Following analyst speculation last week, T-Mobile USA has formally announced during the wider Deutsche Telekom Capital Market Days investor conference that it has entered into an agreement with Apple to carry Apple products beginning next year. The new agreement means that T-Mobile is the last national carrier to carry the phone after years of exclusion and essentially being forced to reconfigure its network in order to draw iPhone users to its service, with 10 markets rolling out official support as of this writing.
Further details are scarce as of this report, but the 2013 agreement is expected to lead to devices compatible with its forthcoming LTE network as well as its current slate of devices, though specific device announcements have yet to be made. Currently, the iPhone will only work on 3G on the 850 and 1900MHz band, with T-Mobile’s reconfiguration supporting its 1900 MHz holdings at the expense of its GSM/EDGE service. With the new agreement ironically following the heels of a previous statement made by an executive that put expectations of the iPhone on ice, the carrier can now focus on promoting its network with the iconic smartphone.
More details on the agreement are expected throughout the day such as device lineup and initial confirmation of availability, although in a curious difference from previous Apple deals, this one starts next year and ends in 2015, around the same time that the T-Mobile-MetroPCS reverse merger is expected to be completed and suggesting that Apple is making an interim agreement with T-Mobile under Deutsche Telekom in the meantime while negotiating a more extensive agreement with the divested entity in the future.