T-Mobile said to provide LTE on unlocked iPhones on April 5

Even though the carrier isn't launching its own iPhone 5 until April 12, customers with unlocked versions of the device may be able to get 4G LTE a bit sooner.


Unlocked iPhone 5 owners on T-Mobile's network might be able to update their devices to LTE a bit earlier than expected. According to TmoNews, the carrier is said to be sending out an update on April 5 that will enable LTE, Visual Voicemail, and more.

"The T-Mobile Carrier Update is a minor iOS software update that enables official iPhone support by T-Mobile," a notice sent to TmoNews says. "When installed, the software update enables a handful of capabilities like Visual Voicemail, MMS Settings, and Network/Device optimizations that customers do not have access to today. On April 5, the software update will begin being pushed via OTA to all iPhone devices on the T-Mobile network with iOS 6.1.x or higher."

T-Mobile is launching its official no-contract, LTE-enabled iPhone 5 on April 12, but many customers already use unlocked AT&T or other iPhone devices with the carrier. Theoretically these customers wouldn't have been able to update to 4G until the April 12 launch date.

Starting April 12, T-Mobile's iPhone 5 can be bought for a $99.99 down payment with unlimited text, talk, and data and without a two-year contract. Customers who want to finance the phone will pay $20 a month for 24 months. Also, the new iPhone 5 has been specially tuned to T-Mobile's 4G LTE and HSPA+ signal , which clocks downloads at a fast 20Mbps or more.

When contacted by CNET, T-Mobile declined to comment on a possible April 5 update.

Updated April 3 at 10:35 a.m. PT with T-Mobile response.

About the author

Dara Kerr is a staff writer for CNET focused on the sharing economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado where she developed an affinity for collecting fool's gold and spirit animals.


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