The carrier said Monday before CTIA officially got underway that the two equipment vendors will install 37,000 cell sites across its high-speed packet access-plus (HSPA+) footprint to bolster signal quality and performance this year. T-Mobile also claims it will be the first North American wireless operator to broadly deploy antenna-integrated radios, which it says will accelerate deployment and reduce site loading for its build-out.
The spectrum T-Mobile acquired last week as part of its breakup from AT&T, along with its spectrum refarming efforts, will allow it to launch LTE in 75 percent of the top 25 markets in 2013. The carrier hasn't revealed when to expect the first markets, but it has invested US$4 billion in its network modernization strategy to keep up with its rivals. (See T-Mobile Will Launch LTE in 2013 and T-Mobile Gets Spectrum in AT&T Breakup.)
In announcing its vendor selections, T-Mobile also stressed that it plans to launch HSPA+ in the 1900MHz band in a large number of its markets this year, thus opening it up to new devices like the iPhone. Its HSPA+ network now covers 229 markets and over 220 million people. (See T-Mobile Could Still Boost HSPA+ Speeds .)
Why this matters
LR Mobile suggested last week that CTIA would be the perfect stage for T-Mobile to unveil its partner choices. It is the last wireless operator in the U.S. to do so, and it doesn't have a lot of time to waste in the competitive 4G environment here.
The win is good news for Ericsson, which now plays a part in all four Tier 1 operators' LTE deployments, and for NSN, which had fallen behind Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) in winning U.S. infrastructure contracts. (See Euronews: Ericsson Pumps $4.9B Into R&D and NSN CEO: We've Got Our Mojo Back.)
- Where Will T-Mobile Bring LTE First?
- T-Mobile Turns FauxG Into 4G
- T-Mobile Breakup Causes $6.7B Q4 Loss for AT&T
- T-Mobile's Fighting Spirit
- T-Mobile, Verizon Spar Over Spectrum
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile