Ina Fried

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T-Mobile Says Network Is Finally iPhone-Ready, at Least in Las Vegas

Though it still doesn’t have an iPhone to sell, T-Mobile continues to plug away on its effort to enable those bringing their own iPhone to at least get 3G speeds.

The company has hit a milestone on that front, with its Las Vegas-area network now fully iPhone-friendly.

The effort to make its network more iPhone-compatible is part of the company’s big “bring-your-own-iPhone” push.

“As we retune our airwaves to turn on 4G service in our iPhone compatible spectrum in major markets this year, our network is becoming compatible with a broader range of unlocked devices,” CTO Neville Ray said in a blog post on Monday. “Las Vegas is the first of many markets where we’ll strengthen the network this year. … With some sites live in other cities, including Seattle, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and the New York metro area, customers are already experiencing improved coverage and iPhone ‘speed sightings’ on T-Mobile’s 4G network.”

The company also has a brand-new CEO who has promised the carrier will fight to regain lost ground against the Big 3 U.S. carriers.

Ray said internal testing shows the iPhone 4S running faster on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network in Las Vegas than on AT&T.

Until now, customers have been able to run an unlocked iPhone on T-Mobile’s network but have been limited to very slow 2G data speeds. Nonetheless, the company has more than 1 million iPhones running on its network.

That said, the iPhone is now speeding ahead into LTE territory, with the iPhone 5 now supporting that higher-speed network on Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus