine works…I have factory unlocked iphone 4s download almost 8mbps and upload almost 2mbps

    • Guests

      Upload a video to YouTube or send a screenshot of the speed test to TMONews so it can be posted.

    • J-Hop2o6

      Yes please upload a youtube video for better proof.. I wanna see this in action.

    • Nobody

      What part of Birmingham do you live? Does it work 3G everyw

    • tclint

      I was just in birmingham, al earlier today and was in shock to see 3g as well! I was wondering if it was isolated to that area only and sadly i was right. I was at the Summit when this happened. I did not do anything at all, i just noticed fast connection and the 3G symbol.

      • Jarrod

        Im going through that area in a month, what all areas around there are the same way along 459 and i65 or i59?

  • WillW

    Could someone make a youtube video on how to do it

  • any word if it works in the Atlanta area? i’d like to get a unlock 4s if all possible with decent speed

  • J-Hop2o6

    Wow.. Tmo has more PCS than VZN on avg. in PCS.

    • It’s because VZW doesn’t really need it – they have all that sweet sweet 700mhz spectrum and 850mhz spectrum. They have extremely enviable spectrum holdings. 

    • Anonymous

      Keep in mind that those spectrum holdings stats are just (straight or population weighted) national averages, not consistent figures.

      Because the FCC (at least until recently) has conceptualized wireless competition on a largely local basis, wireless licenses in the US have been traditionally apportioned on a local or regional level.  Though exceptions do exist (e.g. VZW Upper 700 MHz C block 22 MHz spectrum, Sprint PCS “G” block 10 MHz spectrum, Qualcomm Lower 700 MHz D block 6 MHz unpaired spectrum), it is rare for a license holder to control a specific spectrum block entirely nationwide.

      So, for example, in some markets, T-Mobile has more PCS 1900 MHz spectrum than VZW does.  And, in other markets, the roles are reversed.

      AJ

      • J-Hop2o6

        I know its averages.. but its still funny how Tmo has more than Verizon.. but thx for all the info in this Blog post WiWave.

  • Nobody

    Thia article really needs some fact checking.  A 1900 UMTS network would require a deployment of supporting base station transceivers. Did TMUS do that?  The PCS band can’t be combined with AWS to get 84Mbps. This would more likely be a MIMO application, but also requires another hardware upgrade.  IMHO, TMUS really needs a stronger plan for its PCS holdings.

    • J-Hop2o6

      Search for dual carrier.. but its possible to use two different spectrum simutanously to get HSPA+ data

      • Nobody

        I’m sure you know all about it.  Dual Carrier (HSPA+42) is accomplished with adjacent blocks in the same Band. Maybe multi band HSPA+ will be possible in the future, but not with the current hardware vendors.

        • Anonymous

          Dual Carrier HSPA+ in non adjacent spectrum requires W-CDMA Release 9.

          AJ

        • I’ve heard about it. I suspected the end goal of deploying WCDMA to the PCS band is to prepare for UMTS Release 9, which allows for that.

    • Anonymous

      Obviously, T-Mobile has deployed W-CDMA 1900 infrastructure in some markets.  As they say, the proof is in the pudding.  Users here and at HowardForums have encountered native T-Mobile W-CDMA 1900.  Add it all up:  iPhones on T-Mobile 3G, W-CDMA band class 2, MCC-MNC 310-260 = T-Mobile W-CDMA 1900. 

      As for infrastructure, T-Mobile has needed to deploy W-CDMA 1900 channel cards and probably additional PCS 1900 MHz amps.  But antenna elements, backhaul, and cabling have likely carried over from the existing GSM 1900 and W-CDMA 2100+1700 infrastructure.

      AJ

      • From what I’ve heard, the infrastructure was put in place at the same time they deployed their AWS HSPA+ network in many markets in 2010, so it’s not too difficult for them to activate on PCS, too.

        • Jarrod

          Do you know if it was in all markets or just a select few? And was it on the internet somewhere?

        • It was in most markets that had more than 25MHz of PCS and 10MHz or more of AWS. There’s a list compiled by WiWavelength somewhere down there in the comments. Of course, zones that have no HSPA+ running at all right now are unknowns. I’m looking into finding out if they’ve deployed the equipment in those areas too.

        • Jarrod

          Do you think at some point Houston Texas would qualify. I think they have a big chunk of PCS but they also have like 1/3rd of AWS I think also.

        • Holy crap! Harris County, TX has a whopping 70MHz of combined AWS and PCS. You’ve got 40MHz of PCS and 30MHz of AWS. You’ll get it, but you’re also likely to get LTE too. You’re also getting at least another 10MHz of AWS for Houston itself from AT&T, too! 

