T-Mobile's LTE Advance: What's Happening

Where T-Mobile's going with its LTE-Advanced ready network, what speeds it might get and what the future holds

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

March 20, 2013

2 Min Read
T-Mobile's LTE Advance: What's Happening

T-Mobile USA could officially announce its 4G LTE on March 26. Here's a snapshot of what the initial service could offer. The underlying technology
T-Mobile is the first U.S.-based carrier to deploy the 3GPP Release 10 of the Long Term Evolution specification, otherwise known as LTE-Advanced. The operator's new network can, however, more properly be considered LTE-Advanced ready. It is not offering features such as carrier aggregation -- the ability to bond radio channels to get more bandwidth and capacity -- since smartphones that can support that functionality are unlikely to be ready much before 2014.

  • Why You Should Care About LTE-Advanced (Eventually)

The speeds
The speeds T-Mobile gets on its new network will very much depend on the amount of bandwidth it has to play with, which will vary with each market. Users peeping at T-Mobile's LTE signals in NYC and Baltimore have spotted two 5MHz LTE channels on the AWS band, which suggests a network that can achieve peaks of around 25Mbit/s to 30Mbit/s and less on average. Those numbers should get higher wherever T-Mobile has two 10MHz channels to use.

  • How Fast Will T-Mobile's LTE Be?

The first markets
T-Mobile has said that it will have Las Vegas and Kansas City ready at launch. Users have also spotted signals in New York City; the D.C and Baltimore area; Houston; and other parts of Texas. T-Mobile hopes to cover 200 million people with the technology by the end of the year. T-Mobile's current networks cover 283 million people or 92 percent of the population of the mainland United States.

  • T-Mobile's 4G LTE: More Details Emerge

T-Mobile has the Samsung Corp. Galaxy Note II. The BlackBerry Z10 smartphone will follow later this month.

  • T-Mobile Starts 4G LTE Launch With Galaxy Note II

The future
T-Mobile is able to start this first stage of its nascent LTE-Advanced network deployment thanks to the spectrum and roaming rights it got from AT&T Inc. after that merger failed. Now it needs its proposed merger with MetroPCS to close in order to make the network a standout. If and when the MetroPCS spectrum gets layered in, T-Mobile will be able to add capacity and depth to its new network in the Northeast while still having some of the best 3G fall-back speeds available via HSPA 21 and 42.

  • FCC Blesses T-Mobile/MetroPCS Merger

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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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