Although T-Mobile still doesn’t carry the iPhone, that doesn’t mean the U.S.’s fourth largest wireless carrier isn’t working hard to support it. The carrier announced on Wednesday it has added 1900Mhz HSPA+ to three additional U.S. cities: Baltimore and Washington D.C., MD and Houston, TX. According to Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile USA, “Our internal tests of unlocked iPhone 4S devices running over 4G (HSPA+) on our 1900 network recorded on average 70% faster download speeds than iPhone 4S devices on AT&T’s network.”
While AT&T AT&T (T), Sprint (S) and Verizon (VZ) duke it out for LTE supremacy and network expansion, T-Mobile is spending $4 billion to boost its “4G” HSPA+ network on the 1900MHz spectrum to boost compatibility with devices like the iPhone. T-Mobile’s own LTE network won’t be ready until 2013.
There’s only five markets with 1900MHz HSPA+ live right now including Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Washington D.C, but T-Mobile also says it’s also working on advancements in “Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York metro area, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle” to provide iPhone coverage beyond Edge speeds.
If that’s not an admission that the carrier wants the iPhone badly, we don’t know what is.