Apple Modifying iPhone 5 For T-Mobile Bands, Existing Devices Won’t Have AWS Support

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Apple has confirmed that it will sell a new version of the A1428 iPhone 5 model to support additional AWS bands for T-Mobile. Unfortunately, that means existing iPhone 5 users will not gain AWS support (on the 1700 band) via any kind of software update. Ultimately, that means that existing iPhone 5 devices won’t support the highest speeds on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network, and will be phased out for the new A1428 model. Said another way, existing iPhone 5 owners using unlocked AT&T models can’t just apply a software update to have AWS support added. The result is you’ll end up having to buy a whole new phone if you demand HSPA+ 1700MHz support in your area.

As of April 12th, which happens to coincide with T-Mobile’s own iPhone 5 release date, Apple will sell the A1428 iPhone 5 with AWS support. The bottom line is that the “new” A1428 model will work on HSPA+ 42Mbps on T-Mobile’s AWS band, which the current iPhone doesn’t support, hence the network refarming. An Apple product manager at T-Mobile’s event says a minor software update will allow T-Mobile’s WCDMA/HSPA+ 1900 band to work with AT&T hardware. The current iPhone 5 model will never work with T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 42Mbps 1700MHz network, which is the exact reasoning behind T-Mobile’s network refarm.

All told, this shouldn’t be a huge issue once the network refarming is in your area, but considering the 1900MHz is now maxed out at HSPA+ 21Mbps, you won’t get HSPA+ 42 capabiilty. The new iPhone 5, releasing as of April 12th WILL be able to take advantage of the HSPA+ 42Mbps band. Both current and future iPhone 5 devices will work on T-Mobile’s 1700MHz LTE network.

To recap, current iPhone 5 works on HSPA+21Mbps on the 1900MHz band with the network refarm and 1700MHz LTE. The iPhone 5 releasing on April 12th will work on all the above plus HSPA+42 Mbps on the 1700MHz band.

All of that said and moving beyond the initial reaction, I never expected my current iPhone 5 to work on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 42Mbps so this isn’t a huge surprise, nor disappointment.

More reading:

Engadget, iLounge

Tags: , , , , ,

  • Nearmsp

    what happens for those on value plans who pay full price for the new iPhone 5 ($579)? Do we have to move to the new plans or does our existing 2 year value plan continue when buying phone for full price? I do not have any phones on EMI, but have 9 months to go for the 2 year commitment when we moved to Value Plan.

    • qpinto

      nothing changes. swap sim and go.

    • I went into a T-mobile store today to pick up the new z-10 full out of pocket and they did not do any modifications to my rate plans and they say when you pay for the phone upfront you will not have to do any rate plan contact adjustments.

      • Nearmsp

        Cool! I just pre-registered for the new IPhone 5 Tmobile’s web site.

  • I’m still confused….. Will the iPhone 4/4S sale on April 12th in T-Mobile stores? When they sell them will it have different Bands?

    • qpinto

      all it says here is iphone 5. nothing about previous iphones. if you are in a refarmed network area, you can bring your unlocked gsm iphone to tmobile and use 3g/4g. tmobiles hspa network max is 42 hspa. the 1900 band that the iphone runs on is limited to hspa 21, or 21mb.

      • Guest

        But what does ‘select markets’ mean?

        • Only certain urban areas, and not the entire Tmo network.

    • iansltx

      The 4 and 4S will not be retooled. So, 3G or better only in refarmed areas.

      • Tmo is putting a lot of emphasis on refarming, so this shouldn’t be an issue as time progresses.

  • Amy Tran

    I always know the iPhone 5 will NOt have AWS for their HSDPA (3.5G), I signed for that, but earlier post on engadget gave me the impression that the LTE will not be supported, so from what you said, the LTE will actually be supported, it is just that in order to get 3G, I have to be on 1900MHz, am I right?

    • iansltx

      Yep.

  • Axl Ariza

    Okay so pretty much I won’t get 3G/4g speeds every where but I will still be able to get lte on my att unlocked iphone 5 right

    • Jacky Mark

      i’m curious about this too. i have a ATT unlocked iphone 5 currently using it on tmobile.. will we have LTE?

      • titan

        Did you read the article at all? It was stated several times, and I picked that up even though I have no interest since I hate Apple and will never use an iPhone.

      • Nearmsp

        Yes for sure. Only missing part is 1700 Mhz AWS which is pretty good on T-Mobile.

    • iansltx

      Right.

      • Axl Ariza

        That’s actually great cuz in my area it’s been refarmed everywhere so I get 4g/3G plus ill be getting lte no when it arrives in Chicago

    • Joey

      Yes LTE will work on the AT&T iPhone 5. :)

  • iansltx

    Wait…I could’ve sworn that T-Mobile is deploying DC-HSPA+ in PCS in markets where they have enough spectrum to do so (15×15 or more). Or is this changing?

