So this is pretty interesting: earlier today we passed along a report that [unlocked] iPhone users have recently started seeing 3G data on T-Mobile’s network around the Moscone Center in San Francisco. This is where Apple will host WWDC next week.
This isn’t typical for T-Mobile iPhone users, as technology conflicts between the carrier and the handest usually force them to 2G data (which is why T-Mobile still isn’t an official iPhone partner). So we figured something must be up…
And it turns out we were right. 9to5Mac has just received a statement from a T-Mobile spokesperson, who confirms that the carrier will be offering iPhone-compatible “4G” service to WWDC attendees 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. 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. NOTE: The time and location of this test is just coincidental.”
Coincidental my foot. You really expect us to believe that you just happen to be testing your iPhone-compatible “4G” network during the same time, and at the same place, that thousands of iPhone users and Apple brass will be scurrying about? Not likely. But nevertheless it’s a good move.
If T-Mobile can court unlocked GSM iPhone users, who will undoubtedly be fighting for AT&T signal, and impress them with fast data and smooth service, it might be able to plant some important seeds. Seeds that could sprout later this year when the carrier rolls out its iPhone-friendly 4G network nationwide.