T-Mobile is on track to cover 100 million pops with 4G LTE by midyear, having launched its first seven markets at the end of March. (See T-Mobile's 'Smoking Fast' LTE Goes Live.)
Along with its first-quarter earnings, the first to include both MetroPCS and the iPhone, the self-proclaimed "uncarrier" reiterated its plan to cover 200 million pops by the end of the year. (See T-Mobile Completes MetroPCS Merger.)
At the same time, T-Mobile has been busy upgrading its HSPA+ network on 1900 MHz, and it said it's already exceeded its goal of 170 million POPs covered by mid-year and is on track for 30 million more before the end of the year.
Even with its comparable HSPA+ network, 'Magenta' will be playing LTE catch up for awhile, and it has a big gap to fill. Sprint is its closest target in sight, with 88 markets deployed, while Verizon and AT&T have already reached 486 and 212 markets, respectively. (See AT&T's LTE: Surfin' USA.)
The uncarrier hasn't said where it will launch yet, but TMo News has uncovered a leaked launch list for May and June. Austin, Texas, Honolulu, Hawaii, San Francisco and Los Angeles are among the cities reportedly going live this month.
Now that its MetroPCS merger has closed, T-Mobile will have some help with reaching its 4G targets. CTO Neville Ray says it will migrate the smaller carrier's customers to LTE for roaming very shortly. It is also planning to leverage the combined networks to move from 2x5MHz channels to 2x20MHz -- increasing download speeds significantly -- starting in 2014.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading