T-Mobile USA Begins Network Transformation in 2012 with LTE Launch Planned for 2013

in News, T-Mobile, 4G, HSPA, LTE

T-Mobile USA plans to invest $4 billion in network modernization and 4G evolution effort, which will improve its existing voice and data coverage and pave the way for LTE service in 2013. Operator's LTE roadmap assumes successful refarming of spectrum and regulatory approval of AT&T break-up spectrum transfer. 

Operator is also prioritizing and investing in initiatives designed to get T-Mobile back to growth in the years ahead beginning with the transformation of its network. Additionally, company is ramping up advertising spending and attracting new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) partners with an efficient platform for getting to market. 

T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray detailed the company’s network strategy, which includes installing new equipment at 37,000 cell sites and refarming spectrum to launch LTE in 2013. T-Mobile will invest a total of $4 billion over time into network modernization and LTE deployment. Over the next two years, this represents approximately $1.4 billion in incremental network investment. T-Mobile expects to reach broad deployment of LTE, with service in the vast majority of the top 50 markets and 20 MHz service in 75 percent of the top 25 markets.

According to the operator, more than 90 percent of T-Mobile device sales in the fourth quarter were 3G and 4G smartphones. As data usage and smartphone adoption accelerate, fewer customers are utilizing 2G services. This enables T-Mobile to refarm existing spectrum holdings, reducing the amount of 1900 MHz PCS spectrum being used for GSM; to deploy HSPA+ 4G services in the PCS band; and to make room in the AWS band for LTE. In addition to creating capacity for LTE in AWS spectrum, deploying HSPA+ in the PCS band will harmonize T-Mobile’s spectrum bands with the U.S. market and international carriers. As the company refarms spectrum, T-Mobile will continue to support its 2G customers.

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