  • NYCTheBronx

    Oh my gosh! Rofl! No lie, in a post late night yesterday. I commented to someone here in TMoNews that Apple will make a Special Exclusive T-Mobile variant of the IPhone 5 and future IPhones making their way to T-Mobile! Am I psychic or what? =)

    • Guest

      If a person understood the technical requirements for an T-Mobile LTE phone vs an ATT LTE phone, then, yeah no doubt T-Mobile would need a unique phone. Until all GSM carriers match up their spectrums and speeds, the phones will always be different

      • NYCTheBronx

        Yeah but usually those companies won’t do anything and the subscribers get mad and they leave. That’s what usually happens. HTC on T-Mobile isn’t big anymore because T-Mobile doesn’t or rarely updates their firmwares.

        • thunder

          htc isnt big anymore because of their software and not awesome battery life.no micro sd cards and letting samsung come in and blow them away ……..or…..htc isnt big anymore because of htc.

      • RedGeminiPA

        Funny… as noted above, the CURRENT iPhone 5 WILL work on T-Mobile’s LTE.

    • TBN27

      I should come to you for a reading. I have an unlocked “AT&T” iPhone 5 and I guess what i may end up doing is giving this one to my sister and put down money on the new one…..or maybe not…. Decisions decisions.

      • Nearmsp

        me too. My wife gets my iPhone 5 and I get the new iPhone 5 with AWS:)

        • HeeHee

          Fine,two month later, iPhone 5s comes, whom are you going to give away with your “new iPhone5”???

        • Nearmsp

          My mom or m-in-law:) lots of ladies to keep happy.

    • RedGeminiPA

      The iPhone 5 discussed here isn’t a “Special Exclusive” variant. It’s an update to work with T-Mobile’s AWS network, and ALL unlocked (and most likely all AT&T versions – same phone as unlocked – physically) will now be capable from 4/12 onward. That means, starting 4/12, Apple’s UNLOCKED iPhone 5 will be this phone, and from the sounds of it all AT&T models will be this phone as well. The only differences will be either carrier locks or unlocked.

    • T-MoGod

      It was obvious they would make a different model !

  • Antonio Avila

    Yesterday here in La Mirada, CA I am consistently getting 5-6 mb down on TMO (3G). The phones battery still lasts a long time while on that 3G network. (iPhone 5)

  • Whitney

    Okay now I am confused. Can someone please explains to me

    • mdosu

      If I bring an unlocked AT&T phone to T-Mobile, will it work on T-Mobile’s LTE network?
      For the most part, you should be able to get some service. You’ll be able to make calls and send messages, but you may not get the same speed of service that you would on AT&T’s network.
      Here’s why:
      Up until recently, T-Mobile used its 1,700MHz spectrum for its 3G and HSPA+ service, which it has called 4G. It used its 1,900MHz PCS spectrum for its slower 2G and 2.5G services.
      Meanwhile, AT&T built its 3G and HSPA+ network on the 1,900MHz spectrum. This meant that devices like the iPhone, which were designed for AT&T’s 3G network, could operate on T-Mobile, but only at the slower 2G speeds.
      T-Mobile is in the middle of a massive network upgrade. It’s now moving its 3G and HSPA+ services to the 1,900MHz spectrum band. This means that AT&T devices designed for 3G and HSPA+ will operate at those speeds in markets where T-Mobile has made the network transition. The good news is that in the future, more of AT&T’s 3G and HSPA+ devices will operate on T-Mobile’s 3G and HSPA+ network.
      The other bit of good news is that there is a good chance that some devices made for AT&T will also operate on T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network. Now that T-Mobile has freed up the 1,700MHz spectrum, it plans to use some of that spectrum for the faster LTE services. AT&T primarily uses 700MHz for LTE. But the carrier has a few markets where it is using the 1,700MHz spectrum. This means that its 4G LTE devices likely have radios that also support this frequency. And that will mean that those devices will be able to operate on T-Mobile’s LTE network.
      T-Mobile is expected to offer more details about its LTE network very soon. So stay tuned.

      • h_f_m

        This is actually incorrect. The existing iPhone 5 that is in the wild supports T-Mobile’s LTE band (Band 4)

        EDIT: Nevermind.. it IS correct but they could use a lot less words to make it less confusing:

        “If I bring an unlocked AT&T phone to T-Mobile, will it work on T-Mobile’s LTE network?
        Yes, if T-Mobile has launched LTE in that area. If not, no.”

        Whoever wrote that just liked to hear themselves talk.

        • Guest

          lol.

    • Brianb

      If you live in an area that is using the 1900mhz band for data (the refarmed areas) the old phone will get 3G. If your area only support the Tmobile 1700 & 2100 bands for data then you need a new tmobile version of the iphone to use FULL 3/4G.

