O.k. the HTC G1, or the first Google Android phone, is about to launch and everybody is looking at the Google side of things. But have a look on the other side of the equation: That phone has to use a network. And this network is going to be T-Mobile USA. The interesting thing about this is that this is one of the two networks on this planet that is using 1700 MHz UMTS. For the moment, they only have three very low end 3G phones (according to Wikipedia, see here, here and here) which must sell very well against insignificant competition such as the iPhone.
The HTC G1 will be even more than a quantum leap for T-Mobile USA, it will be the first phone which will use their 3G network in a meaningful way. The HTC page doesn't yet list a lot of network specifications on the device yet. I wonder if it will be dual band 3G, 1700 MHz for T-Mobile USA and 2100 MHz for the rest of the world or if the version announced for the UK will be a different hardware. But then, how about positively surprising me and delivering a Quad band UMTS device with 850, 1700, 1900 and 2100 MHz UMTS built in? Now that would be something, but I'd be really surprised.
I just had a look around which other phones do/will support 1700 MHz. Interestingly the Sony Ericsson X1 came up as 1700 Mhz + quad-band 3G capable. I wonder if T-Mobile USA will pick it up sooner or later!? Also interesting is the Wikipedia link on UMTS quad-band and UMTS tri-band. They give a pretty interesting overview which 3G phones work on more than one continent on speeds faster then EDGE. Nice to see that the list is growing. But what would really be nice for true world roamers are 5 bands. How would that be called? Quinband?