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Yes, I'm not suggesting that the iPad isn't an unlocked device. Just pointing out that there is "effective" lock-in in terms of high speed data service.



T-Mobile and AT&T 3G services require different antennae (and possibly chips). You can use the same device to access their GSM networks and get onto Edge, but when it comes to 3G a device either supports one or the other. To my knowledge there are no phones (or devices) on the market that support both AT&T and T-Mobile in the same device.


Correct. That's why it's "effective" lock-in. I can't see any technical reason not to support all 3G frequencies, but until these kinds of devices do we'll have this effective lock-in problem.


For smaller devices (i.e. phones), the issue may just be space, since you may need to include yet another antenna, as well as possibly another chip needing to be included.


You mean the band used is different? T-Mobile is, apparently, using WCDMA and AT&T seems to advertise WCDMA/HSPA. Are there other differences in addition to this?


IIRC, that's why there is a Nexus One for T-Mobile and a Nexus One for AT&T. You can use either to connect to GSM/Edge, but you need the carrier-specific model to connect to 3G. I believe it's a band issue, but I haven't read a whole lot on the topic.




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