      • Whitney

        according to their map I live in okay area

  • JCH

    This is in regards to At&T’s iPhone 5 but what about Verizon’s GSM unlocked iPhone 5?

    • That one lacks the 1700 band but includes the 2100 band. Since T-Mobile relies on both, I’m not totally sure. Ideally, it should just use TMo’s 2100 band. Not sure what kind of speeds you’d get on that band though.

      • JCH

        I guess I can handle that. I currently have the Verizon iPhone 5 running on TMo. I was thinking about switching over to Verizon but now I think I might just stay with TMo and get the next iPhone being 5s or 6 not the newly tweaked A1428 model.

    • Plasmo the Mystic

      It will get HSPA speeds in markets where TMo refarmed the 1900MHz spectrum. The VZW iPhone 5 won’t be able to access TMo LTE ever.

      • RedGeminiPA

        Correct. Verizon’s LTE runs on a different, unique band.

  • Can someone explain what ‘ select market’ means?

    • mdosu

      ATT uses 1900 for HSPA+ and TMobile uses 1700, but will migrate HSPA+ to 1900. T-Mobile is in the middle of a massive network upgrade. It’s now moving its HSPA+ services to the 1,900MHz spectrum band. This means that AT&T devices designed for HSPA+ will operate at those speeds in markets where T-Mobile has made the network transition. The good news is that in the future, more of AT&T’s 3G and HSPA+ devices will operate on T-Mobile’s 3G and HSPA+ network.

      so those “select markets” are where the reframe has already occurred. So if you hold an ATT Iphone5 or unlocked Iphone5 and are in that select market, you will get HSPA+ on TMobile. But to get LTE, you NEED the T-Mobile Iphone5, hence this article.

      • RedGeminiPA

        “But to get LTE, you NEED the T-Mobile Iphone5, hence this article.”

        INCORRECT

        “To recap, **current iPhone 5** works on HSPA+21Mbps on the 1900MHz band with the network refarm ***and*** 1700MHz LTE***. The iPhone 5 releasing on April 12th will work on all the above plus HSPA+42 Mbps on the 1700MHz band.”

    • Will

      In D.C. (which is a select market) it means an area where an influential person lives. So the idea is to keep FCC employees (and U.S. senators) happy by making sure that they get all the best coverage first.

  • carigis

    no new model number for adding a radio band? seems this will be confusing for people buying used phones in the future. how would one distinguish them. any menu or anything show it.

    • CTT

      Serial numbers. Also possible they may have different modem firmware versions in settings.

    • Taron19119

      Cause apple is not makeing the old iPhone 5 just the new update one so after April 12 all the iPhones well have aws Hspa

      • Dion Mac

        I’m not completely sure so don’t go off on me, but that didn’t sound at all like whats going down.

  • JWu

    T-Mobile now should get LTE in large cities where the network is not refarmed yet.

  • cream

    I’m getting LTE already and I live in San Diego!!!??? I’m rocking the note 2

    • Sheryl Lewis

      Do you spend all your time on this site?!

      • h_f_m

        Do you?

        • jbhotnessmon

          Do you???

        • Mobilewolf789

          Do you???? (so it just seemed fun to chime in :)

        • thinmanXXS

          Do you-ception O_O

      • auser72

        Do you (couldn’t resist)….. lol?

      • Josue

        we all spend time here

    • DaygosTommyT

      What part of San Diego?

      • cream

        North county! I wish I can post a screen shot

        • Garrett

          Why are you talking to yourself?? lol

        • Alxndrv

          I live in north county, what part of north county??? I’m near Escondido/San Marcos area

    • moke

      Bum

  • natebinsf

    What does this mean for unlocked iPhone 4S users? Is that phone capable of 4g? Or just 3G and lower. Don’t really want the i5 since I have toothy gadgets with the old pin.

    • 4G. It’ll only appear as 3G on your screen, but you’ll be getting HSPA 21 speeds. No LTE.

      • natebinsf

        Awesome thanks. No need to add anything in the APN or any new settings?

    • RedGeminiPA

      The iPhone 4S reports HSPA+ as 4G. If you’re in a refarmed area on the 1900 band, it will report 4G.

  • h_f_m

    OK.. so the unlocked iPhone 5 I bought from Apple for my wife for a present last year will work with T-Mo LTE.. that’s good to know…The 3G is working pretty well on T-Mo’s refarmed 1900 in NYC… so really no need to buy a new phone… whew…

    • cctpitts01

      any model whether unlocked or not will not support T-Mobiles LTE network on the iPhone 5’s sold on 4/12 will support there LTE

      • h_f_m

        What? That is completely opposite of what the article says.. I also see that in the official specs on Apple’s site the A1428 supports LTE band 4… which is AWS..

