Wow, what a year 2011 was for T-Mobile. We watched as AT&T tried to purchase T-Mobile USA to no avail, while Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T all launched the iPhone 4S and made progress towards their own respective LTE networks.

In fact, the latter two items hurt Magenta so much that its revenue dropped 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. Ouch. Don't underestimate the underdog, though; T-Mo has a plan. A plan to draw in more customers, make 4G services more affordable, and, best of all, launch its own 4G LTE network.

Since T-Mobile is the last of the big four to announce its LTE plans, it's also going to be the slowest to get started. What is giving Magenta the boost it needed, however, is the spectrum provided by AT&T when it canceled plans to purchase the company. That, combined with $1.4 billion and "refarmed frequencies" is just what T-Mo needs to make its LTE dreams come true. Of course, these things take time and preparation, so the rollout won't actually begin until next year.

Better late than never, we suppose.

T-Mobile USA Announces Reinvigorated Challenger Strategy

Begins Major Network Transformation in 2012 with LTE Launch Planned for 2013

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Feb. 23, 2012 — Today, T-Mobile USA, Inc. CEO and President Philipp Humm outlined the company’s reinvigorated challenger strategy focused on making amazing 4G services affordable. T-Mobile will invest in strategic initiatives to get the business back to growth. The most significant investment is a $4 billion network modernization and 4G evolution effort, which will improve existing voice and data coverage and pave the way for long term evolution (LTE) service in 2013.1

"We want to be known for delivering the best value in wireless because of the advanced technology we deliver at an affordable price,” said Philipp Humm CEO and President of T-Mobile USA. “Over the next two years, we’re prioritizing and investing in initiatives designed to get T-Mobile back to growth in the years ahead — beginning with the transformation of our network.”

Additional investment areas core to the company’s challenger strategy include aggressively pursuing the B2B segment, expanding the sales force by 1,000; ramping up advertising spending; and attracting new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) partners with an efficient platform for getting to market. T-Mobile will also continue to remodel its retail stores and expand distribution.

T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray detailed the company’s network strategy, which includes installing new equipment at 37,000 cell sites and refarming spectrum to launch LTE in 2013.1The key catalyst of refarming is the additional spectrum T-Mobile will receive as a result of the termination of the AT&T transaction. Also, other enablers are faster adoption of 3G and 4G services and improved device performance.

T-Mobile will invest a total of $4 billion over time into network modernization and LTE deployment. Over the next two years, this represents approximately $1.4 billion in incremental network investment. T-Mobile expects to reach broad deployment of LTE, with service in the vast majority of the top 50 markets and 20 MHz service in 75 percent of the top 25 markets.

“Today, we operate America’s Largest 4G Network delivering a fast and reliable 4G data experience with HSPA+,” said Neville Ray, chief technology officer, T-Mobile USA. “Launching LTE next year lets us take advantage of technology infrastructure advancements and benefit from a more mature LTE device ecosystem while continuing to meet the growing demand for data with a powerful 4G experience.”

T-Mobile expects to be the first carrier in North America to modernize its 4G network infrastructure with new antenna integrated radios on many of its cell towers, which will deliver higher performance and strengthen coverage.

More than 90 percent of T-Mobile device sales in the fourth quarter were 3G and 4G smartphones. As data usage and smartphone adoption accelerate, fewer customers are utilizing 2G services. This enables T-Mobile to refarm existing spectrum holdings, reducing the amount of 1900 MHz PCS spectrum being used for GSM; to deploy HSPA+ 4G services in the PCS band; and to make room in the AWS band for LTE. In addition to creating capacity for LTE in AWS spectrum, deploying HSPA+ in the PCS band will harmonize T-Mobile’s spectrum bands with the U.S. market and international carriers. As the company refarms spectrum, T-Mobile will continue to support its 2G customers.

T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ network, which currently covers well over 200 million people, will continue to deliver a competitive 4G experience. T-Mobile will continue to expand its HSPA+ 4G footprint and its innovative 4G product and service offerings. For example, the recently announced Samsung Galaxy S® Blaze 4G, launching in March, is the newest smartphone in T-Mobile’s portfolio to support the faster speeds offered by the HSPA+ 42 network.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Smooth3d

    "This great I supposed" really? biased much! This is great news because this will allow T-mo To have the best LTE roll out do to mature equipment. Just like T-mo was last to bring 3G in it allowed them to has the fastest 3G network out there bar none. This time with HSPA+ 42 as backbone plus LTE T-mo will the best network again.

    • Cameron Summerson

      Erm... what?

      • DanChi

        His point is when at&t built out their original 3g network, they used older equipment. (for its time) and when t-mobile built it's 3g network, it was the latest technology and that enabled them to offer 42Mb connection speeds while most of at&t's HSPA network is 14.4Mb instead. Thats all.

      • Smooth3d

        DanChi explained my point a lot better then I could. I was in a rush when I wrote that lol. And Biased much was a joke. lol I love this site!

    • Alex Morgan

      @smooth3d Biased much?

  • http://patricksoon.com soondot

    Can someone explain this to me? I just got a Samsung Galaxy S2 on T-Mobile. It's not LTE-graded, so will this mean I'll need to get new LTE phone to take advantage of the LTE rollout?

    • Jeffe

      Yes, you will need an LTE radio equipped phone. Don't worry though, your SGS2 has a 42mbps HSPA+ radio in it which is just as good as LTE. (except for the upload speeds) I live in Eugene Or. and pulled down 24 mbps earlier this week. It will be quite a while before we see LTE in Eugene, so I am not complaining at all! Does your town have HSPA+?

    • Ryan B

      The hardware in a phone is fixed, so yes you'll need a phone with an LTE radio in order to receive and transmit at LTE speeds.

  • http://www.geekchoice.com Dagmar Schnietz

    Well, I'm glad AT&T didn't purchase T-Mobile USA. Hey, some things take time.

  • bobomb

    HELLS YEAH! Go magenta go!

    I'd love for T-Mo to start kickin it up in terms of coverage. I'd love to hop over, but don't want to deal with the spotty coverage. Hopefully they'll get that sorted out somewhat in like a year or two.

  • Freak4Dell

    Good for them! T-Mobile has laid out some great plans for the future in the last couple of months (mostly internal, but some, like these, directly affect the end user). Hopefully they follow through in a timely manner.