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iPhone launching on a CDMA carrier in Jamaica -- huh?

Chris Ziegler

Last time we checked, the iPhone 3G was GSM through and through -- four bands of GSM / EDGE plus three bands of UMTS / HSDPA, to be exact. So how exactly is it that an exclusively CDMA carrier, Jamaica's MiPhone, could be carrying it? Even MiPhone's international roaming agreements are all with CDMA carriers (Alltel, MetroPCS, Sprint, and Verizon in the States, for example) so it's pretty freaking unclear how -- or what -- they plan to launch down there. We've cooked up a few possibilities for how this could play out:

  • MiPhone has negotiated a roaming agreement with a GSM carrier in Jamaica. Doesn't seem like there would be any way to profit from this arrangement, though, since iPhone customers would be roaming 100 percent of the time.
  • They didn't get the memo that "WCDMA" doesn't mean "CDMA". Just imagine the blushing execs!
  • Unlocked iPhone 3Gs will simply be offered through MiPhone stores for use on other networks.
  • There's a mysterious CDMA version of the iPhone waiting in the wings. Doubtful. Very, very doubtful.
  • CDMA support secretly lurks inside each and every iPhone 3G. Again, doubtful.
We're working to figure out what the heck is going on here; we'll update you once we know.

[Thanks, L8on]

Update: It seems that MiPhone might be branding its GSM 850 network as Claro, which would match up with branding corporate parent America Movil uses throughout much of Latin America. Where this leaves MiPhone's CDMA network is unclear, but needless to say, we don't think there's a CDMA iPhone in the cards. Thanks, everyone!

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