        EDIT: Also.. the current specs on Apple’s site do NOT have 1700 support for HSPA+.. So.. that tells me the unlocked GSM iPhone 5 that exists in the wild today DOES in fact support the LTE band T-Mobile is using..

        • mdosu

          Edit, mistake

        • h_f_m

          That’s not true. It has support for LTE band 4.. that’s what T-Mobile is using. Current phones that use AWS (1700/2100 freq) for HSPA+ only support HSPA+ unless they specifically say they support LTE. It’s two different technologies. Just because it supports the frequency does not mean it supports LTE.
          AWS HSPA+ != LTE Band 4

          EDIT: If anyone has any questions.. Refer to APPLE’s documentation for the EXISTING iPhone 5 (not the new T-Mobile modification)…
          http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/
          It says.. LTE Band 4 (AWS)…

        • RedGeminiPA

          Um… read the article again. LTE WILL work on the current iPhone 5, which runs on the 1700 MHz band for LTE. HSPA+ AWS will NOT work on the 1700 MHz band… different portion of the radio chipset.

          The refreshed iPhone 5 coming out on 4/12 has the updated chipset that supports 1700 HSPA+ AWS and HSPA+ 42 AWS.

  • GwapAko

    Those who already have unlocked iPhone 5 .. Just sell it on ebay or craigslist for $580.. Then buy one from Tmobile. :0) Just a suggestion.

    • naaz

      if u have one from att thats unlocked, it WILL work!

  • So ‘select market’ means like T-Mobile stores that are in the Mall?

  • Will

    No thanks. You are better off waiting at this point until the iPhone 5s is released. At least those of us with unlocked iPhone 5 phones purchased from Apple stores can use LTE. If LTE works, why bother with HSPA+?

    • You make a good point, but the coverage and footprint of their HSPA+ for 1700/2100 band is pretty big.

    • RedGeminiPA

      “If LTE works, why bother with HSPA+?” Because HSPA+ will be easier on the battery. Not by a lot, but every bit helps.

      • Honestly, the way apple design the radio chip in the 5. Turning off LTE doesn’t make a difference at all on battery life as oppose to other devices, reasoning being the radio chip in the 5 is just one instead of two in other phones. The other phones have a chip for gsm/3G and a dedicated chip for LTE.

  • Get_at_Me

    My town is refarmed but unlocked iphone performance can be spotty… This makes sense

  • 00DC2

    Go to http://www.tmobile.com/isetup to install their mobile profile….

  • Are the iPhone 4/4S gonna sale at T-Mobile Stores too?

    • GwapoAko

      On selected areas only,

  • Addam

    Is there any hope for wifi calling since we are getting a special variant?

  • keasycase

    Any lte news about philly

    • Eric

      Sometime in April we should see LTE.

      • FBPhilly

        How do u know?

  • So does this mean that we will be able to do as The Anti-Christ (AT&T) does and be able to talk on the phone and surf the net without wifi :D

    • RedGeminiPA

      As long as the iPhone gets anything better than EDGE, you can do that.

  • Aurizen

    So those who have an iPhone 5 will still get LTE but won’t be hspa+ 42?

    • That’s my understanding.

      • h_f_m

        I still have yet to even get close to the theoretical 21Mbit limit ever in NYC.. so I’m not sure living with the 1900 refarm if you’re in one of those areas is a bad deal..

        • Guest

          Do you live right next to a cell tower? Have you walked around Manhattan? The 1900 refarm has been dreadful.

        • Will

          Exactly. Last week I was in Brookly, Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan. Speeds were not very impressive.

        • h_f_m

          I don’t even get highly impressive speeds on my Nexus 4. Usually 1-7Mbit down depending on which way the wind is blowing… I’ve watched my wife use the iPhone 5 it seems to be about the same loading content if it has a 3G connection, which seems to be everywhere I can get HSPA in NYC.. Usually if her signal is bad inside a building or something, I’ll whip my Nexus 4 out and see the same thing..

          I’m not unhappy.. 98% of the time it’s plenty fast enough. Pages load with no issues.. apps download fast enough… I’ll install the speed test app on her iPhone and do some comparisons around the boroughs for both the refarm and my Nexus 4 on AWS.

    • That’s correct. The iPhone 5 is still capable of utilizing LTE AWS bands, it just doesn’t have the 1700/2100 bands to support T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 42MBPS data network. If T-Mobile was smart, they should completely use all their 1900 bands for the HSPA+ 21MBPS and get rid of EDGE on that band and leave EDGE in the 850 band.

      • Aurizen

        so will my LTE speed be unaffected but my 3g speed wont reach full speed for HSPA+ 42?

