Carrier CTO claims more reliable coverage is coming, and EDGE will continue to disappear in favor of LTE.

T-Mobile has finally closed a deal to acquire highly-valuable 700MHz spectrum from Verizon, enabling the next wave of network upgrades for the carrier. In the wireless world not all spectrum is created equal, with lower frequencies being more desirable because they travel further distances and better penetrate buildings. Both of these attributes are badly needed on T-Mobile's network as it traditionally operates on much higher frequencies between 1700 and 2100MHz, and T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray has a good idea of what they will do with it.

Thew newly-acquired spectrum holdings will improve T-Mobile's LTE coverage in nine of the top 10 and 21 of the top 30 metro areas in the country, simply building on what's already available. These markets include notable cities like New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Washington D.C. and Detroit. It will also help T-Mobile expand the 10+10MHz networks it currently deploys in many markets to higher 15+15 or even 20+20MHz for even faster LTE speeds.

Further, the 700MHz spectrum will help push T-Mobile towards its goal of moving all EDGE coverage around the country straight to LTE. As of March T-Mobile claimed it could have half of its 2G coverage converted to LTE by the end of the year, and now the combination of 700 and 1900MHz spectrum can push that even further. At this point having complete nationwide coverage — both in the city and in rural areas — should be the goal, and T-Mobile seems to be taking that initiative seriously.

Ray says that customers will start seeing the benefits of the 700MHz acquisition by the end of the year — darn fast, but not unexpected when compared to T-Mobile's other recent network improvements.

Source: T-Mobile


Reader comments

T-Mobile closes deal for 700MHz spectrum, reiterates commitment to LTE rollout


Snobs can pick on T-Mobile all they want. They have a plan, and it is working.

And coverage here in Podunk NE Ohio is awesome.

>"will improve T-Mobile's LTE coverage in [...] 21 of the top 30 metro areas in the country"

Like many, I am apparently and unfortunately in one of the other 9 of the top 30 metro areas in the country which will have zero 700Mhz rollout. :(

How much is this really going to help them in the more rural areas where tmobile is way behind? I don't really have complaints when I'm in a decent sized city. It's the moment you step out that it becomes a problem. Tmobile is fine if you're in a big city and don't travel, but otherwise it's just not a good choice.

"For You"..
You forgot to add.. "It's just not a good choice for YOU..
It's an affordable EXCELLENT choice for many of us.
I've never had an issue in the backwoods of California.. You should move here.. and travel here.. up and down the coast.. :-)

It's not just me though. Ask people on Verizon/ATT why they don't switch to Tmobile. Their answer will usually be coverage. Compare coverage maps between the 4 big carriers, and Tmobile is in a very distant 4th place. They will never be able to truly compete with ATT/Verizon as long as this stands. I like Tmobile a lot. Their recent changes are exactly what I've been clamoring for, which is why i switched from Sprint. But I sadly won't be able to stay for much longer.

But you also have to take into account the huge marketing push Verizon and ATT do to convince people of that. Yes Verizon/ATT have a much larger network and tmobile does lack in its rural markets but you would be suprised at how many people assume you will have no coverage whats so ever when leaving a city. People are shocked that i am on tmobile and have coverage. (yes sometimes i will drop to EDGE), because the commercials and salesmen told them that they have no coverage

That's absolutely true, I know so many people in NJ of all places that are convinced by the commercials and quick coverage map splashes they see on AT&T and Verizon that coverage on T-mobile sucks.
I can go from Philly to NYC without every worrying about losing 4G LTE the vast majority of the time, HSPA the rest. I've combed over the coverage map many times and I see why in Middle America and out West in many places it's just not complete for some people. But in the northeast we're covered pretty well.

Like every carrier they are working from urban areas out, there focus on upgrading 2G areas to LTE shows that. T-mobile isn't a perfect carrier for everyone because of coverage and I admit it's simply a bad choice for some who are more frequently in very rural markets.
But it's a very good carrier for many that have been convinced otherwise by marketing.

Not to mention the fact that my LTE speeds blow AT&T and Verizon out of the water in my area.

