13
Mar
tmobile

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of its LTE rollout, T-Mobile has announced a major network upgrade plan that is sure to make a lot of customers a little happier. Anyone who has ever tried to use T-Mobile's network outside of densely-populated areas has undoubtedly noticed that, out in the sticks, the data speeds are almost always 2G/EDGE. Well, apparently that's all about to change. According to a new press release, it plans to upgrade its existing 2G/EDGE network to LTE and begin deploying additional LTE coverage on the 700 MHz A-Block spectrum that it's acquiring from Verizon. T-Mobile expects 50% of the work to be completed by the end of 2014 and the rest to be mostly finished by the middle of 2015. For good measure, the "Un-carrier" also took a potshot at Verizon for its television commercials which T-Mobile claims represents its network coverage as "ink blots".

T-Mobile Celebrates 1st Anniversary of LTE Rollout
By Launching Major Network Upgrade Program

T-Mobile introduces new network marketing campaign to showcase 96% U.S. voice and data coverage

Delivers America's fastest growing LTE network in less than a year from launch

BELLEVUE, Wash. - March 13, 2014 - Over the past year, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) has abolished a litany of consumer pain points through a series of revolutionary new programs and services - and Americans have responded by making T-Mobile the fastest growing wireless company in the U.S. Today, the Un-carrier announced it is continuing its relentless pace of industry innovation by launching a major new program to expand what has already become the fastest LTE deployment the U.S. has ever seen.

Less than one year since launch, T-Mobile's 4G LTE network already reaches 210 million people in 273 metro areas nationwide. Building on the unprecedented pace of its LTE rollout, T-Mobile is now kicking off a major new program to upgrade its 2G/EDGE network with 4G LTE. The company plans to complete 50 percent of the work this year alone, and expects the program to be substantially complete by the middle of next year. The upgrade will provide customers who currently experience 2G/EDGE coverage new access to 4G LTE, and many already covered by 4G LTE will enjoy access to 4G LTE in even more places. In addition, T-Mobile plans to begin deploying 4G LTE this year in the new 700 MHz A-Block spectrum the company is in the process of acquiring.

"Right now, T-Mobile covers 96 percent of Americans, and over the past year, we've completely shattered records with the fastest 4G LTE deployment the U.S. wireless industry has ever seen." said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. "Our competitors want you to believe our network doesn't measure up. But that just isn't true. And American consumers are going to see right through the spin and half-truths when given the facts."

In a span of just six months, T-Mobile deployed its 4G LTE network coast to coast and at a pace unprecedented in the U.S. wireless industry - going from zero to nationwide coverage between March and September 2013. Already, T-Mobile has built America's fastest nationwide 4G LTE network - based on millions of speed tests by real customers using Ookla's Speedtest.net app on their own devices. More than 6.5 million customer tests have been conducted in 2014 alone.

"Through this major new network upgrade program, and other initiatives already underway, we're driving hard toward our multi-billion dollar strategy to further improve what is already an amazing network experience for our customers," said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile. "Our 4G LTE is going to reach 230 million people across the U.S. by mid-year. By year's end, we're going to be delivering wicked-fast 4G LTE to more than 250 million people. That's how the Un-carrier rolls out 4G LTE."

In addition to these network updates, T-Mobile announced it is pushing back against misleading competitive claims through a new primetime television ad that began airing in primetime last night - and the company has demanded Verizon cease and desist with its well-known map ads.

"Verizon's ink blots massively understate our coverage and don't begin to represent the actual customer experience on T-Mobile's network," said Legere. "So we're setting the record straight - both by demanding an end to the misinformation, and by going straight to the people with the truth."

T-Mobile has taken legal action demanding that Verizon cease and desist the carrier's network map advertising, arguing that Verizon has cherry-picked a single network technology to depict in its ads rather than accurately reflecting the many technologies widely in use today. T-Mobile reaches over 230 million people nationwide with 4G HSPA+, which provides 4G coverage in many locations where LTE has not yet been rolled out.  This is in addition to T-Mobile's nationwide 4G LTE coverage.

