There are over one million iPhones using the T-Mobile network. To use the Apple branded device, one would have to complete the jailbreak and unlocking process. Before T-Mobile offered micro-SIM cards, some elbow grease was also required. The T-Mobile SIM card had to be trimmed to fit into the iPhone’s micro-SIM slot.
Updating your iPhone’s firmware is also a royal pain. Jailbreaks are not always immediately available following a new update. This means those using an iPhone on the T-Mobile network will always be a step or two behind everyone else.
One of the final drawbacks is speed. An unlocked iPhone is capable of 3G speeds but not on T-Mobile’s network. The best you could hope for is Edge, that is, until now.
According to a few reports, some users have experienced 3G speeds on their unlocked iPhones. The unlocked handsets are picking up the 3G signal utilizing the 1900MHz band. Aside from the iPhone, other T-Mobile devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy models, can take advantage of the higher speeds as well.
The altered areas are part of T-Mobile’s plans for an improved HSPA+ 84Mbps network. Those lucky enough to live in those pockets are noticing iPhone friendly speeds faster than AT&T’s 3G network with a 7.92Mps download and 1.8Mbps upload rate.
For now, the improved connection is limited to some parts of Nevada and California. Everyone else will have to wait until T-Mobile rolls out the HSPA+ 1900MHz spectrum across the rest of the country. If they do, it won’t be everywhere. T-Mobile only needs 1900MHz in certain areas to achieve their goal of 84Mbps.
The T-Mobile improved frequency support doesn’t guarantee an official plan to carry the iPhone. T-Mobile would need 1900MHz support in more areas. Apple, on the other hand, would need to implement 1700MHz 3G support, a move that won’t likely happen until the next iPhone surfaces in 2012.
Those loyal to both Apple and T-Mobile will have to hold out a little longer for 3G speeds. If you would like to know your current iPhone’s speed, head over to Speedtest on your mobile browser or download their free app.
If you are on T-Mobile and have a contract-free unlocked iPhone in hand, and if you’re getting 3G speeds, why not drop your thoughts about it on our Facebook and Google+ pages? Is it good compared to AT&T or Verizon or just meh?