Last Wednesday, T-Mobile USA’s Senior Vice President of B2B Service Frank Sickinger shared some interesting numbers regarding their Long Term Evolution network. He also shared something about the carrier’s upcoming rollout in the United States.
T-Mobile: Modernizing LTE Networks Before Launch
It’s no longer a surprise that T-Mobile was the last major telecommunications company in the US to launch an LTE network. Due to this, the public’s opinion is that they have fallen behind other carriers when it comes to LTE. But Sickinger begs to differ.
It’s not just about having [an] LTE [network], it’s about building a massive LTE footprint. We already have sites that are lit up with LTE. But for us it’s about having the entire network modernized [before launch]. That’s not always the case with the competition.
T-Mobile’s wireless evolution from EDGE technology to HSPA and eventually to HSPA+ has been a long and laborious process. But the telco is just about ready to rollout LTE across America. In fact, after the supposed merger between the carrier and AT&T in late 2011 did not take place, T-Mobile was able to secure significant spectrum from AT&T. According to Sickinger, this helped them expand their overall network and boost the HSPA+ coverage.
A Positive Outlook for T-Mobile’s Future
In relation to this, T-Mobile is in the process of “modernizing” 37,000 HSPA+ sites across the United States so they’ll be LTE 10 or LTE Advanced compatible for a launch later this year. The SVP also revealed that the company’s LTE coverage will reach 100 million US customers by July of this year and it will double by the end of 2013.
They also acknowledged the perception that T-Mobile is falling behind competing carriers when it comes to LTE. However, Sickinger stated that he has a “uniquely positive” outlook for the future.
My belief is our [LTE launch] timing is perfect. If you look at the pioneering work, there were a lot of misfires. CDMA carriers had no choice [but to quickly embrace LTE] because they had no data path. They were forced on that path. They had to use bleeding-edge equipment. We’re using proven, but still bleeding-edge equipment. We’re really making smart moves from a technology perspective. And we’re deploying [LTE] quickly.
The SVP also said that T-Mobile’s first LTE handsets will offer better overall experience than previous LTE-compatible mobile devices. It will use a single radio stack for all wireless data technologies such as LTE, HSPA+, EDGE and many more. That way, the said handsets will be cheaper and feature longer battery life.