T-Mobile Expands VoLTE, Gets Going with 700MHz 4G
T-Mobile says it has now launched voice-over-LTE across its 4G network footprint in the US.
The IP voice service launch was one of the ongoing updates that T-Mobile US Inc. made about its 4G LTE network during its second-quarter earnings call Thursday morning. "As of now we have VoLTE... nationwide," CEO John Legere said on the call.
T-Mobile was the first of the four largest US carriers to officially launch VoLTE. It first deployed in Seattle in May and has been rolling out to more markets since then. (See T-Mobile Beats AT&T, Verizon to VoLTE.)
The operator has also started deploying LTE in both new and old spectrum. "The first 700MHz sites are on air right now -- 700MHz handsets are being field tested now and should be available in the fourth quarter," Legere said. (See T-Mobile: Going Bananas for Low-Band .)
T-Mobile got access to this low-band spectrum thanks to a $2.4 billion deal with Verizon Wireless that closed in April. The spectrum allows T-Mobile to offer better suburban, rural and indoor coverage. (See T-Mobile: Going Bananas for Low-Band .)
The operator also recently spent $50.5 million on more 700MHz licenses, and is working with some broadcasters to move their transmissions so they don't interfere with possible 700MHz mobile services.
The service provider has also started to convert its remaining 2G network footprint to 4G. The first 1900MHZ 4G sites are now up, Legere said.
All told, T-Mobile's LTE network now reaches 233 million people in the US, and Legere says the operator will cover more than 250 million potential customers by the end of the year.
All this means T-Mobile is expecting to spend $4.3 billion to $4.6 billion on capital expenditure this year. The operator spent $947 million on capex in the second quarter of 2014, compared to $1.1 billion in the same quarter last year, and $947 million in the first quarter of 2014.
T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter said he expects that figure "to ramp up later this year" as T-Mobile continues its 4G push.
T-Mobile broke through the 50 million subscriber market in its second quarter, adding 1.5 million subscribers net. It reported a profit of $391 million on revenue that grew 15% year-on-year to $7.19 billion.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading