T-Mobile promises 3G by summer; Android phone, Austrian iPhone by end of year
At a press conference at the GSMA World Congress, T-Mobile's CEO told all. He promised that the carrier's U.S. division will get 3G by the the summer of 2008, Austria will get an iPhone and T-Mobile will have a Google Android phone this year.
Almost every U.S.
But a news conference at the GSMA World Congress, T-Mobile CEO Hamid Akhavan dropped a few hints. When I asked him when the magic day will come, he didn't give an exact date but he did promise it would happen by this summer. Akhavan said the carrier has had to work out quite a few spectrum issues (well, of course), and that the process took longer than expected. If you remember, the 3G network was set for 2007, so it must have taken a lot longer. Akhavan assured us that the issues have been resolved, and that the carrier is putting together a "robust" network that will kick off in major metro areas. He even went so far as to say it will be the best 3G network in the United States. Well, we'll see about that. Later, I spoke with Peter Dobrow from T-Mobile USA. He concurred that 3G would happen in the first half of this year. What's more, he said T-Mobile had to negotiate quite a bit with Uncle Sam to get the necessary approval. Why has the carrier introduced 3G-capable handsets without a 3G network? Well, Dobrow said they just wanted to be ready to go when the network is switched on.
In handset news, Akhavan said the carrier is promising a fourth quarter launch of a Android phone. Unfortunately, Akhavan wouldn't say which regions would one.device. That's news to me, considering the last time I asked the carrier for a launch date, if T-Mobile would even offer an
I also got the chance to roam around T-Mobile's glass box of a booth and check out their European phones. Not surprisingly, even though I think T-Mobile offers a decent selection of handsets in the United States, it just about brought me to tears.
Among the handsets I saw were a