Believe it or not, there are over one million iPhone users in the United States who cannot access 3G networks because their carrier of choice is T-Mobile. Apple’s smartphone isn’t officially available on T-Mobile right now — because the operator’s unique 3G network isn’t supported by the handset’s wireless chip — but people choose to use its 2G network instead.
That situation will change for the new iPhone, however, because T-Mobile has announced it will launch a new LTE network next year.
The company has reached an agreement with Verizon that will see both carriers swapping a number of spectrums to benefit their subscribers. For T-Mobile customers in particular, it’s fantastic news, because it means they will gain access to Verizon’s LTE network, which is a huge boost to T-Mobile’s LTE rollout.
Furthermore, it means the the carrier will be better suited to handling the next-generation iPhone, which is expected to gain LTE connectivity for the first time later this year, just like the iPad. It could even mean that T-Mobile finally becomes an official iPhone provider, but a lack of 3G could still be an issue for some users who aren’t always covered by LTE.
Before you get too excited, however, Gizmodo notes that the deal is subject to Verizon’s purchase of spectrums from SpectrumCo, Cox, and Leap. If for some reason these deals don’t go through, its agreement with T-Mobile could fall flat.