        • Yep that’s correct, your LTE speeds won’t be affected at all. T-Mobile’s band for LTE runs on 1700 alone. Currently T-Mobile runs 2 different speeds of HSPA+ service since their refarming began. 1700/2100 bands that T-Mobile uses utilizes HSPA+ @ 42MBPS which is pretty fast. However, the refarming that T-Mobile is doing to their 1900 bands also utilizes HSPA+ but at speeds of capable of reaching 21MBPS.

        • Aurizen

          oh I see, so when im on 3g my speed will go no higher than 21mbps? while LTE will be at full speed?

        • That’s right. While on LTE your speeds will go above 21mbps, of course, that depends on the traffic in the network. Also, try not get confused with the 3G/4G talk as carriers already have consumers confused with it. Although HSPA+ is technically a 3G speed it is advertised and marketed by carriers as a 4G speed. So don’t be surprised when an update from Apple comes out as it will update the iPhone’s firmware and you will start showing a 4G signal on the top left; your 3G signal will still exist though depending on the area you are at where HSPA speed us prominent.

        • Steven Gamez

          Amazing how some of us can read the same exact article and have not a clue what they JUST read yet others can read it just fine either most people here are retarded or uneducated or they just don’t take the time to read. .. stay in school kids

        • It’s because some people have never heard of the terms AWS, HSPA+, LTE, etc or what they even mean. While some are retarded, most are uneducated when it comes to technology.

  • trife

    Okay, so I’m not in an area that has been refarmed to utilize the 1900 band. I’m also not in an area lit up with LTE, as most of us aren’t at this point in time.

    I do however have fast (at least for my usage) speeds on my Nexus 4. I’m certain we’re not in a HSPA+ 42 area though. So will this new TMO iPhone 5 be relegated to EDGE in my area?

    So confused right now lol.

    • No.

      The iPhone’s T-Mobile will begin selling on the 12th will be capable of HSPA+ on the AWS band – no refarm necessary. It will also be capable of LTE when it launches in your area.

      • trife

        Nice! Thanks for the response.

        Looks like my wife will be trading in her 4S that has been stuck on EDGE for a 5! No more moaning and groaning from her!

      • h_f_m

        For the record.. It appears the existing GSM Unlocked iPhone5 will also work on T-Mobile LTE. The only reason you’d need a new phone is if you depend on HSPA+ AWS.. Being in NYC, we don’t. (well.. my wife doesn’t.. pry any nexus phones from my cold dead hands..)

    • mdosu

      No you’ll get the same level of speed as you get on your Nexus 4.

  • Whiskers

    I’m glad i waited it out now.
    Before everyone was barking about getting the current unlocked i5 and you will have a LTE ready iphone when T-Mobile goes LTE live .
    Well guess what , now those barking idiots have to sell that phone and buy another one if they want true LTE on T-Mobile’s 1700/2100 .

    • Current iPhone 5 is capable of LTE on T-Mobile. Only thing different about the updated model is the addition of the AWS HSPA band.

      • Garrett

        To be fair, It’s a pretty huge difference… T-Mobile’s LTE footprint is a drop in the bucket compared to their HSPA+.

        • Will

          The solution here is to never leave the confines of T-Mobile’s LTE coverage.

          Sorry boss, I can’t go to NYC..they don’t have LTE coverage yet.

        • Jon

          But their refarmed 1900mhz HSPA+ is in many markets and continues to expand…

        • Garrett

          That’s true. It still has a long way to go though. Luckily, iPhone users won’t have to worry about that once they all eventually upgrade to T-Mo iPhones.

      • Whiskers

        Well unless you have your tongue stuck directly on a LTE pole your current i5 will be on whatever speeds , lol.
        Because you won’t be getting any HSPA+ speeds for a backup to LTE.

        • RedGeminiPA

          You’ll be getting HSPA+ 21 speeds if you’re in a 1900MHz refarmed area. The major differences are: no HSPA+ on 1700MHz, and no HSPA+ 42.

    • TBN27

      In the article it says that the current one will work on the LTE network. It just doesn’t have HSPA+42 capability.

    • TBN27

      Well not necessarily. Since the reframed HSPA+21 is pretty quick, and the current iPhone 5 will work on LTE band 4, then it is still alright.

  • OZ

    And the the 5S launches in August.

    • h_f_m

      I would imagine they’ll have that too… What’s the problem?

      • OZ

        580 + another ~580 for the ones who want to upgrade in 4 months. There’s no problem.

        • h_f_m

          Ahh.. well.. I buy a new unlocked phone every time a nexus device is released.. no harm there. It was nice not having to grey market import a $750 phone (GNex) or spend $550+ on a top tier phone with the Nexus 4.. Hope the next Nexus is $349 again.. :)

        • OZ

          It’s $349 on Google Play. Cheaper than T-Mobile, which makes me think that T-Mobile might be selling phones at a profit.

