Sep 25 AT 8:25 PM Taylor Wimberly 22 Comments

T-Mobile one city closer to nationwide 4G HSPA+ for unlocked and AT&T phones


T-Mobile has the fastest 4G HSPA+ network in the US, but it runs on 1700 MHz AWS spectrum that is not compatible with most GSM phones. Unlocked GSM phones can still operate on T-Mobile, but they are limited to slow 2G EDGE speeds. Thankfully T-Mobile is in the middle of a massive $4 billion network upgrade, and they will support 4G HSPA+ speeds on AT&T compatible spectrum in major markets this year.

This week T-Mobile announced that 4G HSPA+ was available on the 1900 MHz band (compatible with AT&T and unlocked GSM phones) in Las Vegas. Benefits of the new network upgrade include:

  • Improved coverage: T-Mobile customers in Las Vegas will experience improved coverage and capacity on our 4G network in the vast majority of major hotels and casinos on the Strip, the Las Vegas Convention Center, Thomas and Mack Arena, as well as in surrounding cities such as Henderson and Summerlin.
  • Faster speeds on unlocked iPhones: Las Vegas customers who bring unlocked AT&T iPhones to T-Mobile will now experience a significant speed boost. In fact, our internal tests of unlocked iPhone 4S devices running over 4G on our 1900Mhz spectrum recorded on average 70% faster download speeds than iPhone 4S devices on AT&T’s network.
  • Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data: As America’s only nationwide 4G network with unlimited 4G data, T-Mobile offers consumers the best value in wireless. Customers who bring unlocked iPhones to T-Mobile can save up to $50 a month compared to AT&T.

Las Vegas joins the growing list of upgraded cities including Seattle, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and New York metro area. By the end of the year T-Mobile hopes to have 4G HSPA+ on the 1900 MHz band across 80 percent of their current HSPA+ footprint.

We don’t have the full details on the nationwide rollout, but it’s something you should pay attention to if you have considered switching to a pre-paid wireless plan. Currently, most unlocked Android phones will only see 4G HSPA+ speeds on AT&T’s network (on pre-paid plans like Straight Talk SIM), but soon they should soon see even faster speeds on T-Mobile and customers will have more pre-paid options like Simple Mobile or Solavei.

If you live in one of the upgraded T-Mobile markets and have an unlocked device, let us know if you have seen the faster speeds yet.

Source: T-Mobile

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Vance

    Dear AT&T, thank you for not buying us and for instead paying for us to expand and improve our already beloved service.
    T-Mobile and its members everywhere.

    • Galen20K

      Absolutely! I was ready to Jump to Verizon if Att was actually allowed to buy magenta, next day in fact. I did not wish to do business with Att….. EVER.

  • Richard Yarrell

    These are great options for people who are looking for changes from the other carriers. Tmobile has been a pleasant surprise every day here in New York City. The furture looks very bright for T-mobile and the devices that can be used on the network are top notch.

  • R.S

    T-Mobile has had good coverage in Vegas since I first switched to them from Verizon.

    In fact my previous phone, myTouch Slide (HSPA+ compatible), consistently saw faster speeds than my friend’s (Original) Evo 4G.

    • teecruz

      that is a horrible argument. you’re saying you left Verizon for T-Mobile, yet you compare Sprint speeds to T-Mobile’s.

  • halo0

    Galaxy Nexus works with the HSPA+ network already. :)

  • jamal adam

    I will be waiting for it to arrive in the Twin Cities. Keep on rockin’, T-Mobile.


    WOW!!! WELCOME TO 2005 T-MUMBLE!!!!

    • Fank

      You must be an idiot. This means an extra band has been added to thw network. No other network has as many HSPA+ bands out there.. this also means LTE is availible on t-mobile and cross network devices are more compatible without having to have a pentaband device.

  • ian

    does anyone have any idea whether the nationwide rollout has hit rhode island yet? i live in newport RI and am hoping to put an unlocked LG 4xHD on tmobile.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Dont know. I’ve been using the unlocked LG 4X HD on Straight Talk AT&T and it’s running great.

      • ian

        @ taylor how easy or hard is it to program the lg 4xhd using straight talks sim being that it is unlocked?

  • Paul

    I wonder from a technology perspective how T-mobile can operate in the 1900mhz band. They’re licensed for 1700mhz. Being in the 1900 band seems like it’d conflict with AT&T’s frequencies and potentially cause it interference. Just odd, I mean, if T-Mobile had access to 1900mhz all along, why not just use it to be more compatible. Strange.

    • Tojen

      Taken from wikipedia:

      The 1850-1990 MHz PCS band is divided into six frequency blocks (A through F). Each block is between 10 MHz and 30 MHz bandwidth. License (A or B) is granted for a Major Trading Areas (MTAs). License (C to F) is granted for a Basic Trading Areas (BTAs). There are 51 MTAs and 493 BTAs in the Un

    • Tojen

      There’s a gap at 1911-1929 which iss unused to help prevent interference. I think.

    • Fabian Cortez

      There’s no interference.

      T-Mobile has had 1900 MHz all along. Have you ever used T-Mobile prior to 2008 (the year 1700 MHz 3G was launched)? All of their GSM network has been and is using 1900 MHz.

      They are simply scaling back on GSM over 1900 MHz and replacing it with 42 Mbps HSPA+. The extra AT&T 1700 MHz spectrum allows them to scale back 1700 MHz HSPA+ and launch LTE.

      New devices sold from T-Mobile will now support 1900 MHz and 1700 MHz W-CDMA/HSPA+.

  • Ardrid

    It makes you wonder what would’ve happened had AT&T been allowed to purchase T-Mobile. I can guess we wouldn’t be seeing this level of competition. Looks like prepaid is looking even sweeter.

  • misael

    Hi… I live in Ceres, Ca and go to school in Modesto, Ca and these past two or three weeks I have noticed that my phone is getting HSPA signals but it doesn’t last long. I have an unlocked ATT device it runs on edge but after noticing the H symbol I run a speed test and the speeds are faster. It only happens in Modesta at one specific building in the college. I have some screenshots if you guys want to see them.

    • jesterpezz

      I live in Modesto also! are you talking about MJC east or west? let me know!

      jesterpezz at gmail

  • Nathan D.

    Yes, now I have to wait and see when it will come over where I live. Then I don’t have to worry about getting a unlock phone or any gsm phone for that matter.

  • Adam

    I live outside LA and work in El Segundo – no sign of anything better than Edge, yet. There’s a conversation on the site that’s been active since June that follows the 1900 HSPA+ rollout. You can find it under ” Guess what iPhone people. T-Mobile 3G/4G Willl Work Soon”

  • donald

    T mobile does not have 4G service in Louisiana and i’m very disappointed. When i asked them about it they said they had great service here. I feel liked i was tricked!!!!