CES 2012: IPhone 5 to Support T-Mobile Network

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Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5 will support T-Mobile’s network, giving the struggling fourth-place carrier an opportunity to gain ground on its competitors.

T-Mobile’s chief technology officer Neville Ray at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week told CNET and several other sources the chipsets in the new iPhone 5 will support the Advanced Wireless Services, or AWS, frequency the carrier uses in its 3G network.

Just because the iPhone 5 is capable of running on T-Mobile, however, doesn’t mean the companies will be able to strike a deal. Apple largely ignored past requests from the carrier to create an AWS-friendly version of the iPhone, and T-Mobile aggressively promotes Android phones it says are as good, or better than, the iPhone.

However, adding the iPhone 5 to its lineup would be a major boost for a network still reeling from its failed merger with AT&T. The company is reforming its business strategy after the lengthy nine-month process resulted in thousands of lost customers due to uncertainty about the carrier’s fate.

In addition to figuring out how to lure returning and new customers, T-Mobile is the only “big four” U.S. carrier that does not offer the highly coveted iPhone due to its HSPA+ network, which Apple’s device does not support.

More than its other challenges, lack of the iPhone is often cited as T-Mobile’s biggest hurdle to overcome, but that obstacle may be temporary.

Acquiring the iPhone is a costly move for a smaller carrier like T-Mobile. The carrier received a hefty $3 billion break-up fee from AT&T, giving it some cash to invest, but third-place rival Sprint will spend $20 billion over the next five years to sell Apple’s top-selling device and create a more data-friendly network.

So far, the move seems to have paid off for Sprint, but the company remains in debt for the foreseeable future.

T-Mobile is also behind its competitors on launching a speedy LTE network, saying it’s not in a big hurry to create one. Playing to consumer demand for faster data and streaming speeds, Verizon and AT&T are rapidly expanding their 4G networks, and Sprint will launch its own network later this year. If the next iPhone runs exclusively on LTE, T-Mobile may find itself out in the cold once again.

But T-Mobile is back on the road to recovery, once again promoting its value plans and announcing flashy new hardware like the Samsung Blaze 4G, expected to be a top seller.

Apple’s iPhone 5 could give T-Mobile a chance to rival its competitors this fall, but it’s a risky move that carries major challenges for the fourth-place underdog.

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1 comments of our visitors:

27 January 2012 wrote:
I guess we have good news, that T-Mobile will connect to the big four and will start selling iPhones. Of course, it will take some time for T- Mobile to free up space for future LTE development, and for sure, they should speed up with their development, because the competitors are already far ahead. In my opinion T-Mobile has to think not only about LTE, AWS and the possibility of getting the iPhone, but also about the prices that it will be able to offer to their customers in order to present a good deal. I believe, they shouldn’t start launching its LTE network, when his competitors will already sell priceless deals with Iphone 5. Its competitors such as AT&T already work on expanding its 4G network and Sprint already want to launch its own network this year, so T- Mobile has to hurry up in order not to fail and to be able to launch his iPhone campaign together with the competitors. As a fun of iPhone, I would prefer the company that really believes in the product they want to sell, and I would also really appreciate all the developments they implement for increasing quality and service of my device.

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