4G World 2012: T-Mobile's 'Rock Star' Lays Out LTE Plans

CHICAGO -- 4G World 2012 -- T-Mobile US Inc. , the final major U.S. carrier to deploy Long Term Evolution (LTE), hopes to "cover 200 million people with LTE by the end of 2013" and complete the rollout in 2014, CTO Neville Ray said in a keynote here Wednesday.

T-Mobile told customers in a letter recently that it intends to have LTE in major metropolitan areas in 2013, and the operator has been testing LTE-Advanced (Release 10) technology for its network this summer.

CTO Ray is treading a familiar path here: His stated timetable somewhat mirrors the way that he plotted the operator's upgrade to fast 3G high-speed packet access-plus technology over the last couple of years.

Ray has been been described as a "rock star" by T-Mobile's new CEO, John Legere, for his work on T-Mobile's network. The operator trails rivals like AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and Verizon Wireless in starting to deploy LTE on its network. Ray and his team, however, have tuned a network that RootMetrics has found often beats Sprint's LTE deployment while staying on the shoulder of the AT&T and Verizon upgrades. (See The Best 3G & 4G Cities in America.)

If the planned merger of T-Mobile and MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS) is approved in 2013, Ray will get more spectrum to improve upload and download speeds on his shiny new network.

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— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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