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Tmobile G1, AT&T and 3G

Google has released unlocked versions of Tmobile G1 for developers. It costs about $500 and you have to register with Google as a merchant for Android apps ($25 registration fee). Most developers who were (and still are) enthusiastic about G1 and Android failed to realize that G1’s (and Tmobile’s ) 3G network functions on the 1700 band and all other prodivers in USA (including AT&T) operate their 3G at another band (I think it’s 1900 or 2100). So, if you get G1 and your service provider is not Tmobile, then you wont be able to use the 3G service of your provider (unless their 3G service operates on the 1700 band).

Maybe Google should put a huge disclaimer on their site stating this so developers (and other people) can make an informed decision about getting an unlocked G1. ┬áHaving said that, I am not trying to blame Google or TMobile. They haven’t tried to hide the fact that their 3G service works on a different band, and it *is* the consumer’s responsibility to make sure they know what they are getting.

The same problem is with AT&T’s iPhone. You can jailbreak it but you lose some of its functionality (like visual voicemail) because AT&T had to make custom applications to support iPhone’s interaction with it’s network. I hope this doesn’t become a trend where a phone is locked to a provider. It would be a huge step backwards.