T-Mobile customers were extremely disappointed when the news arrived stating the iPhone 4S would not be available on the carrier upon its release despite the handset making its way over to Sprint.
But that could all change in the next go-round with the iPhone 5 or sixth generation Apple smartphone, according to Neville Ray, chief technology officer of T-Mobile.
Ray believes the reasoning behind the 4S not landing on the carrier is because of the unique band of spectrum, known as AWS, that is uses for its wireless network.
Other smaller U.S. carriers such as C Spire have begun to carry the iPhone and T-Mobile was left out hurting its ability to retain subscribers. But with the next iPhone, this unique spectrum issue will be addressed and it should not be a problem for the device to work at optimum level on the network. “The next chipset will support AWS,” said Ray in an interview with CNET. “The challenge that existed in the past will go away.”
Even with this prediction, Ray still has his doubts. He feels that if Apple moves in the direction he has mapped out then coming to T-Mobile is likely, but there is always the outside chance the company can ignore that capability and not strike a deal with the carrier.
The iPhone 5 is expected to be 4G LTE. AT&T Sprint and Verizon all have LTE networks either available now or coming in the near future. T-Mobile does not. This can also be a factor in Apple choosing not to license its phone to the carrier.
T-Mobile’s spectrum is known to be small. Ray feels that the company could deploy LTE in certain markets, but not all. It currently uses HSPA+ as its 4G network.