Ever since T-Mobile’s failed attempt at being acquired by AT&T they knew some changes had to be made. With every other major wireless company in the US offering the iPhone and spectrum incompatible with the rest of the world, T-Mobile decided some changes had to be made.
Apple’s iPhone runs on the traditional GSM/3G frequency set at 850/1900 mhz used throughout the world. Instead of following everyone else, T-Mobile decided to use the 1700/2100 mhz spectrum rather than the commonplace 1900 mhz to create their 3G network. This is the reason Apple’s iPhone will not operate at 3G/4G speeds on T-Mobile’s network.
To fix some compatibility issues as well as deploying more of its current HSPA+ 4G network and its not-yet-operational LTE network, T-Mobile has agreed with Verizon to swap spectrum. This will allow T-Mobile to move its WCDMA/HSPA network to the regular 850/1900 mhz spectrum. Some analysis by Anandtech showed that they tested it out during Apple’s WWDC conference in California recently.
Only time will tell if T-Mobile’s grand spectrum plans will help it get back in the game and compete with the other national providers offering the iPhone.