T-Mobile to Carry iPhone 5, Starting April 12th

By Norman Chan

With both LTE and HSPA+ coverage.

In addition to officially launching its new Simple Choice contract-free plans, T-Mobile announced its 2013 LTE rollout, which today includes seven cities: Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Jose, and Washington, D.C. This is true 4G LTE and not HSPA+, which T-Mobile has been passing off as 4G for the past few years. LTE coverage on T-Mobile is expected to reach 100 million people by the middle of 2013, as the network adapts its AWS (1700MHz) bands to support LTE. If you recall, T-Mobile paid 4.2 billion in 2006 to purchase the AWS license to service the AWS bands.

Photo credit: Flickr user lukema via Creative Commons.

Also notable is that T-Mobile will now officially support the iPhone 5, which they'll begin selling on April 12th. Though the phone won't come subsidized, T-Mobile will sell the phone for $100 with a monthly payment plan ($20/month for 24 months, totaling $580). As clarified on Twitter, T-Mobile's iPhone 5 will work on both its LTE and HSPA+ network, though previously, the iPhone did not work on T-Mobile's 1700MHz/2100MHz bands. This is because T-Mobile is also now providing HSPA+ service on the PCS (1900MHz) band, which had previously been allocated for Edge/2G. The iPhone's quad-band radios (locked in firmware) can only tap into service on 850/900/1900/2100MHz bands.