T-Mobile has just announced that it is going to upgrade its cellular-wireless data network so it can offer 4G LTE service. This should significantly improve the speed and bandwidth of this carrier’s Wireless Data service.
This will begin in 2013. Eventually, T-Mobile expects to offer LTE service in the “vast majority” of the top 50 markets and 75% of the top 25 markets in the U.S.
All of this won’t come cheaply. The company will put $4 billion over time into network modernization and LTE deployment, with approximately $1.4 billion of that coming in the next two years.
From One 4G Standard to Another
T-Mobile will be upgrading its network from 4G HSPA+ a faster standard. It’s also one that has been chosen by all of its biggest rivals: Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. Even smaller regional carriers are deploying this 4G standard.
Although T-Mobile didn’t make any promises about the speed of its LTE network, its rivals are seeing real-world download download speeds between 5 and 12 megabits per second and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps.
“Today, we operate America’s Largest 4G Network delivering a fast and reliable 4G data experience with HSPA+,” said Neville Ray, T-Mobile’s chief technology officer.. “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.”
The only smartphones on the market today with LTE run Google’s Android OS, but that will change eventually. BlackBerrys and Windows Phones with this feature are scheduled for later this year, and the next iPhone is widely expected to offer this 4G standard, although this has not been officially announced.
There were questions whether T-Mobile would join the LTE bandwagon. This company hasn’t been profitable for years, and its parent company, Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, tried to sell this U.S. subsidiary to AT&T last year. When that deal fell through, no one was sure what the next move for T-Mobile would be.
Although the U.S. government blocked AT&T’s buyout attempt, T-Mobile still benefited as part of the contract between these two carriers. Because the deal fell through, Deutsche Telekom received $3 billion in cash and another $1 billion worth of wireless spectrum in important markets across the U.S. This spectrum will be used to deploy 4G LTE service.