Shawn De Cesari
Shawn is a web developer by day and XDA's resident archivist for Nexus and Google Play Edition device OTA updates by night. When not immersing himself in code or Android, he can be found hunting down antique signs, taking road trips, listening to music, or playing video games. His phone of choice is a Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
  • jbworldwide1

    It's on.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

      Yes. This was one of the two major issues that made me leave T-Mobile after 10 years. Once this changes, I'll be really tempted to become a full-fledged customer again and not just get service here and there when I need cheap service for a month or two.

      • Tony Pettinato

        Yea, I got a Nexus 5 to test drive T-Mobile and there are certain areas where all I got was 2G or nothing. It was at least consistent: wherever there was a decent population size, there was fantastic coverage and the speeds were better than Verizon. But those pockets of little to no coverage prevented me from making the switch.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

          The other issue (which I hope will be addressed at some point) is the hard cap of 50 MB of data roaming. If you travel a lot, your phone will undoubtedly spend time roaming on AT&T's network, and when it does, you get 50 MB of data roaming per billing cycle and once you hit it, that's it. Your data is completely shut off until your billing cycle resets or you get back into T-Mobile coverage, and you don't even have the option of purchasing more. They went from unlimited data roaming to the hard caps back in 2012 and that was the last straw for me. I put up with EDGE outside the cities, but not being able to use my phone whilst traveling in Appalachia and roaming on AT&T was just unacceptable. You could burn through 50 MB checking Instagram.

          • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

            So they limit you to 50MB of roaming domestically, but give you unlimited roaming internationally. You'd think they'd have the same deal here, just limit the speeds.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

            I know. How ridiculous is that?

            Plus, on the subject of international roaming, that's apparently only available to postpaid customers that did a credit check. Any prepaid or non-credit-check postpaid account has no access to the international roaming features.

          • Paul_Werner

            I'm on the $30 prepaid plan and don't notice LTE throttling but haven't done any speed tests to back that up. Just using their data and it seems much faster when I had my Nexus 4.

            Now that I'm on Nexus 5 I haven't been able to get the T-Mobile VVM to work (just shows up as incompatible with my device in the Play store). Did you get this working without errors (I've read online that the sideloaded app can work but randomly sends a gibberish text to your phone every so often)

            I'm rarely in an area without service but when it drops I've never seen it connect via roaming though. As far as I can tell I have the correct settings though. Care to share what I may be missing so I can enable my domestic roaming on TMo / Nexus 5?

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

            You'll need to go into Settings | More | Mobile Networks and enable data roaming before it'll actually connect. As far as the VVM app not being available on the Nexus 5 via Google Play, that's a weird one. It's available on any device I've ever used on T-Mobile including a GS4 GPE and a Moto G GPE. What's even weirder is that the N5 is a phone that T-Mobile actually sells in-store, so you figure they'd make sure the VVM app was available...

          • Paul_Werner

            Ok, I had that setting set for Data Roaming so I must have been just in a complete dead area.

            I contacted TMo a few months back about VVM and they said they'd be working on it but haven't heard back since. Google Play does still show not compatible though. I'll add a screenshot from my phone in a minute (just to show that)

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

            Out of curiosity, are you using the stock firmware or are you running a custom ROM?

          • Paul_Werner

            Stock everything, not even rooted

          • shadowx360

            Can probably sideload. Need apk?

          • Paul_Werner

            Sure but I'd rather not load it if there will be issues. I read online that if you sideload it, it will work but every so often it sends a text with gibberish to your phone. Do you know if this still happens with the latest version of the apk?

          • shadowx360

            https://www.mediafire.com/?37h83d1d43tc55w

            It's been working fine for me lately.

          • Paul_Werner

            Thanks, I'll try it out when I'm off work

          • Paul_Werner

            Tried it & got a parsing error

          • Simon Belmont

            Same problem here, Paul. Day one Nexus 5, VVM worked fine and was compatible, and then a month later it was made incompatible and hasn't be fixed since.

