T-Mobile already has 1.9 million iPhones on its network

Over the last four to five months, the carrier has been adding iPhones at a monthly run rate of 100,000.

Image composite by Joe Aimonetti

LAS VEGAS--For a carrier that doesn't actually sell the iPhone, T-Mobile certainly has a decent amount of them on its network.

There are 1.9 million iPhones on T-Mobile, and the carrier has a monthly run rate of 100,000 new iPhones coming in, Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray told CNET.

The amount of iPhones coming in has accelerated since T-Mobile began actively looking to poach customers dissatisfied with AT&T's service, or looking for a more competitively priced plan. The carrier launched a campaign in September to get customers to make the switch, and even featured iPhones for demonstration purposes in its stores.

T-Mobile has made it easy to switch from AT&T (Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel iPhones run on a different frequency and aren't able to run on T-Mobile's network), and Ray said the growth has largely been organic. He added that T-Mobile would further step up its promotional efforts, likely through local advertising means.

While T-Mobile offers a more attractive price than AT&T, the drawback with switching over has always been that the iPhone would be stuck on the slow 2G network. But late last year, the company began building its faster HSPA+ network, which it calls 4G, on the same frequency that AT&T's iPhone uses.

T-Mobile will continue to be aggressive in poaching AT&T customers even when it gets the iPhone, Ray said. The carrier is scheduled to get Apple's smartphone sometime this year, though Ray was mum on any details. He said customers may be more willing to switch over to T-Mobile when they know they can upgrade to the latest iPhone with the carrier.

T-Mobile is scheduled to hold a press conference later today. Check back in with CNET for all of the details.

 

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