T-Mobile will finally end its exclusive position as the only major cell service provider in the United States to not carry any Apple products some time in 2013. T-Mobile's parent company, Deutsche Telekom, made the announcement on Thursday, but didn't say exactly which Apple products would be available on T-Mobile's network.
Presumably, T-Mobile will offer some level of official support for the iPhone and iPad instead of the limited support it currently offers subscribers that unlock their phone. Currently iPhone customers on T-Mobile's network are limited to slower EDGE data connections because the company doesn't support the wireless radio frequencies the iPhone relies on for 3G.
"In the U.S., the roll-out of the national LTE network is on the agenda," Deutsche Telekom said in a statement. "In addition, T-Mobile USA has entered into an agreement with Apple to bring products to market together next year."
T-Mobile will be spending about US$4.7 billion in capital expenditures for 2013 with a focus on building out its LTE network. "T-Mobile USA is now in an extremely good position to benefit from growth, in particular of mobile Internet in the U.S., thanks to the mobile licenses it received from AT&T following the termination of the sale agreement, the spectrum from the Verizon deal, and the improved financial structure as a result of the long-term cell tower deal with Crown Castle," the company said.
In addition, T-Mobile USA benefits from the agreement with MetroPCS to combine their operations, a move designed to strengthen T-Mobile USA's standing in the fast-growing prepay segment. Approval is currently being sought from several U.S. authorities. Deutsche Telekom still expects the deal to close in the first half of 2013.
"Following on from the preceding steps such as the spectrum swap with Verizon, the towers deal with Crown Castle and the transaction with MetroPCS that we have announced, we have now added the final piece to the jigsaw to boost the competitiveness of T-Mobile USA sustainably," said Deutsche Telekom CEO René Obermann.
There isn't any word yet on exactly when in 2013 Apple products will officially start showing up on T-Mobile's network, or which products are on the list.