T-Mobile may already be readying phones for AT&T

March 22, 2011 | by Michael Heller


T-mobile G2X

T-Mobile may be saying that everything is business as usual in light of the AT&T purchase, but they may actually be getting their phones ready for the switch. The spec sheet for the newly announced T-Mobile G2X has listed the AT&T cell frequencies in addition to the T-Mobile frequencies.

Both companies use the same cell frequency for 2G/EDGE service (which is why jailbroken iPhones can run on EDGE on either service.) The trouble arises from the fact that the T-Mobile high speed service runs on AWS IV (1700/2100 bands), whereas AT&T uses UMTS (850/1900 bands).  Normally, T-Mobile phones don’t include chips that can handle the AT&T frequencies, but that has changed with the G2X, which includes compatibility for both. AT&T has said that they plan to convert the T-Mobile 3G towers to LTE moving forward, so current T-Mo customers who would want to stay with AT&T would be forced to upgrade their phone if they wanted to get high speed service.

Granted, it is always possible that LG simply wanted to build a world-phone, seeing as how the G2X also includes compatibility for European 3G frequencies, but it seems more likely that T-Mo just wanted to protect its customers and make things easier through the coming transition.