According the the tech specs, the iPhone 4s data speeds increased to 14.4 Mbps HSPA (whereas the 4 was only 7.2 Mbps). Up until now, iPhones on T-Mobiles network could only utilize EDGE dataspeeds. Does this increased HSPA change any of that? Or will data speeds for the iPhone on T-Mobile still be just... as... slow??
This is a great question. The weird incompatibilities between carriers (in the US, not Europe) place we TMo customers in a tough situation.
I've used an original iPhone 2G on TMo just fine, but of course the "2G" implies Edge. And naturally my phone just died so I need to get a new one.
So I too am VERY interested in the answer to the question: Will a hacked iPhone 4s work on TMo at full speeds?
I'm really reluctant to leave TMo, they have the best plans and support .. I've been with them for over a decade and have had great luck with them. Except for the iPhone.
I'm absolutely willing to buy the iPhone 4s unlocked .. TMo makes it easy for you to do this with the micro SIMs they carry and with their plans that are less expensive if you own your own phone.
But I am not willing to suffer lack of speed/compatibility.
So can any savvy cell expert help out here? Can an unlocked iPhone 4s work well on TMo?
I took my question over to the forums at AppleInsider.com, and found this information in regards to the iPhone 4s...
....there is a 14.4 HSDPA mobile network in the US: it is being built out by T-Mobile. Unfortunately, it operates on frequencies that are incompatible with standard UMTS phones like Apple's iPhone 4S, making it also impossible to take advantage of the new phone's capabilities (just as existing 3G iPhones can't take advantage of the company's AWS 3G network, and are limited to 2G GSM service when unlocked to use T-Mobile).
So, sadly, I think this means an unlocked 4s will have no increased data speeds from what we are currently experiencing with our older iPhones.
Oddly, I think I may still go buy an unlocked 4s. As you said, T-Mobile's customer service and plans cannot be beat. I just signed up for the new "Best. Plan. Ever", getting my wife and I unlimited everything for ~$100/month. There's no way AT&T, Verizon or Sprint will ever offer comparible rates.
Perhaps if AT&T does end up acquiring T-Mobile, they'd update the HSPA+ frequency to work with the iPhone... One can dream.
For now, even if the data speeds are not improved, upgrading from a 2G/3G iphone to the 4s would grant us a pretty phenomenal performance increase nonetheless. The added RAM would probably improve data speeds simply due to the OS not needing to optimize RAM allocation every 2 minutes.
The iPhone already works on AT&T's network, so no upgrade to the network would be needed. If the buyout occurs, you would just need an AT&T SIM card.
21stnow wrote: The iPhone already works on AT&T's network, so no upgrade to the network would be needed. If the buyout occurs, you would just need an AT&T SIM card.
I don't think that's how a merger of that size would occur. It wouldn't simply be adding the million of T-Mobile's customers to AT&T's existing network. Rather, it'd be integrating T-Mobile network with their own... however that can best be done.
I think that we are saying the same thing. AT&T will reprovision any towers that they acquire from T-Mobile to work on their network. I doubt that AT&T will change any frequencies on their towers to work with T-Mobile phones. AT&T will change T-Mobile's towers to work with the existing AT&T network. The iPhone already works with the existing AT&T network, so this (and the next paragraph) is why I was saying that no upgrade would be needed.
Let's assume that you live in an area that is serviced by AT&T's and T-Mobile's towers now. If the buyout occurs, hopefully AT&T would be nice enough to give you an AT&T SIM card to use in your current phone. Since you have an unlocked phone that works with AT&T's network, they shouldn't mind doing that (I'm only speculating and don't know how they would actually treat this situation). Your situation is in the minority, and probably wouldn't overwhelm AT&T's existing network in your area.
I guess I don't get it. ATT and TMobile have different protocols and frequency usages for broadband.
So how would a merge solve the physical phone differences? Is it just a new OS?
Well from what I see.. the new iPhone 4S has HSDPA on the 1900/2100 MHz bands and EDGE on 850 MHz.. T-mobile serves the 850MHz band to 2G data will work just like the rest, However for T-Mobile's HSDPA service, they offer on 1700/2100 MHz.. in different parts of the country.. so it looks like if you could buy an unlocked iPhone 4S, it would be able to have the higher data access if you were in an area that T-Mo had 2100 MHz licenses.. otherwise you would be stuck on their EDGE network.. but then again.. that is all in theory since I don't have T-Mobile anymore.. but that is the compatability standards as they are...
Well... I am planning to buy an unlocked 4s whenever they become available, so I will be sure to update this thread with my experience once I've tested the phone on T-Mobile's network. Thanks, everyone, for your input.
T-Mobile uses the 1700/2100 AWS band, which is different from the 2100 band. If you have a phone that has the 2100 band in its radio, you will still receive only Edge speeds from T-Mobile.
T-Mo's 2100 band is AWS yes, but AWS is Advanced Wireless Spectrum, includes UTMS/HSDPA/HSUPA/HSPA+/LTE Now that its radio is upgraded to "world phone class" it should be able to be compatiible withthe T-Mo 2100 Mhz frequency, where as on the iPhone 4, Apple probably had it limited to AT&T specific channels.. in Europe other services are offered in the 2100 MHz at it said you would be able to roam on them, im sure they're not using the AT&T specific channels
You're still speaking of the 2100 UMTS band that can be used alone. This band is different from the T-Mobile 1700/2100 AWS band that uses these channels in tandem. It's not like AT&T's UMTS bands (850 and 1900) which can be used independently of each other. Think of the T-Mobile 1700/2100 AWS band like a pair of shoes, and the 2100 UMTS band as a hat. You use a each shoe of the pair at the same time; one is pretty much useless without the other. However, a hat can be used alone.
With T-Mobile's AWS, the data is downloaded on the 2100 channel and uploaded on the 1700 channel. With the 2100 UMTS band, data is downloaded and uploaded on the 2100 channel, just in different areas of the spectrum.
If it is Edge only it is really not worth it. Especially at the price of an IP4S outright. You dont get the full functionality of the phone. Oh but it has a great camera. Take a photo and see if you can text it in seconds to family or friends. Problem with ATT is their monthly rates are higher by about 40%, but their coverage is better in most areas of the US.
I hope we can get the 4s working on T-Mobile 3G. Apple made a compatible prototype. The chipset being used in the production model supports it. N94 was released as the iPhone 4s. It is going to take some advanced firmware hacking. We will have to watch closely for an overseas flavor that is compatible. That would be our best bet at this time.
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