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T-Mobile CEO takes a laid-back attitude towards future LTE, iPhone possiblities

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T-Mobile's CEO has taken a very laid-back attitude towards whether his network will get the iPhone or transition to LTE.

Philpp Humm 500
Philpp Humm 500

T-Mobile's CEO Philipp Humm gave an interview with All Things D in which he struck a rather relaxed tone when discussing critical issues about the future of his network in the fallout of the failed AT&T purchase. On LTE, Humm apparently isn't especially nervous, saying that "We will over time evolve to LTE. We just don’t see a need to move there very fast." That's in striking contrast to the speed with which Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint are attacking their LTE rollout, the need certainly seems to be there. Humm, by contrast, believes (or at least publicly claims) that T-Mobile doesn't need to get there for "three, four, five years" as he sees LTE primarily as a way for carriers to ease constricted bandwidth on their 3G networks. T-Mobile doesn't suffer from having too many customers.

As for the iPhone, Humm contends that it hasn't come to T-Mobile primarily because the carrier uses non-standard GSM bands when compared to other GSM carriers worldwide — a fair point. He believes that it's possible that it could still come in the future, noting that "Chipsets are also evolving to be able to allow for more bands." That's true enough, the Galaxy Nexus features a pentaband radio chip that works on both T-Mobile and AT&T, at some point such radio chips could become commonplace enough for Apple to consider them.

Of course, we recognize that Humm can't act like the sky is falling right now, so a little calm in the midst of T-Mobile failed buyout storm makes a bit of sense. At some point, however, Humm is going to need to get a little more aggressive. For T-Mobile's sake, hopefully that won't take "three, four, five years" to happen.