It’s no secret that wireless carriers want the iPhone on their networks, and until last year if you wanted an iPhone in the U.S., AT&T was your only official choice.
However 2011 brought us the CDMA iPhone 4 for Verizon, and later on the iPhone 4S was released with full support for GSM along with CDMA, allowing carriers like Sprint to begin offering the device as well.
But T-Mobile USA has yet to bring the iPhone to their network in any official capacity, in part because their 3G network uses a different radio frequency band than AT&T and the rest of the world, one that current iPhone hardware does not support.
Unlocked iPhone owners will be quite familiar with this limitation, as unlocked devices built for AT&T’s network will fall back to 2G EDGE service when used with a T-Mobile USA sim card.
However, comments from T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray on CNET suggest that the next iPhone will be able to run on T-Mobile’s 3G network:
The next chipset will support AWS
The challenge that existed in the past will go away
Ray says he has inside knowledge of Apple’s plans for the next iPhone chipset, and that it will support T-Mobile’s AWS 3G band. However, he made it clear that Apple ultimately decides which carrier networks get the iPhone regardless of technical capability.
Given Apple’s recent expansion of iPhone availability in the U.S., it only makes sense that T-Mobile would be next in line.