AT&T to use T-Mobile spectrum for LTE

AT&T to use T-Mobile spectrum for LTE

AT&T has confirmed they'll be using their newly announced T-Mobile US acquisition -- more specifically T-Mo's 1700MHz AWS spectrum (currently providing 3G and "4G" HSPA+) -- for a bigger, better LTE rollout ("4GS?"). See the slide above for details.

Apple hasn't announced any plans for an LTE iPhone or iPad yet but as the technology matures and coverage improves they almost certainly will. Meanwhile we can hope for better HSPA+ support in iPhone 5, as current iPhone and iPad radios max out at 7.2Mbps.

(See TiPb's guide to wireless networking terms for what all that alphanumeric soup means.)

We spent quite a bit of time talking about this, and other elements of the deal, on iPad Live! last night so if you missed it, be sure to check it out when it hits iTunes and RSS tonight.

[AT&T via Android Central]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

AT&T to use T-Mobile spectrum for LTE


So what happens to all of our T-mobile phones (especially the smart phones that depend on the 1700 Mhz band)?

AT&T has already stated that T-Mobile's 3G phones will no longer operate once everything is in place.

Nice plan. We'll just have to see if the government agrees and let's them keep everything or makes the deal conditional on them selling some named assets.

No, Sprint has never really resolved the Nextel merger and Clear is in financial trouble so Sprints WiMax deployment is at a stand still. They did not have the money for T-Mobile and the technology did not match. If Sprint would have bought T-Mobile I think the whole company would have went bankrupt and out of business.

Only good thing I can see coming from this is the push to make phones with pentaband receivers.
Only good thing to come from this. ONLY GOOD THING.

Oh, would y'all stop with the constant bickering over AT&T? I think it's a great thing that happened and the government will hopefully quickly approve this. Here in California, we'll get the "old AT&T network" back (see Cingular merges with AT&T Wireless) so hopefully this will help people in the Bay Area.
As for the iPhone 5, there will be no LTE, but they can still call it a 4G iPhone with so-called HSPA+ flavor of 4G, so besides getting an HSPA radio with at least 14.4Mbps (why don't we just make it 21Mbps and call it a day), I would like the 1700MHz 3G/"4G" band added to the 850/1900 goodness, please. :-)

Considering AT&T did everything in their power to reclassify the term "broadband" for their poor DSL offerings, and they have already been exposed throttling uploads on their "4G" Atrix phone ( ) to below 3G speeds, I doubt AT&T will do one iota more than the bare minimum necessary to make marketing claims without being sued.

It gives me hope that we should experience call quality and data usage. I'm happy and sticking with AT&T (says the happy and optimistic AT&T customer).

I'm pretty happy with AT&T. I text and surf more than I talk, so the spotty service for calls doesn't really bug me that much. As long as I can keep my unlimited data I will stick with them.

This ought to be interesting. AT&T has excellent coverage in my area. I am contantly on 3G with 4-5 bars with the exception of the multi-story brick school buildings. (I depend on my schools wifi there).
I have tested t-mobile in this area, it's horrible. Only 1-2 bars of edge around the city, the exception would be near my house where the signal matches AT&T.
I do not ever have any dropped calls and data speed is fine for me.