I just arrived in San Francisco, CA for Google I/O, which we'll be covering live tomorrow, providing the event's 5 GHz WiFi and backup Verizon LTE or AT&T LTE don't go down. There was much talk a few weeks ago about how T-Mobile had lit up some 1900 MHz WCDMA in time for WWDC and other events, and although I saw a few tech press members post speedtests, we never saw any FieldTest output showing exactly where ol' Magenta is running their 1900 MHz WCDMA.


I just headed over to pick up my badge and couldn't resist the temptation to bring along my unlocked iPhone 4S (how uncouth) with a T-Mobile SIM inside, alongside a pocket full of SGS3s. Anyhow, T-Mobile's PCS 1900MHz WCDMA network was still up inside Moscone Center, and on the sidewalk in front. Coverage is extremely localized however, walk even a hundred feet away from the event center and you'll be dumped back on EDGE 1900 MHz instead of T-Mobile's HSPA+. I managed to run three tests and some FieldTest screenshots. As a reminder, the iPhone 4S is just a Category 10, HSDPA 14.4 device, and results are pretty good for what's likely an unloaded single carrier. 

FieldTest shows a DL UARFCN of 612, which corresponds to 1972.5 MHz and UL UARFCN of 212 at 1892.5 MHz. Andrew Shephard (@wiwavelength) beat me to analysis of which PCS block this corresponds to, and tweeted that this is F block PCS. Well, that finally satisfies my curiosity about T-Mobile WCDMA on 1900 MHz for the most part, at least in this region. 

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  • rs2 - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    What is this:

    "T-Mobile in SF holds PCS B5, E, and F block 10 MHz licenses. UARFCN 612 = 1972.5 MHz center freq. So, W-CDMA is in F block."

    supposed to mean, and why is it worth caring about?
  • MadMan007 - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    My question is, who owns the c-block?
  • WiWavelength - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    Re: the C block

    Are we talking the PCS C block in the Bay Area? If so, MetroPCS holds the original PCS C block 30 MHz license, but that has been reduced to 20 MHz, as MetroPCS disaggregated part of the license, a C5 block 10 MHz to VZW.

    On the other hand, if you are referring to the PCS C block in other markets or the AWS C block, the Upper 700 MHz C block, or the Lower 700 MHz C block, then it varies.

    If you want to see T-Mobile's PCS 1900 MHz licenses and their arrangement for the top 100 markets, I put together this Google Docs spreadsheet:


  • sprockkets - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    3G for iphone users, the only phone out there without 1700mhz support.
  • themossie - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    Describes which parts of the wireless spectrum T-Mobile is licensed to use for cellphones, and as far as you're concerned W-CDMA is a high speed data technology (3G/4G)

    If you don't understand what it means, you probably shouldn't care... but people who do will find this brief pipeline note quite interesting :-)

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