T-Mobile pushing 4G to win back iPhone users

It appears that T-Mobile is making a concerted effort to win back customers that have deserted in order to get their hands on the Apple iPhone. The carrier is now revamping its networks and pushing ahead with 4G LTE service in a bid to reclaim iPhone users from other carriers.

At one time it was only AT&T who offered the iPhone and then Verizon joined the fray. By the time the iPhone 4S was offered last year Sprint had also got in on the action, leaving T-Mobile floundering as the only major carrier without it. There was a lot of speculation about how bad this would be for T-Mobile and it seems the company has now realized the importance of upgrading its networks and especially building a 4G LTE service with the potential of carrying a future iPhone.

Although some customers have stayed loyal to T-Mobile, plenty have deserted and there are also plenty of current T-Mobile customers who would still like to be able to get the iPhone on their carrier of choice. Previously when a merger between AT&T and T-Mobile was on the cards many felt that the potential of T-Mobile carrying the iPhone seemed to be a step closer. However the failed acquisition means that new tactics are called for. News of the drive into 4G LTE then will please many consumers and although the move is overdue at least T-Mobile is attempting to play catch up.

T-Mobile’s plans were announced yesterday and it is proposing to spend $4 billion on its network revamp. Verizon was the first carrier to advance an LTE network with AT&T following while Sprint is also now working on a 4G LTE network with the launch expected later this year. Although the move into 4G LTE doesn’t mean that T-Mobile has a deal in place to carry future iPhones it does at least mean the potential is there further down the line. It’s no secret that T-Mobile would dearly love to acquire the iPhone and last summer it launched a microSIM card compatible with the iPhone in an endeavor to reclaim some subscribers from AT&T.

T-Mobile plans to launch its 4G LTE network in 2013 and said in its announcement that its strategy was to rework its current 3G and 4G networks so that ultimately it would be able to serve the iPhone no matter what carrier it was purchased on by the customer. T-Mobile USA’s chief executive Philipp Humm told on Twitter how the new service would “be compatible with a broader range of devices, including the iPhone,” according to the Los Angeles Times. This would mean that customers on other carriers who currently have the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S would be able to bring their unlocked devices to T-Mobile and purchase data service and calling. However it’s not yet known when this compatibility will arrive and T-Mobile’s long-term aim is to be able to offer the iPhone for itself.

It would be interesting to hear your views on this. If you currently have an iPhone purchased from another carrier could you be tempted to move to T-Mobile if pricing packages were tempting enough? Are you holding out to be able to purchase the iPhone directly from T-Mobile?

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