T-Mobile's Prospects Soar as It Fires Up LTE Network, iPhone Sales
NEWS ANALYSIS: Things are looking up for T-Mobile now that Apple will start selling T-Mobile-friendly iPhones and the mobile service provider’s LTE network is functioning just fine in several cities.I was having lunch with a Verizon Wireless executive in the Washington, D.C., suburbs in early April, when I took out the BlackBerry Z10 I’d used for my eWEEK review and noticed that T-Mobile’s LTE had arrived in the area. “That’s not really LTE,” my lunch companion said. But indeed it was, and a few minutes later I swapped out SIM cards and brought the phone up using AT&T’s network. LTE was there, too. The BlackBerry Z10 was delivering a level of access that’s now going to be available to iPhone 5 owners. T-Mobile has just announced that Apple is issuing an update to iOS that will let owners of unlocked iPhones use T-Mobile’s 4G and LTE network. Of course that means you have to have an iPhone 5 to use LTE, and an iPhone 4S or later to use T-Mobile’s high-speed HSPA+. Apple will start selling iPhones with these same capabilities as the standard GSM version of the iPhone in the United States. AT&T iPhones will have the same software tweaks. Furthermore, according to TmoNews, the unofficial T-Mobile blog, the new iPhone update will allow Sprint and Verizon Wireless phones to work on T-Mobile’s 3G network.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile also announced that the company was now taking orders for its own version of the iPhone. The T-Mobile version of the iPhone will sell for $99 plus 24 monthly payments of $20 per month. The T-Mobile version will be unlocked. If you don’t want to do the math yourself, the bottom line is that T-Mobile is selling the unlocked iPhone at a discount, but without a contract. Deliveries will start April 12.