T-Mobile Pours Cold Water on Sprint's Spark

T-Mobile's CTO claims customers will start to feel the benefits of a new 700MHz spectrum by the end of the year.

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

April 30, 2014

2 Min Read
T-Mobile Pours Cold Water on Sprint's Spark

T-Mobile closed its 700MHz spectrum purchase Wednesday while trying to dampen Sprint's claims about its Spark LTE speeds.

Neville Ray, CTO of T-Mobile US Inc. , announced the completion of its $2.4 billion buyout of A-Band 700MHz spectrum from Verizon Wireless on the operator's blog. The low-band spectrum -- something T-Mobile hasn't had access to before -- will enable it to offer better in-building, suburban, and rural coverage starting at the end of this year. (See T-Mobile Spends $2.4B on Verizon Spectrum and T-Mobile: Going Bananas for Low-Band.)

Here's why Neville Ray believes that this is "fantastic news" for T-Mobile subscribers:

  • As of today, T-Mobile has closed the deal we announced in January to acquire low-band 700 MHz A-Block spectrum. This will allow us to improve coverage and reliability for 158 million Americans in 9 of the top 10 and 21 of the top 30 metro areas across the nation with 4G LTE -- in addition to the nationwide LTE footprint we already have. Some of the major metro areas to be covered will include New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Washington D.C., and Detroit.

Ray claims that T-Mobile will be "wicked fast" in getting 700MHz equipment out to cell sites. "We anticipate customers will begin reaping the benefits as early as the end of this year." (See T-Mobile CTO: On the Road to Low-Band.)

The T-Mobile CTO also took aim at Sprint's Spark LTE upgrade, which is in 24 US markets so far and which the company says offers peak download speeds of around 60 Mbit/s:

  • We've already enhanced our LTE by deploying 10+10 MHz 4G LTE in 43 of the top 50 metro areas, delivering download speeds up to 72 Mbps. Yesterday, we heard that the Sprint Spark network will eventually deliver 60 Mbps. What's more, last November, we began deployments of Wideband LTE with 15+15 MHz and 20+20 MHz. What that means is that we're building 4G LTE super-highways that are incredibly fast and wide open -- and where you can experience download speeds up to 147 Mbps.

Of course, as we've seen many times before, peak speeds when the networks aren't busy can be quite different from when the networks are loaded down with users. The proof in the pudding will be the performance available on fully loaded networks when these upgrades are done. (See Sprint: LTE TDD Speed Boost Coming Soon and Fanning Sprint's Spark in NYC.)

You can read Ray's full blog here.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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