            I will tell you that the gibberish text ONLY happens after you reboot the phone. You can delete it and it won't happen again until you reboot and getting your voicemails is completely unaffected. I wish T-Mobile would just fix it and make it compatible with my N5, though, again. What I have now works, so just make it compatible already, so I can get updates.

          • Paul_Werner

            Screenshot

          • Paul_Werner

            Screenshot

          • Paul_Werner

            Ugh, Disqus sent it twice

          • Simon Belmont

            This has been an issue for me for a long time, too. Ironically, when I first got my Nexus 5 (I was a day one buyer, so had it early November), VVM was compatible.

            Then about a month later, it went incompatible and hasn't come back since (and funnily enough, the VVM I downloaded prior to this works fine). I read in T-Mobile forums that they were working on fixing that, but it's been a long time, and it remains incompatible to this day.

          • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

            I can understand why though, they make more money on postpaid so can offer more features. Prepaid doesn't get roaming or international roaming.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

            Just recently, they gave prepaid users access to domestic data roaming, but yeah, international roaming is for postpaid credit check customers only.

          • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

            Hmmm, I'm on the $30 plan and have never roamed

          • dontsh00tmesanta

            Cant the reason why they give you unlimited international roaming is because DT owns it in those country or has some sort of stake

          • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

            They roam in hundreds of countries, most of which they don't have their own service in.

          • dontsh00tmesanta

            Like I said DT owns a stake in those

  • wjrandon

    indeed...

  • Chris

    Holy crap this is the most exciting T-Mobile news I've read in a while...maybe ever. If they seriously update ALL (hell even 70-80%) of their Edge to LTE...man it's gonna be great...

  • Justin Foster

    So, this means the devices like the unlocked gsm Xperia Play which only got edge will be able to get LTE?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

      Assuming it supports LTE bands 4 (current 1700 MHz) and/or 12 (future 700 MHz), yes.

      • Justin Foster

        Well, could you tell me according to these specs:

        http://m.gsmarena.com/sony_ericsson_xperia_play-3608.php

        • moehre

          Are you serious?
          No, it won't.

        • Kidney_Thief

          No, it will not get LTE. If they deploy HSPA, you'll get something better than EDGE, but it still won't be very fast.

          • dontsh00tmesanta

            hspa sometimes is faster than lte lol

          • Kidney_Thief

            Not when your speeds are capped at 5.76 Mbps, like on the Xperia Play.

          • dontsh00tmesanta

            I dont have that problem

          • Kidney_Thief

            Spoiler alert: The OP has an Xperia Play, which is why I was telling him it wouldn't be very fast. #themoreyouknow

          • dontsh00tmesanta

            Spoiler alert: my comments in general not based on a specific device thanks

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

          That phone has no LTE support whatsoever, and the only way you're going to get 3G coverage on it would be to either use AT&T, or check if you live in an area where T-Mobile has refarmed their 3G network to 1,900 MHz. You can check that here: http://airportal.de

          • Justin Foster

            Ah ok. Ah well. I don't use the device except for gaming now anyway. Thought it was getting new life. Thanks a bunch.

      • vrm

        They also said they will deploy LTE on PCS (1900 mhz) band.

  • Derrick Hodges

    Sweet!!!!!

  • Scott

    This is AWESOME news!

  • BoB1673

    GAME ON BITCH'S

  • http://gplus.to/bdbplatano M. Puente

    With all of the great things TMO has been doing lately, for the price that they offer, it's all really good... until you start talking about their coverage.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

      Exactly. Though, this network upgrade will go a VERY long way in helping with that.

  • trev

    I hate these "xx% of americans" claims to coverage. I'm not part of the 96% if I travel on a highway away from the city more than an hour. The map matters.

    • dontsh00tmesanta

      att verizon and maybe sprint are there to serve you if 2g isnt good enough

  • Adam Nazare

    I have AT&T and enjoying my 25% corporate discount. My company doesn't even give a discount for T-Mobile and won't be going back to them anytime soon since they screwed me twice in the last 2 years.

    • Native89

      Ok.

    • dontsh00tmesanta

      cool story bro.... my company supports all

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      Enjoy the worst HSPA in the USA.

