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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 (opens in new tab) and RSS tonight.

[AT&T (opens in new tab) via Android Central]

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

24 Comments
  • 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.
  • sources pls?
  • 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.
  • Sprint should have gotten T mobile, they would have made a better couple.
  • 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.
  • I don't know, extra capacity with the over lapping cell towers in big cities will be nice too.
  • I don't know. Both AT&T and tmobile are badcin my area;(
  • Well im with t-mobile, verizon is looking better and better right about now.
  • I'm thinking that this will end up being a very good thing in the long run.
  • It's AT&T, I'll believe it when I see it.
  • iPhone 6 rumors anyone?
  • Maybe I can get data at the theme parks now? Lol. I know high hopes!
  • Yes, I'm glad we bought t mobile, better coverage and no more stupid mytouch 4g commercials.
  • 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. :-)
  • Perfect marketing would be Apple releasing not the iPhone 5, but the iPhone 4G (and not the 6 but the 4G[s], lol).
  • If it brings Mrs. Zeta-Jones Douglas back to advertisements, it will be well worth it.
  • 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 ( http://goo.gl/UsPV5 ) 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.
  • right on point, so I guess i don't have to repeat it...
  • 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.
  • AT&T buys t-mobile, so what! Crap + crap= super crap
  • 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.