        • RedGeminiPA

          Considering they’re selling the iPhone 5 for $579, and Apple (and everyone else) sells it for $649, they’re selling that one at a loss.

        • OZ

          They need to be pulling some type of discount with Apple. You cannot buy the phone by itself; it needs to be tied to a plan. You can cancel the plan later, but you already went through the hassle.

        • h_f_m

          Hah.. the nerve of T-Mo trying to make profits… I just bought it from google.. It was a crapshow trying to order it but I eventually got it 3 weeks after the first day it was available.. backorder nonsense..

        • LC

          No, Google is subsidizing the cost from LG.

        • Jon

          Just sell your iPhone5 to pay for the iPhone5s upgrade. Typically T-Mobile customers will pay a good price since they can’t get the ipho—. *ahem*. Oh. Well. Nevermind. Good luck with that.

  • Winski

    THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE !!!

    • Garrett

      What about this article is it that you deem unacceptable?

      • Winski

        I paid almost $1000 for a new un-locked iPhone 5 back in November. Put it on T-Mumble’s network at then 2G speeds with the assurances from my local T -Mumble folks that the ‘new’ re-farmed’ (1900) Network, the new LTE network and the existing high speed network would be available – NOT!!!!

        This is just CRAP!!! Another monkey wrench thrown in the works…. Seems as if they are just out to hose as many potential customers as they can…. AT&T moves won’t be able to use their network either, so what’s the point of moving ???

        • Garrett

          Ah, I can understand why you’d be upset.

          At least you’ll still get good data speeds in the refarmed areas. As far as LTE goes, you can blame Apple. The current iPhone 5 has the hardware to support T-Mobile’s LTE, but Apple has decided not to activate it. Instead, they’ll just make you buy a new phone.

        • OZ

          Is that true? Dirty Apple.

        • Guest

          .

        • RedGeminiPA

          Reread it… “To recap, current iPhone 5 works on HSPA+21Mbps on the 1900MHz band with the network refarm ***and 1700MHz LTE***. The iPhone 5 releasing on April 12th will work on all the above plus HSPA+42 Mbps on the 1700MHz band.”

        • OZ

          21 Mbps is plenty. Why the hell anyone will want to peak at 42 Mbps? Maybe in the future, but not in the next 12 months at least.

        • Nearmsp

          Because T-mobile AWS covers 96% of the population. The PCS not even close to 50%. It is not about the speed but about having Edge or at least 3G speeds on AWS when not in LTE or PCS coverage areas.

        • Winski

          Wait a second. It seems that the LTE hardware WILL work on theT-Mumble network just fine unless I’m reading the press release wrong. I only see in-compatibility on the 1700 band. Am I reading this wrong ?

        • RedGeminiPA

          That’s correct.

        • Winski

          It’s correct that LTE will work ? Or, it will not ?

        • Jon

          YES it will work. But you will drop to Edge (or HSPA+21 if refarmed) when outside of LTE coverage.

        • Winski

          Thanks… I was about to jump…off a building… I figure if Apple OR T-Mumble suggests that I need to go and buy another iPhone 5 only 4 months after I got this one, they re just stone stupid…

          Again thanks…

        • RedGeminiPA

          INCORRECT. Read the article again: “To recap, current iPhone 5 works on HSPA+21Mbps on the 1900MHz band with the network refarm ***and 1700MHz LTE***. The iPhone 5 releasing on April 12th will work on all the above plus HSPA+42 Mbps on the 1700MHz band.”

          If anything, blame T-Mobile for using a proprietary GSM standard that nobody else in the world uses, not even the European T-Mobile.

        • OZ

          Not even 21 Mbps HSPA+?

        • Winski

          Not if it’s 1700.. Not compatible… HOSE JOB.

        • Sorry to hear that. Your best bet is to trade your current iPhone 5 for the new model.

  • mdosu

    What screenshot is that in the article? It shows an Iphone5 on T-Mobile LTE with LTE speeds, is it a test phone or a photoshop or what?

    • Garrett

      Engadget got some hands-on time with a T-Mo LTE-capable iPhone 5.

  • Ruben YMCMB

    Fukk iPhone … Still waiting for HTC ONE

    • OZ

      I hope they have HTC brand instead of T-Mobile on top, like what they have done with previous HTC phones

      • RedGeminiPA

        Don’t worry… it’ll be branded, just like every phone sold by carriers that ISN’T an iPhone. That’s why you’re still at the mercy of carriers to push updates to your phone, unlike iPhone owners who can ALL update the same day Apple releases it.

  • jayy337

    I just need them to fix the 1900 MHZ 3G towers to get REAL HSPA+ 21 speeds. Im on like 70kbps MAX here in downtown Long Beach, Ca. I really want this new iPhone 5 with AWS support for HSPA+, but i also want to get the new iPhone in the summer. Decisions Decisions.

