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Verizon to hand T-Mobile LTE spectrum, iPhone compatibility next year

Already boasting some of the industry's best iPhone customer service despite not being an official Apple partner, T-Mobile is also getting an LTE network bump courtesy of Verizon.

Composite by Joe Aimonetti/CNET

Verizon has reached a deal with T-Mobile to do an an Advanced Wireless Services spectrum swap, a deal that promises to add much-needed LTE capabilities to T-Mobile's network.

The deal would be dependent on forthcoming Verizon spectrum purchases, currently being scrutinized by the FCC. But, if the deals with SpectrumCo, Cox, and Leap go through, T-Mobile will get its LTE groundwork.

For iPhone users, this deal is particularly interesting, especially if you've already been using Apple's smartphone on T-Mobile's existing HSPA+ network. T-Mobile already offers tremendous support for the iPhone on its network even though it is not officially part of Apple's sales partnership.

Earlier this year, T-Mobile even expanded support for what is believed to be over 1 million iPhone users who have unlocked their iPhones for use on T-Mobile's network.

As T-Mobile continues to play catch-up on LTE, its iPhone compatibility should continue to serve it well. By adding 4G speeds, T-Mobile would have to be high on Apple's partner list (and high on the lists of iPad owners looking for cheaper data plans), though no official deals have been announced.

As recently as May, T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm claimed his carrier was not interested in Verizon's spectrum, even going so far as to publicly oppose the deal T-Mobile is now an intricate part of. That deal will include cash and swaps in about 218 markets nationwide.

If T-Mobile picks up LTE in your market, will you unlock your iPhone (or iPad) and switch? Let me know in the comments!