  • qpinto

    Now the real question is what band lte would the new 700 mhz a block be considered under for lte bands? i would like to buy a phone that takes advantage of this newly acquired frequency for my next phone.

    edit. so i found out it is band 12. is there any GSM phone that uses band 12 LTE?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

      Band 12. Until T-Mobile actually rolls stuff out, your phone selection will probably be pretty limited.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

      Right now, few if any.

  • Mystery Man

    How does this apply to current T-Mobile phones? Will they be compatible?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

      They should be, yes. Nobody in their right mind would believe that T-Mobile would spend all that time and money on rolling out 1,700 MHz LTE just to scrap it all and go with 700 MHz band 12. The two will probably work in sync with one another to provide stronger coverage, especially in cities where building penetration and band crowding can be a huge problem.

      • ins0mn1a

        of course they will not scrap the 1700 band. i think the question was whether the existing t-mobile phones are compatible with the new band. i have checked the phones that i use (nexus 5 and note 2), and they both include band 17, but not band 12.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

          Yeah, without researching it, I can't be positive, but I don't think any phone sold in the US right now supports band 12 LTE yet.

          That said, it'll be interesting to see if T-Mobile's variant of the Galaxy S5 has it.

          • space surfer

            My question is, does this improve the voice quality or just data? T-mobile needs to work on their voice quality as well. I just switched to Tmo 2 months ago and while speeds are great, voice is crap, which sucks!!

          • dontsh00tmesanta

            Wow That is weird as so far tmobile call quality surpasses the other 3 for ME anyway

          • KlausWillSeeYouNow

            Yeah... their voice quality is much better than the other 3. You have a device issue.

          • Mercedes

            I'd say it is a device issue. Some AT&T phones used unique modems for calling that when on T-Mobile, do not work properly. I experienced this with the Samsung Captivate. My brothers Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and iPhone 5S' all work just fine.

          • Mercedes

            Last I looked, no phone supported LTE on Band 12. There are some that support LTE on Band 2. Unfortunately the Nexus 5 is not one of them...but the Nexus 7 LTE variant is.

          • Mercedes

            Correction, the Nexus 5 does support LTE on Band 2 (1900Mhz). I either was looking at the International version or Google updated there specs. Either way, good news for Nexus 5 owners.

          • Serge

            All US Cellular phones except iPhone support band 12. These phones however either don't support GSM/UMTS or they are domestically SIM locked.

          • Guest

            I'd say it is a device issue. Some AT&T phones used unique modems for calling that when on T-Mobile, do not work properly. I experienced this with the Samsung Captivate. My brothers Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and iPhone 5S' all work just fine.

  • Chris

    Nexus 5 doesn't work on this band I thought?

    • Doug Cherner

      They sell their own Nexus 5 and I've been using a Google Play Nexus 5 since it's release on Tmo.

      • Chris

        The Nexus 5 is the same in the play store as it is for the ones sold at tmobile. Our phones do not support band 12 so we, Nexus 5 owners, will not benefit from this. At least to my knowledge.

      • Chris

        The Nexus 5 is the same in the play store as it is for the ones sold at tmobile. Our phones do not support band 12 so we, Nexus 5 owners, will not benefit from this. At least to my knowledge.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

          Well, you'll still benefit from rural LTE coverage...you just won't get it on band 12. You'll get it on band 4.

        • Simon Belmont

          We won't benefit from Brand 12, you're right. But we'll benefit from the existing 2G/EDGE networks getting Band 4 LTE coverage and T-Mobile is still going to expand with Band 4 (in addition to Band 12).

          Haha, nevermind. Shawn already said what I'm saying below.

  • rmeden

    I'm currently vacationing in the boonies of Oklahoma. We're limited to 2g, but most of the time the data doesn't work at all. Many in my family have Moto Gs. What happened to them when there is only LTE? (Moto G doesn't do LTE)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

      They'll still have data. EDGE isn't going away. It's just being supplemented with LTE.

  • Dee Norbert

    From september 12 here in Romania Romtelecom and Cosmote will be T-mobile.Its rebranding it self.