T-Mobile to test HSPA+ in 1900 MHz for iPhone

T-Mobile USA will turn on HSPA+ services in its 1900 MHz PCS spectrum at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, allowing unlocked Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones on its network to take advantage of faster speeds during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference next week.

"While upgrading coverage inside the West side of the Moscone Center, T-Mobile has also deployed 4G HSPA+ service in the 1900 MHz band to test the live network on a small scale," the company told 9to5Mac. "As part of the company's previously announced $4 billion network modernization effort, T-Mobile plans to launch 4G HSPA+ service in the 1900 MHz band in a large number of markets by the end of the year, which will make our 4G network compatible with a broader range of devices, including the iPhone."

T-Mobile insisted that the timing of the network change was purely coincidental. Apple is holding its annual conference for developers next week, with the keynote taking place Monday, and the event likely will generate widespread interest.

T-Mobile has noted for months that its network upgrade and spectrum refarming will give the more than one million unlocked iPhone users on its network faster speeds later this year.

Currently, customers who bring unlocked iPhones to T-Mobile can only get 2G EDGE data speeds, since the iPhone does not support T-Mobile's 1700 MHz AWS spectrum, which currently runs T-Mobile's HSPA+ network.

As part of its transition to deploy LTE on its 1700 MHz spectrum, T-Mobile will refarm its PCS spectrum to support both 2G GSM services and HSPA+ services. In a recent FCC filing, T-Mobile said by mid-2013, its expects half of its 1900 MHz spectrum to be devoted to GSM while the other half will run HSPA+ services, and that by then half of its AWS spectrum will support HSPA+ and the other half LTE.

For more:
- see this 9to5Mac post
- see this The Verge article
- see this CNET article

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