        • Jarrod

          Yeah I was reading the thing they are picking up another 20mhz of aws. I hope they do add 1900mhz 3G seeing how I have recently got a iPhone 3GS. I’m still able to burn through a bit of Internet just not as fast I was averaging a gig a week on my 4g phone but know I’m using a gig in two weeks

  • Anonymous

    Wow I wonder if T-Mobile could get 1900mhz PCS 3G widely deployed nationwide that would change their dynamic with Apple on obtaining the iPhone in their stores.  I would think, that would take control away from Apple.  Let’s say PCS 3G is good to go in two months it’s almost in everyone’s best interest that has an iPhone with another carrier to unlock their iPhone, switch to T-Mobile, pay LESS and get FASTER internet with T-Mobile on monthly 4G or a family value plan.

    • Anonymous

      Folks, this T-Mobile W-CDMA 1900 deployment is not some clandestine nationwide initiative to accommodate the iPhone.  One, T-Mobile does not realistically have enough spectrum to run GSM 1900 and W-CDMA 1900 simultaneously in many of the largest markets.  (Read my posts below on markets and spectrum.)  Two, it is far more practical for the iPhone to accommodate T-Mobile by eventually adding W-CDMA band class 4 aka W-CDMA 2100+1700 support.

      AJ

      • Plus, it’s not like it is expensive for Apple to add it. At most, it will add $1 to the cost of building an iPhone. The only reason it’s not there? Apple has no need for it yet.

  • Lawrence of Arabia

    How can we be sure it is on tmos network?
    You can change the carrier’s name using sbsettings.

  • Gr4452

    i have 2 lines with tmobile .. 1 android and 1 unlocked iphone 4 (for gsm) … no problems whatsoever for the iphone

  • Gwapo

    Hi David!! Can we get a map wherein 3G signal in Tmobile is available? Thanks

    • Jarrod

      Its hard to say caise there expanding coverage ATM and it don’t say which frequency it’s on

  • Guest

    I was one of the first people using the iphone 4s on tmob since I bought a ATT full retail on launch and it unlocked automatically so I stuck my tmob sim in it and it worked.
    It was so slow on 2G that I returned it for the Sammy GS2.
    If tmob was smart they would find a way to get 3G for the iphone and it may just be something that helps them get new customers and survive.

  • Guest

    Nokia C7 and Nokia E6 support 1900 as well

    • d1969guo guo

      Every single unlocked Symbian^3 phone is pentaband……..

    • control c

      thats fine

  • Littlesis1774

    Well someone tmobile thread said that had gotten 3g network on their home so it true. At this point it makes no sense for tmobile not have it

  • Well with the shared roaming agreement just announced with AT&T this all makes sense now. All be it it is hit or miss based on which city you are in.

  • Roger Sales

    There are a huge amounts of benefits to transitioning PCS to 3G/4G though. For one, people will no longer have the problem of the network switching down to EDGE because of signal or capacity constraints, as the network will be entirely HSPA+. Also, it gives smartphone power users an extra life line in cities like new york when they are more likely to be in a jam with overused towers. with 1900 HSPA+ all the towers are speed friendly, not like the EDGE towers of the past where if you switch down there is a severe lack of useability. This is part of ATT’s problem, if they just switched their network to HSPA+ completely it would have helped their bottom line for their smartphone peeps who complain of poor service. Running two types of technologies doesn’t work in north america where we already in a severe spectrum bind, which is why Verizon is often praised for their network in my opinion(they didn’t have to switch from EDGE to HSPA because their 3G technology was just added onto their already existing towers with no backlash.)

  • Anonymous

    Can anyone comment if it’s safe to buy a Samsung Galaxy S II (International version) to pick up 3G speeds? I live in Philadelphia, PA. 

    And no, I don’t want the T-Mobile version of the G S II.

    • A D

      how do we determine it? which PCS broadband did you select? i am in los angeles

  • Gwapo

    Any updates?

  • Skippy0304

    I was outside of Philly this weekend and def picked up a 3G signal on my iPhone…. It was only in certain areas and once I did get inside th city it went back to edge.

    • Minhluan81

      same here. I was on I95 between exit 46 and 37.

    • LBX

      Also picked up 3g/H+ on Galaxy Note 
      around Oxford Valley Mall, Fairless Hills PA 

    • Flral

      I just came from Leviintown .PA and i got 3g service on my unlock iphone 4s.

      • Adry1980

        Yes, IPhone is runing on 3G in Levittown PA.

