Theory to Practice: T-Mobile 3G on iPhone 3G
For years the only apple device I've owned is an iPod Touch 2G. A while back I acquired a free, hand-me-down iPhone 3G but have not used it as my main phone for several reasons.
Today, while stamping out stuck pixels on my iPod, the bright idea came to my mind: Why exactly can the iPhone not be used on T-Mobile USA's 3G network? (Called TMO3G henceforth to simplify)
I spent the next 6 hours doing research with no concrete answers. Eventually, gathering the useful information that I had found I decided to discuss my theory and the possibility of a practical application for getting access to the TMO3G service on an iPhone 3G (or others by extension)
The iPhone 3G gets its UMTS capabilities from a chip in its Logic board. Due to my limited knowledge on the matter I am not sure if it is from the murata or Infineon chip.
However, I have gathered that it is most likely that either the chip is not capable of connecting to the band IV and I, as needed for TMO3G or Apple has restricted its capabilities and left out the IV band. If it is the latter, would it not be able to simply be "switched on" by a mod of the firmware?
Surely, with today's higher understanding of the iPhone/iOS internals by the dev teams out there, a software hack would have surfaced if this was the case. This leads me to believe that the chip is not capable of band IV. A complication, but it seems to me that the fix would be to adquire a band IV-compatible chip from the original supplier (or a very compatible alternative) and replace the iPhone chip with the replacement along with possible firmware tweaks to handle the new frequency... OR a cover-up to trick the phone into thinking the new frequency is in fact the old one it used for 3G connectivity.
What are your opinions on this approach? If anyone was confident in giving this a try and succeeding, I and many other people I know would be willing to fund the project.
Possibly Helpful Links?
UMTS frequency bands - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
PHONE - ON - A - CHIPô - Infineon Technologies
Apple iPhone 3GS 16GB - What's Inside_text - Electronic Products
Under the Hood - Update: Apple iPhone 3G exposed