T-Mobile Has Expanded its LTE Network by 250%, CTO Neville Ray Says

by Istvan Fekete on January 7, 2016

A woman talks on her phone as she walks past T-mobile and Sprint wireless stores in New York in this file photoT-Mobile geographically expanded its LTE network by nearly 250% last year, and now covers 304 POPs, company CTO Neville Ray said during at an m.

He credited most of that expansion to T-Mobile’s use of 700 MHz A Block spectrum, which was deployed to a population of 185 million POPs.

“A big part of [the overall LTE growth] was the low-band spectrum that we secured in ’14, and we really got through clearance and deployment in a very meaningful way in ’15,” Ray said at an investor conference. “Originally we had 190 million licensed POPs of 700 coverage; by the end of ’15 we rolled out 185 million. Nobody has ever rolled out that much LTE with new spectrum with broadcasters to clear, zoning and jurisdictional battles to go through.”

According to the latest available data, about 50% of T-Mobile’s LTE customers use a handset supporting low-band spectrum, and 60% connect to the 4G LTE network. Furthermore, as Ray mentioned during his speech, 40% of voice calls are on LTE.
He was eager to compare T-Mobile’s performance with the competition: “Ask my competition where they are. I know one of them is at zero, and the other two are pretty close to zero. So their adoption of really moving into an IP era of communications – voice, RCS, video, VoLTE . . . all those pieces – we are the most advanced on that, hands-down,” he said.

Also T-Mobile has plans to quickly deploy the 600 MHz spectrum it aims to acquire at the forthcoming spectrum auction. The plan is to deploy it in 2017 and 2018, much faster than its competitors such as AT&T, which has said it won’t be able to deploy such spectrum until 2021.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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