08
May
2012-05-08 07h22_51

T-Mobile sent out a press release late last night to announce just what they're doing with the consolation prize from AT&T's failed bid to take over the company. Unsurprisingly, the company is using the $4 billion and spectrum licenses to do exactly what they need to stay competitive with other carriers: expand their HSPA+ coverage and, more importantly, roll out LTE.

According to the press release, we can expect T-Mo to continue expanding and improving their HSPA+ for the remainder of 2012:

As part of the company's network modernization effort, T-Mobile also plans to launch 4G HSPA+ service in the 1900 MHz band in a large number of markets by the end of the year. Network modernization trials have shown up to a 33 percent increase in HSPA+ data speeds as well as improved in-building coverage. Rolling out 4G HSPA+ services in the 1900 MHz band will also provide customers with the ability to use a broader range of devices, including the iPhone, on T-Mobile's 4G network.

LTE is slated to launch in 2013, and the company hopes their late entry to the game will allow them to roll out the latest LTE hardware:

The company's timing for LTE allows T-Mobile to take advantage of the latest and most advanced LTE technology infrastructure, improving the overall capacity and performance of its 4G network, while optimizing the company's spectrum resources. T-Mobile will also apply deep LTE technology experience gained from its parent, Deutsche Telekom, a recognized global leader in LTE development and standardization.

To anyone who's used both T-Mobile's HSPA+ and anyone's LTE (in my case, Verizon's), it manages respectable speeds. While that's a short-term strength, it's a long term weakness; it keeps up because it's an upgrade to the existing (and borderline antiquated) tech, rather than entirely new tech that has yet to be fully rolled out (as is the case with LTE). Still, depending on how fast the other three carriers roll out LTE over the next 7 months, T-Mobile may still be too late to the game.

Source: MarketWatch

Full presser:

NEW ORLEANS, May 07, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Today, T-Mobile USA, Inc. announced multi-year agreements with Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks to support T-Mobile's $4 billion 4G network evolution plan, including network modernization and deployment of long term evolution (LTE) service in 2013(1).

As part of the agreements, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks will provide and install state of the art, Release 10 capable equipment at 37,000 cell sites across T-Mobile's 4G network, increasing signal quality and enhancing performance beginning in 2012. T-Mobile also expects to be the first carrier in North America to broadly deploy antenna integrated radios, enabling accelerated deployment and reduced site loading.

Last week, T-Mobile secured the AWS spectrum licenses from AT&T which were agreed to as part of the breakup of the proposed merger between the two companies. This new spectrum, in addition to the refarming effort, enables the launch of LTE in AWS spectrum and up to 20 MHz of LTE in 75% of the top 25 markets.

"We're making great progress on our four billion dollar 4G network transformation," said Neville Ray, chief technology officer, T-Mobile USA. "With these partners on board and the AT&T AWS spectrum secured, we're on track to enhance our 4G experience this year and deliver nationwide LTE in 2013."

The company's timing for LTE allows T-Mobile to take advantage of the latest and most advanced LTE technology infrastructure, improving the overall capacity and performance of its 4G network, while optimizing the company's spectrum resources. T-Mobile will also apply deep LTE technology experience gained from its parent, Deutsche Telekom, a recognized global leader in LTE development and standardization.

As part of the company's network modernization effort, T-Mobile also plans to launch 4G HSPA+ service in the 1900 MHz band in a large number of markets by the end of the year. Network modernization trials have shown up to a 33 percent increase in HSPA+ data speeds as well as improved in-building coverage. Rolling out 4G HSPA+ services in the 1900 MHz band will also provide customers with the ability to use a broader range of devices, including the iPhone, on T-Mobile's 4G network.

T-Mobile also announced that its nationwide HSPA+ network has expanded to deliver a competitive 4G experience to well over 220 million people in 229 markets. In addition to an expanding 4G footprint, the 4G experience T-Mobile provides is pervasive among its customer base.

"In contrast to our competitors, nearly half of T-Mobile's postpaid smartphone customers are using a 4G device," said Ray. "Not only are we delivering a fast 4G experience to a higher percentage of our customers, we're also making it more affordable to step up to 4G. Whether you're purchasing one of our latest 4G superphones -- or bringing your own device, you can get better value with T-Mobile."

