We published an article last December about rumors of T-Mobile’s expansion of operational frequency to the 1900MHz band. This was a significant development for two particular usage groups: international Galaxy S II users and unlocked iPhone users.
Now being an international Galaxy S II user, I was quite excited to hear this news, especially since we are headquartered smack dab in the middle of Bellevue, Washington, which happens to be where T-Mobile’s headquarters are located. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t see any instances of 3G or HSPA+ working on my cherished device. That is until now.
I was navigating somewhere the other day when I saw intermittent flashes of “3G” and “HSPA+,” while driving near the Microsoft corporate buildings in Bellevue. Could this be the beginnings of T-Mobile’s adoption of the 1900MHz frequency?
A couple weeks back, before Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) held at Moscone West in San Francisco, T-Mobile announced that they would be soak testing 4G HSPA+ via the 1900MHz band at the convention center.
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. 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 Rep
Then is it any coincidence that the area I was driving past was on the same block as Bellevue’s very own giant convention center (Meydenbauer), that I pick up a glimpse of T-Mobile’s 4/3G on my Galaxy S II?
I’ll have to do a few more flybys before I’m 100% sure, but this is a very interesting development with Regards to T-Mobile’s future hardware offerings. Samsung and HTC are using Qualcomm S4 chips instead of their native Exynos and Tegra 3 chips in the stateside versions of their flagships in order to Utilize the fastest network speeds available–HSPA+ for T-Mobile and LTE for AT&T. Now if T-Mobile is able to offer HSPA+ on the standard quad-band spectrum, future phones will be able to use the same processors as their international counterparts!
This could all be remedied by issuing pentaband radios in all devices, or 4G LTE radios, but its unclear what exactly will become the de facto standard in the next 6-12 months.