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T-Mobile: Summertime & the LTE is Speedy

T-Mobile US says its LTE network now covers 116 markets and 157 million people in the U.S. as the self-proclaimed "uncarrier" attempts to turn up the 4G heat on Sprint Nextel Corp. and others.

T-Mobile's CTO Neville Ray was on hand in NYC Wednesday to unveil the new deployments. He said that, in total, 116 markets are now live, including 73 metro areas.

"Rockstar" CTO Ray and spokesmodel Carly Foulkes got on stage to launch the new network.

Neville Ray and Carly Foulkes prepare to flick the virtual switch on T-Mobile's new LTE markets

Ray promised average speeds of between 10 Mbit/s and 20 Mbit/s on the new networks, which include New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Boston and Seattle, among others.

Ray says T-Mobile looks for "60 to 80 percent" LTE coverage in a market before it launches. The operator is looking to cover 200 million potential customers before the end of the year.

Ray also gave Light Reading Mobile a little more perspective on where T-Mobile is with LTE-Advanced. He said the operator has been installing equipment capable of supporting 4-by-4 multiple antenna (MIMO) arrays in some of its sites.

There's a gating factor, however, to new MIMO LTE speeds. "The handsets just aren't ready yet," Ray states.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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