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‘Speculation is Heightening’ for Potential T-Mobile USA iPhone Announcement Next Week

Fortune reports on a new research note from Merrill Lynch analyst Scott Craig claiming that T-Mobile USA may be preparing to announce at its analysts day next week that it will begin offering the iPhone. The claim does not, however, appear to be based on any specific information, as Craig simply notes that “speculation is heightening” about such a move.

Now Merrill Lynch’s Scott Craig is out with a note reporting that “speculation is heightening” that Deutsche Telecom (DT) will announce a deal to bring the iPhone to its U.S. subsidiary at next week’s analysts day (12/6-7).

It makes sense. The carrier recently beefed up its iPhone-compatible high-speed HSPA+ network in 10 metropolitan areas, allowing some of the 1.5 million T-Mobile customers already using unlocked iPhones to enjoy something better than GSM download speeds.

As T-Mobile has worked to refarm its spectrum to move its fastest data services over to iPhone-compatible frequencies, the carrier has started a “Bring Your Own iPhone” program to help users move their unlocked iPhones to the carrier.
T-Mobile previously stated that the spectrum refarming would make the carrier ready for the iPhone by the end of 2012, and has acknowledged on a number of occasions that its lack of the iPhone has cost it customers and revenue.

But while it seems clear that T-Mobile would like to carry the iPhone and has been reconfiguring its network to be able to support it, there has been essentially no direct evidence or sources claiming that the device will be coming to the fourth-largest carrier in the United States.