Where T-Mobile provides 3G service for older iPhones

T-Mobile iPhone 3GT-Mobile announced today that it’s getting the iPhone. But in a practical sense, it’s “had”  that smartphone since it kicked off a network “refarming” effort last year to provide 3G and HSPA+ 4G service on the 1900 MHz frequencies used by the iPhone 5 and older AT&T-specific models, then started marketing itself as a better option for unlocked iPhones. Before today’s news, the carrier said it already had more than two million unlocked iPhones on its network.

T-Mobile’s Web site, however, doesn’t get around to identifying all of these iPhone-friendly markets–an important detail, since without it you’re stuck with slow 2G “EDGE” data service. (6:59 p.m. Engadget reports that new-production iPhones, T-Mobile’s own model included, will support a wider range of frequencies. I’ve revised the title to reflect that.) T-Mobile’s coverage map doesn’t break them out, and a FAQ page only says “Check at your local T-Mobile store for network status in your area.”

(The screen shot above comes from the iPhone of my friend Paul Schreiber, who’s been keeping me updated on where he’s seen 3G service.)

So I asked a company publicist and got this reply:

The following 49 metro areas currently have 4G service in 1900 MHz. This covers 142 million people.

1. Ann Arbor, MI

2. Atlanta, GA

3. Austin, TX

4. Baltimore, MD

5. Boston, MA

6. Cambridge, MA

7. Chicago, IL

8. Dallas, TX

9. Denver, CO

10. Detroit, MI

11. Fort Lauderdale, FL

12. Fort Worth, TX

13. Fresno, CA

14. Houston, TX

15. Kansas City, KS/MO

16. Las Vegas, NV

17. Los Angeles, CA

18. Miami, FL

19. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

20. Modesto, CA

21. Napa, CA

22. New York, NY

23. Newark, NJ

24. Oakland, CA

25. Orlando, FL

26. Philadelphia, PA

27. Phoenix, AZ

28. Providence, RI

29. Reno, NV

30. Richmond, VA

31. Sacramento, CA

32. Salinas, CA

33. San Antonio, TX

34. San Diego, CA

35. San Francisco, CA

36. San Jose, CA

37. Santa Ana, CA

38. Santa Cruz, CA

39. Santa Rosa, CA

40. Seattle, WA

41. Springfield, MA

42. St. Cloud, MN

43. Stockton, CA

44. Tampa, FL

45. Tucson, AZ

46. Vallejo, CA

47. Virginia Beach, VA

48. Warren, MI

49. Washington, DC

Does that match your experience? Let me know in the comments.

19 thoughts on “Where T-Mobile provides 3G service for older iPhones

      • I am not sure who might read this,but I would like to ask a question. I have an iphone 4 that I bought on Craigslist. I use Consumer Cellular for my phone service. I received a Sim from them and every things work grate. The use AT&T my question is, is there any way to put the day of the week (say like Sun ) on the cell phone just like the the time? thanks Hope some one can help me. Joe

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  3. Sorry, can you clarify – in the headline and the post, you talk about where T-Mobile has 3G service for iPhones – but the list refers to 4G cities. (I am trying to figure out what kind of service I can expect if I bring my iPhone 4 to T-mobile.)

    • That’s T-Mobile’s choice of words to describe the faster HSPA+ service also possible in these cities with upgraded networks. (I used to give them more crap about labeling HSPA+ as “4G,” but my own Nexus 4 has hit almost 15 Mbps downloads, which is as fast as I’ve seen Verizon LTE around here.) The iPhone 4 doesn’t support HSPA+, so you’d have standard 3G speeds in those places.

      • Every day I use my iPhone on their 1900 MHz band it gets slower, as the network loads up it will get even slower. They are by far the most worthless carrier.

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