    • RedGeminiPA

      I’d hold off until April 12th.

  • Tony

    I have a factory unlocked iPhone 5 that I bought from Apple just a few weeks ago.. Will I be able to get any of this?

    • RedGeminiPA

      HSPA+ 21Mbps in refarmed areas and LTE. The updated iPhone 5 will support the other network protocols for T-Mobile on top of that. That phone is being released 4/12 as unlocked and for T-Mobile (locked) and, most likely, AT&T (locked).

      I can’t imagine Apple continuing the current iPhone 5 when the updated model will do everything it does PLUS support for T-Mobile’s network standards. That would include the AT&T model, since it’s the same phone as the officially unlocked iPhones you buy direct from Apple, the only difference is they’re carrier locked to AT&T. Model A1428… check it out.

    • jamiek88

      If its just a couple of weeks, return it. Apple are good about things like that.

  • vrm

    apple must be hurting enough to have come down from their high horse.

    • Taron19119

      How apple is not hurting if apple want to get the max market shares they need as many carriers as possible

  • Jays_on

    So will ALL iphones sold by apple as of April 12th be the NEW (A1428) tmobile HSPA+ 1700MHz compatible iphones?

    • The new model will support their AWS 1700/2100 bands for T-Mobile’s HSPA+ @ 42MBPS data speed.

  • THP523

    Please take a look at my question:

    – I bought a factory unlocked iPhone 5 from Apple just a few weeks ago.. I want to know how my phone will be affected by all of this and should I return my phone in order to buy the update model that will be releasing on 4/12. Will LTE work on my iPhone? Will it be slower? Thanks!

    • Guest

      If you’re within the 30 day return window do yourself a favor and return it. You’ll want AWS unless you don’t mind dropping back to Edge every five minutes.

      • Jerry

        why will it drop to edge when the iPhone 5 supports their HSPA+21?

        • THP523

          I was wondering the same thing! Ahh! I’m so lost right now, everyone has a different answer! I might as well just get the Galaxy S4 lol

        • LC

          I would return it. A) The T-Mobile iPhone will cost you less, and B) it will run on all of their network, not just part of it if you’re in the right area. You just have to wait a couple of weeks. It would be worth it to me.

        • Guest

          Because T-Mo’s refarmed network (still) sucks. This coming from someone who has an iPhone 5 and sits on Edge most of the day.

        • Jerry

          So in some areas you get 4g HSPA and most area edge?

        • Guest

          Unless I have a full five bars of 3G UMTS, if I go in ANY building I’ll get Edge. Walking around my town I’d guesstimate 50% 3G/ 50% Edge. I basically walk for a living, and I’m all around my area so it’s something I notice, especially when I’m trying to stream music/radio. Interestingly enough I just started getting 2 bars of 3G tonight at home – first time ever. When I was using an Android phone the AWS coverage was excellent.

        • Jerry

          I’m assuming tmobile is going to fix that problem because they will have alot of pissed off customers that have jumped shipped from their current carrier since they will be getting alot of those. I guess ill wait a bit and see how it goes, att already unlocked my iPhone 5 so I’m ready as soon as I see the service is good. I would rather stick to my spotty att service them be on edge any day LOL

        • Guest

          Right? I’m keeping my fingers crossed

        • Jerry

          keep us updated on the tmobile hspa+ with your iphone 5 after they officially release the phone.

        • Nearmsp

          +1

        • whocares

          tmobile does and always will suck & blow especially if you travel across the us Thats why im going to either VZ or ATT u get what u pay for!!

    • Steven Gamez

      Lte will work not hspa 42 mbps you shoild def return it unless you live everywhere the refarm is and even if you do the iphone you have only reaches 21 mbps the new one can take advantage of the 42 mbps return it if you can it is slower compared to the new one

  • Taron19119

    What app is this cause the speed test.net app I have don’t look like this

  • emokidsloveme

    will this iphone have wifi calling?

    • Eric

      Not yet, but T-Mobile said they will include it at a later date

      • Alex Zapata

        When/where did you read this? I’m very curious.

      • emokidsloveme

        thanks!

  • James

    Sucks for the people who bought the old AT&T one (me) :(

    • RotaryP7

      Why? The current iPhone 5 WILL work with T-Mobile’s LTE. The only difference is in 3G speeds. The HSPA+ (3G) will only max at 21 megs. The new AWS version will max at 42 megs. And trust me, you won’t hit close to 42 megs on 3G.