Beginning today, customers in Little Rock, Ark.; Hattiesburg, Miss.; Springfield, Mo. and Madison, Wis. can experience the fast speeds available on America's Largest 4G Network. Customers in Fayetteville and Little Rock, Ark.; Lake Charles, La. and Springfield, Mo. can experience the faster speeds offered by our HSPA+ 42 network with devices such as the recently launched HTC One(TM) S. Current customers are experiencing average speeds approaching 8 Mbps with peaks up to 22 Mbps using T-Mobile's HTC One S.

(1) LTE launch assumes successful refarming of spectrum. Need remains for additional spectrum for broader/deeper LTE deployment.

Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • http://twitter.com/UnPerroDeSuerte Lester Walters

    Aaron, T-Mobile too late to the LTE game?  If LTE is the answer, what was the question? Where is the widespread use of LTE outside of the US?  T-Mobile is the #4 carrier whose customers would have LTE if the merger with AT&T were successful. T-Mobile will have LTE next year. In the meantime customers will have to use HSPA+ which you report "manages respectable speeds" 

    • AaronGingrich

      I suppose that, as cars gained popularity, you would have been in the camp arguing that a horse was just as good.

      I like T-Mobile. Truly, I do. I nearly always favor the underdog and I think T-Mobile offers great plans and, where you can get it, great speeds. Hell, at home, T-Mobile HSPA+ offered over 8MB down - more than double what I got with Sprint's WiMax (VZ and AT&T LTE still isn't in my area). But we're comparing a tech that's well-established to one that's so up-and-coming, it hasn't yet reached wide proliferation - whereas the tech that's been around for 10 years. TEN YEARS. In the tech world, that's ancient.

      Second, their coverage *still* stinks. It's not uncommon that I have more than one device on more than one network, and when traveling I can say I never, ever rely on any T-Mo device, because I'm likely to have a ton of coverage issues. Even Sprint - the runner-up for worst coverage - was many, many times better than T-Mobile.

      Thus, T-Mobile is a good company with good speeds; the catch is the coverage is sub-par, as anyone who travels can attest to. 

      • Tamara10256

         I have to agree. I live in Southeast Georgia and I have the T-Mobile Google G2 phone. I can receive 4G where I work in Brunswick only on certain streets. Where I actually live is a different matter, 35miles away. 2g is MAX and inside is almost a chore. I would give anything to see T-Mobile expand their HSPA+ to Southeast Georgia outside of the metro areas. LTE would be a dream as I hope to aquire an HTC ONE S soon.

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        I'm half-way with Lester on this one, I agree that T-Mobile is late (not in the 'too-late' sort of way, just behind the others) to delivering LTE, but I don't think this is really that bad.  It was 4 months ago that we were all laughing at Verizon for constantly having huge data outages and problems because they rushed ahead on LTE without properly preparing for it.  LTE is new and pretty (as long as you're willing to turn it off constantly to conserve battery life), but HSPA+ is pretty solid for anybody who's not watching relatively high-def video.  The reality is, LTE is relative hype at this stage, as the list of use cases requiring even faster data is limited to higher quality video and downloading of large apps or for tethering.  I'm not saying LTE isn't good, shouldn't exist, or that people won't change their habits and start using more data, just that it's premature to act like anybody who's behind Verizon should be embarrassed and give up the fight (I'm obviously exaggerating for effect).

        Really, the only thing that bugged me was the word choice of 'Antiquated'. HSPA+ isn't brand new, but the very first deployment of it was only 4 years ago (June 2008) while the first LTE deployment was 18 months later (December 2009).  Considering how long it takes between these initial deployments (which are really just beta tests) and the market taking them up, HSPA+ is still pretty recent.  Also, both HSPA+ and LTE are based on the same branch of cellular protocols and HSPA+ was somewhat backwards compatible and easily extended upon GSM, as is LTE (which is also the reason VZW had so many problems with it).

        tl;dr version: HSPA+ isn't an 'antiquated' troglodyte for T-Mobile to be embarrassed about, it's actually a good place for them to be right now and thanks to a relatively short wait they aren't going to suffer many of the growing pains that AT&T and VZW are.

  • TonyArcher

     It might be worth it for people who want a phone that will last all day to just go with something hspa+.

  • fixxmyhead

    too late to the game? give me a break. stop with this bs about it being too late

  • RafaelArredondo

    Great, now maybe I'll have more than just EDGE signal in the city I live in.

  • bluevoodo

    dont change my 30.00 a month plan and we're good. 

  • Aaron Ferguson

    Sure hope Tmobile get a quad core S3 with the threat of LTE next year.  Don't want another S2 with a different name.

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