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T-Mobile launches iPhone-compatible network at WWDC

T-Mobile may have a million iPhones running on its network, but they're all crawling along at slow EDGE speeds. That's going to change over the next few months as the carrier 'refarms' 3G spectrum to become more compatible with AT&T-specced phones.

Where better to test that than the iPhone scrum known as the Apple Worldwide Developers' Conference? T-Mobile confirmed to 9to5Mac that it'll turn on 1900Mhz HSPA+ "inside the west side of the Moscone Center", although the company added that "the time and location of this test is just coincidental."

Yeah, right.

T-Mobile's refarming won't just help iPhone owners. T-Mobile's 1700Mhz AWS spectrum is supported by fewer devices than the more mainstream 1900Mhz band, so unlocked Android phones that couldn't hit 3G on T-Mobile before will finally be able to do so.

Few of those phones will be able to achieve T-Mobile's full '4G' speeds, though, because the phones' own modems aren't fast enough. T-Mobile's network runs at HSPA+ 42, but the iPhone plugs along at a relatively sedate HSPA 14.4. I'd expect 2-4Mbps download speeds on an iPhone, as compared to around 8Mbps on an HSPA+ 42 phone like the HTC One S.