T-Mobile and the iPhone have a love-hate relationship. While the carrier often bashes the handset in its print ads and TV commercials, it obviously benefits from the 1 million+ unlocked iPhones on its network, and would love an official partnership.

Why else do you think the carrier continues to speak publicly about its plans to launch a new 4G network — one that would finally allow iPhones to get 3G data speeds? Because it’s dying to show iPhone owners (and Apple) that it’s willing to play ball…

We first saw evidence of this last December, when several iPhone users started reporting that they were seeing 3G data speeds on T-Mobile’s network. As it turns out, the carrier was “re-farming” spectrum from other networks on the iPhone-friendly 1900MHz band.

The reports were very isolated, limited to specific areas in Nevada, Utah, and a few other states. But it looks like T-Mobile is expanding the service. A new report today from 9to5Mac claims that T-Mobile users are now seeing 3G data in parts of northern California.

The site posted a screenshot this morning, sent in by a reader, of an obviously-unlocked iPhone running on a T-Mobile-branded 3G network. The user said that he noticed the increased data speed while walking around the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

The question is, is this still re-farmed spectrum? Or is this part of the new 4G network T-Mobile has been talking about rolling out? 9to5Mac speculates that the carrier installed a new 1900MHz MicroCell in the area, specifically for Apple’s WWDC event next week.

Whatever the case, it looks like T-Mobile is trying awfully hard to get Apple’s, and its horde of users’, attention.

  • ill bite. so whats the speed download? if its better than att ill switch to tmobile after all att suck balls. the only reason im still on att is the unlimited plan. i get pissed when they slow my speed down when i get to 3gigs altho i did manage to get 10gigs out of them one month haha

    • I get 3G all the time here in England And unlimited Internet yes unlimited, done 16 gig in one month with no speed slow down.

      • I also live in England, I get 3G everywhere apart from in really rural areas. We might not have 4G yet but our 3G over here is very good. I have heard many examples of US 3G networks being slow and patchy just can’t wait till the networks over here stop arguing and we can get on with rolling out a decent 4G network

      • Falk M.

        Actually the governemtninstalls the cell towers, hence the excellent coverage in UK.
        The carriers literally rent their usage.

  • ricardo mediano

    Straight talk has 3 G speeds but after 2gigs they’ll slow your network down. But that won’t happen if you have viatun app