      • kk888

        But PCs 3g isn’t available in many places…for example, I have 3 bars of aws hspa on the sensation inside a building, and iPhone 5 just dropped to EDGE

    • don’t worry,t-mobile is rebanding its hspa+ to 1900Mhz

      • James

        Yeah but it’s not hspa+ 42
        And the new one support
        3G AWS
        Hspa+21 4G,
        Hspa+42 4G,
        hspa+21 1900 MHz 4G

        While the old one only support the 1900 hspa+21

  • nick

    HTOWN GETTING LTE NOW ON MY GN2

  • jimmy

    F*** TMONEWS BUMS

  • Elier Ruiz

    LTE for Chicago next please. :)

  • natebinsf

    Spoke with a rep. iPhone 4S will not have the 4g but will have the 3G. I inquired about switching my grandfathered plan (g1 and 1k n/w) to the $50 plan with 500 mg of high speed. Rep said the $60 and higher plans are useless for iPhone 4S and lower because you’ll only get 3G, not 4g. Also, it’s unlimited 3G, meaning after my so called 500 mg of high speed is used it stays 3G not 2g (edge). Actually the 4s wouldn’t even use the 500mb of data do its moot. I switched plans tho. Doesn’t happen til next billing cycle. Just a heads up if anyone wanted the $60 or $70 unlimited plans. It’s a waste if u have iPhone 4S. I have no desire to get the i5.

  • Irfan

    AT&T or unloacked iPhone 5 can get t mobile LTE because it has band 4 , but not Hspa+ and 3G on limited location , so old owner of iPhone if they want to save money wait till t mobile can finish lte development , I must say t mobile have to emphasis on lte more then Hspa+ …. Need to complete task as soon as possible but here I feel that with lte they might not going to cover as big footprint as they have on Hspa+ , if they can it will be good achievement… Best of luck t mobile u the true people company .

  • Luis Medina

    This time it’s apple’s fault. read this:http: //www.anandtech.com/show/6860/apple-to-ship-updated-a1428-iphone-5-with-aws-wcdma-enabled-for-tmobile-usa

  • Don Kim

    T-Mobile now officially can support unlimited 4G LTE & HSPA+ Data on an iPhone.
    No other carriers can offer that.
    No, do not bring up Sprint into conversation or I’ll smack you in the face.

    • Steven Gamez

      Sprint….jk no your right tnobile has the best service period cheaper faster better

  • natebinsf

    Getting 8.2 down 2.9 up on iPhone 4S in SF, 3G. Do I need to do anything to my settings like APN? Also, that 500 mb of data is for 4g LTE right? The rep explained the unlimited will always be 3G and not edge as long as you’re in a supporting area.

  • Luis Medina

    Well guess my post to anandtech didn’t get approved but it seems like the iPhone has aws support but it’s disabled through firmware.

    • All posts with links are held for approval in order to cut down on spam, it’s up now.

  • jailbreakers-anonymous

    Giggety.

  • Daniel Muñoz

    So, I am a T-Mobile customer and am currently using an unlocked (was AT&T) iPhone 4S 64GB. What kind of data speeds can I expect in the near future? I know I won’t get LTE until I upgrade to their iPhone 5, but just curious as to what I can expect soon. Aren’t they moving both 3G and HSPDA+ to the 1900Mhz band? So would it be 21Mbps?

    • Yes, T-Mobile’s 1900 band for HSPA+ is capable only up to 21mbps. Unlike their 1700/2100 band that utilizes HSPA+ also but at a data rate of 42mbps.

      • Daniel Muñoz

        Thanks dude!

  • The Architect

    Now that’s freaking hilarious!!! XD It would’ve been too easy to keep all them thrifty iPhonys happy on the same bands! c’est la vie!!!

  • Elier Ruiz

    I’ll be first in line come April12th!

  • mikkej2k

    Sooooo , there will be a wifi calling app?

  • The Architect

    BAHAHAHA!!! XD Now that’s freaking hilarious!!! So much for all the thrifty iPhoneys staying on the same bands! LMFAO!!!

  • Whitney

    I feel happy that waited to get the iphone.

  • nd5

    David, I have a question I’d like to get your perspective on. One of the major issues we had was that T-Mobile’s frequencies were on a unique band that wasn’t compatible with AT&T’s. This meant that in general, we needed phones that were unique to T-Mobile, and that limited our choices dramatically, i.e. no HTC One X, no Nokia 900, etc…

    Are we going down the same path with T-Mobile’s fledgling LTE network? Are we going to be kept out of the loop on many of the “best” phones because we’re now on a unique LTE network as well?

  • Tony

    I went to the Apple store today and I wanted to buy a factory unlocked iPhone 5 (the new updated one) and they had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. They even tried selling me the 1900MHZ version and said it was the newest one. I ended up going to my T-mobile store and purchased a 32GB one up front for $649.99 instead of Apple’s 16GB for $649.99. Apple Store employees don’t know everything they claim to know..

  • Tarun

    Is there an update on the network refarm. the refarming is not complete in my area, and data is apalling on my iphone 5 old model purchased in jan 2013?