i wireless

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Not to be confused with i-wireless.
Iowa Wireless Services LLC d.b.a. i wireless
Type Private (Limited liability partnership between T-Mobile US, Inc. and Iowa Network Services Inc.)
Predecessors Iowa Wireless Services L.P.
Founded 1997 (1997)
Headquarters Urbandale, Iowa, U.S.
Number of locations 250
Area served Iowa
western Illinois
eastern Nebraska
Products BlackBerry Bold 9700
HTC G2
Sierra Wireless Compas 885 USB Modem
Services Individual Talk + Text + Web
MEGAtalk Pay In Advance
Mobile Connect Unlimited
Employees 200
Parent T-Mobile US, Inc. and
Iowa Network Services Inc.
Website iwireless.com
Footnotes / references
[1][2]

Iowa Wireless Services LLC, doing business as i Wireless, is a mobile network operator founded in 1997. Headquartered in Urbandale, Iowa, i wireless is a partnership between T-Mobile US, Inc. and Iowa Network Services Inc.[1] i wireless owns licenses to operate GSM cellular networks in the PCS-1900 and AWS-1700 radio frequency bands covering Iowa, southwestern Wisconsin and northwestern Illinois.[3] i wireless has over 250 full-service company stores and authorized dealers across Iowa, western Illinois, and eastern Nebraska.

History[edit]

i wireless was founded in 1997 as Iowa Wireless Services L.P., a joint venture between Western Wireless Corp. and Iowa Network Services Inc., a consortium of 127 Iowa independent telecommunications companies. The joint venture was formed to expand PCS throughout Iowa, marketing services under the VoiceStream Wireless brand name.[2]

Network[edit]

Radio frequency summary[edit]

Frequencies used on the i wireless Network
Frequency Range Band Number Protocol Class
1900 MHz PCS GSM/GPRS/EDGE 2G
1700/2100 MHz AWS 4 UMTS/HSPA 3G

i wireless operates GSM cellular networks in the PCS-1900 and AWS-1700/2100 radio frequency bands primarily in Iowa, but also owns licenses covering the Quad Cities area of western Illinois, southwestern Wisconsin and North Sioux City, South Dakota. In certain rural areas i wireless is the only GSM provider, providing roaming services for AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and other GSM carriers.

i wireless added coverage in and immediately surrounding Sioux City, Iowa, in June 2006, and has plans to add approximately 100 new cell sites mainly in western Iowa throughout 2007, and plans to add 120 new towers throughout the Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota, and the Wisconsin areas. In some rural areas they are the only GSM provider, and also provide roaming services for AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and other smaller GSM carriers. i wireless has been criticized for their relatively small coverage area compared to larger carriers, as well as long distance charges for calls outside of their coverage area on local plans.[4]

i wireless continued to expand their high-speed voice and data coverage in 2010 adding almost 100 new towers across Iowa and western Illinois.[5] Area cell towers that have been added during 2010 include: Sioux City, Southeastern Iowa, Southwestern Iowa, Mason City, Garner, Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Burlington, Quad Cities, Dubuque, Iowa City, and Fort Dodge.

In September 2010, i wireless launched their state-wide 3G UMTS/HSPA network. The network transmits in the Advanced Wireless Services radio frequency band that is also used by T-Mobile USA.

i wireless and T-Mobile USA announced on October 1, 2012 that i wireless has acquired the rights to sell and operate service in the Des Moines market.[6] In the past, T-Mobile had operated the metro area network as part of its nationwide network. This change will give i wireless a true statewide network, and is expected to close Q1 of 2013.

Services[edit]

i wireless offers MEGAtalk[7] unlimited Nationwide Talk, Text, and Web plans that require no contracts, credit checks, or deposits from $40 a month. The four MEGAtalk Pay In Advance unlimited Nationwide plan options include: Talk + Text, Talk + Text + Web, and two unlimited Talk + Text + Web plans for BlackBerry and 3G smartphones. Customers choosing a MEGAtalk BlackBerry or 3G smartphone plan will have access to 3G coverage[8] in Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Quad Cities, Des Moines, and Ames, Iowa, and over 130 cities nationwide.

i wireless also offers many plans that have free long distance and nationwide calling, unlimited texting, and unlimited data. i wireless also has exclusive nights and weekends that start every night at 5:00pm, and have roaming agreements with virtually every GSM provider in the United States, including T-Mobile USA.

In 2012, they added 4G coverage (HSPA+) in over 208 cities (through T-Mobile) and in larger Iowa cities including Mason City, Osage, Rockwell, Davenport, Des Moines and more Iowa cities.[9]

During 2013, they promised to deliver large network improvements to 4G (HSPA+) and have a lot more of Iowa covered.

In Q1 of 2013, they started a large 4G rollout which includes: Forest City, Lake Mills, Thompson, Clear Lake, and other cities. By the end of 2015, they expect to have 98% or more of their coverage area to be 4G coverage.

As of Q3 2014, even more cities now have 4G coverage, including the following cities: Storm Lake, Algona, Britt, Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Le Mars, Sioux Center, and various other locations.

At this time, iWireless doesn't offer LTE,[10] CEO Craven Shumaker says "the iWireless continues to evaluate its LTE options but said the company has made no decisions yet." Although, some Android smartphones that support LTE bands are able to use LTE in the T-Mobile coverage area. Although iWireless iPhones support LTE bands, they aren't currently capable of using T-Mobile's due to a lack of a carrier update activating the LTE switch in the iPhone's settings.

Products[edit]

i wireless offers a complete selection of the latest 3G capable handsets from Motorola, HTC, RIM, Alcatel and Samsung equipped with three of the most popular operating systems - BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Mobile - to take full advantage of the wide array of available applications. In addition to faster speeds, customers can experience the ability to multi-task – text, email, or surf the web while talking on their 4G phone.

As of 2014, iWireless now offers Apple brand smartphones as well as some other popular smartphones. Products like the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, Samsung Galaxy S5, the Nexus 5 by Google, and even more affordable smartphones (like the Motorola Moto E).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b https://www.iwireless.com/about-headline_article.asp About i wireless
  2. ^ a b http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Iowa+Network+Services+and+Western+Wireless+Form+Joint+Venture+to...-a019837447 Iowa Network Services and Western Wireless Form Joint Venture to Expand PCS Footprint in Iowa
  3. ^ "About i wireless". Retrieved 25 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "Wontek Magazine - Iwireless Review". Retrieved 2010-09-28. 
  5. ^ "Network Expansion". Retrieved 25 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "I WIRELESS TO LAUNCH DES MOINES MARKET". Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  7. ^ "MEGAtalk Pay in Advance Plans". Retrieved 25 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "3G Coverage". Retrieved 25 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "i wireless 4G info". Retrieved 2012-09-14. 
  10. ^ http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/rural-lte-bluegrass-builds-lte-band-12-and-13-while-iwireless-considers-lte/2014-03-27

External links[edit]