  • Mikedave63

    Hello,
     
    I own an unlocked Iphone 4s. Recently I went to Philadelphia and my Edge turned to 3G. Some parts of Philadelphia already using 1900mhz 3G friendly frequency. Anyway here are some pictures

    here is the link of my post

    http://gadgetsteria.com/2011/12/18/t-mobile-now-testing-1900-mhz-3g-hspa-84-mbps-service/

  • Rickyvandevall3

    how can i make my tmobile sim card work on my iphone 3g? its jailbroken and i have no clue wat to do now…

  • Rickyvandevall3

    how can i make my tmobile sim card work on my iphone 3g? its jailbroken and i have no clue wat to do now…

    • criminal hack

      hello all you have to do is go to cydia.go to search then type in ultrasn0w with a zero for the o. then download it then after you download it hit restart springboard then the iphone will be unlocked insert you sim and it should work.after that go to cydia and download
      t-mobile ios4 MMS fix this is for you to recive picture messages Good luck

  • Andy

    Yes, you are right, in Levittown PA… I got 3G on that area too.

  • I am getting 3g connections on my I-phone in certian areas of Springfield/Holyoke, Massachusetts. (Mostly in Holyoke.

    • Jarrod

      What type of speeds are you getting and did you notice anything with your signal before you noticed getting 3G?

  • Ooshiewooshie

    I want 3G on my iPhone 4 in Oklahoma City!

    • Jarrod

      Im with you ever since I got my iPhone 3GS working in mid January I have been checking almost every day to see if 3G will come on but as of yet Houston don’t have 3G in the North West part at least. I can’t wait though.

  • rj88

    will this be true for iPhone 3g users?? as they support HSDPA 1900 mhz as well??

  • Jamil729

    So is there a away to disable 4G and just use 3G not 2G on the Samsung phones?

  • Leewonrichard86snak

    i what to how to do it for my phone i have the 3gs i had it and after i out my tmobilr sim card it stoped work i can i jailbreaken it

  • Leewonrichard86snak

    i really need some help on jailbreaking my iphone what can i do 

  • In Boston, Ma, it does not appear T Mobile’s 1900 MHz is used as a 3g band.  I’m patiently waiting to order an international HTC One X and desperately want this to take affect asap. 

  • This is all BS T-mobile just has to pay the money to get they IPhone…
    I thought ya’ll cared about your customers. Mr. obama you get involved with making America equal to everyone 

    • Dan K

      Shut up.

  • Waldozzy24

    i have and iphone 3gs and its unock. im only getting edge i was wondering id there any way i could get 3g. i know there 3g in my area because i had a samsung galaxy and i was getting 3g signal. plz help

  • anonymous

    iPhone 4S as of 7AM 6 May 2012 showing T-Mobile 3G in western Massachusetts

  • Lsjsjansnsn

    So phones without 1900 mhz band will only get 2g speeds since tmobile will cut the old bands off?

  • Nick

    I noticed 3G on my iPhone 4S today while at work in Bellevue, WA. Unfortunately I couldn’t connect to 3G in Kent, WA.

  • Anthony071095

    You People just need to freaking wait!! Yes they are adding new 1900 MHz bands for iPhones to work on 3G! Uncle confirmed me
    That tmobile 3G is working on his iPhone in California

  • John

    My iPhone 4 unlock show 3G bar signal. Tmobile 1900 MHz is in Dallas and it connect very fast.

    • Michael Torres

      Where are you seeing this? I just switched.

    • WizzardOfOz

      It is also working in Detroit. I had to take a picture of my screen because I couldn’t believe it. I was able to make a call an also be on the Internet. I even watched a whole episode of family guy on Netflix!!!

  • Chrisguzman46

    Does anyone have a iphone 4 with tmobile 3g in california?

  • Ryannayr

    Ok. So i have a iPhone 3G on Tmobile. Jailbroken and unlocked. I only pick up service if 3G is disabled. Let’s say #G is now available in my area. Will i automatily recive it, or will i have to switch on 3G?

    • Ryannayr

      haha duhh nvm

  • Ryannayr

    Lancaster Pennsylvania, and no 3G service, just EDGE.

  • jdub

    They say they were focusing on Utah, yet I drove through every major Utah city and got nothing. Ugh, how hard would it be to just tell us their schedule so I can at have an idea as to when I’ll get it

  • Rytech

    This news is fake.
    Look at the iPhone picture showing 3G which is modify with some software. The front looks different!!!!

  • See my latest post on the Howard Forum at the link below for the latest information on 3G and H+ in Las Vegas.

    http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1748317-Post-here-if-you-have-noticed-1900MHz-3G-on-an-iPhone-or-other-device?p=14908607#post14908607

  • minh

    my iphone 4s catching 3G signal in some place around metro Atlanta

  • wendy

    my iphone 3gs shows 3g signal also i have tmobile and is unlock