And all of those people are blind !!!! Who needs coverage in Montana besides if you live there or travel there often. I rarely levae the city. I be in a city 99% of the time. Constantly around wifi. I have no worries. The only time go to rural areas is on the Interestate and as long as i can call and text im fine. Thats what people fail to realize. I need coverage where it counts.. i the city. I could careless about rural areas.

As I said willizen...
For YOU.. 3 Words..
Location... Location... Location.
If you have to increase your Bill by AT LEAST: $30.00 x 12 Months = $360.00 a Year
Because T-Mo does not work for YOUR area.. Tough Luck my man...
Even a minimal $30.00 higher bill is close to being enough to buy a New *1 Plus 1* phone every year..

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I completely agree with you! +9000!

People always seem to forget that each location is different.

The Merc..
Fighting out of the same corner as the Raider...
Damn.. Wait... It's * May's Fools Day * Right...?

And if you don't live in a city, Sprint is about the same cost, and even if you want to say it is slow, at least there is better than 2g coverage almost everywhere

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It's going to help because in the rural areas their running 2g or edge and this will start switching over to LTE. All I know is that I'm loving my T-Mobile service. Switched back in November after trying it out for 3 months on my wife's cell service and it's been great. Yes I hit a a dead spot once in a while but over 90% of the time I'm in hspa or mostly LTE. IT CAN ONLY GET BETTER

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but it sound like the spectrum was for large markets where they already have good coverage, unless I misread something.

That's how it sounds to me too, covers the top markets and so on. . .

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Yeah, rural areas usually have less 700mhz or low frequency towers and more high frequency towers, because 1900mhz travels farther (the downside is building penetration is poorer).

Actually it is the opposite higher frequency handles more traffic travels shorter distance lower frequency travels farther but has less bandwidth.

The 700MHZ will help the rural areas mostly. It is how they are going to be able to deploy LTE where it is currently 2G only. With Tower top radios and High gain antennas the EDGE only coverage now will be upgraded to LTE and the LTE coverage will be better than the existing EDGE coverage. That is how.

I'd tend to disagree. Yes. Their 4g isn't worth a damn. But for general minor use (calls, messaging, social), it's sufficient.
I'm in Utah, backed into a dock (over the road trucker), staring at a mountain range, and I'm loading everything fine. Are they on par with Verizon (whom I left for T-Mobile), no. Not yet
But they get the job done, and it's not going to get anything but better, from here

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I wonder if New York getting the 700mhz upgrade will also include Fairfield, and New Haven Counties in Connecticut? Hmm. . .

Good time to wait for a 700 band 12 equipped phone so I'm all set for the near future. 600mhz is still a ways off from being aquired and deployed.

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is this the same 700 MHz block that verizon got from the fcc and required them to have there LTE devices unlocked?

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too bad their lte speeds have nothing on my at&t speeds despite a more congested network and i have lte even when outside the city and not edge.

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25 Mbp/s on HSPA+. LTE on T-Mobile is even faster than that. How fast do you need? You only need 5 Mbp/s to stream Netflix in HD.


While I was on T-Mobile, I usually saw between 5-8 Mbps down on HSPA and 10-15 Mbps down on LTE. That's plenty fast. I have yet to do a speedtest on AT&T.

Uhhh, this is a tech website, therefore regardless of how much is necessary to stream video, technology enthusiasts, get excited when they get 30-50+mbps, it's called a techgasm.

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+1 jay Holm
So very true. But, it's nice when Friday comes and I open PocketCast and 16 podcasts plus 3 videos download in about 3 minutes flat.
Using Network Monitor Mini so I can see the true per second speed going through my connection. (Thanks to Jerry)

I have 30-40mbps speed on t mobile. Amd about 40 miles in any direction from where I live in stays that way.

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Sprint has been "planning" to bid for T-Mobile for at least 6 months now. There's no news on that, actually. Softbank is continually looking for financing for the deal and has yet to secure it.

I've been waiting for this news ever since I first heard it was gonna happen. Way to go T-Mobile. Can't wait to see the difference.

LG G2 (4.4.2) T-Mobile

Hopefully the nexus 6 will be compatible with the 700 band. Can't wait to see what happens within next 6 months to a year.

Posted via Nexus 5 Android Central App

T-Mobile needs to push manufacturers for 700 Band 12 equipped phones! Maybe the LG G3?

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Holy crap you scared me for a second. I thought you saying that because the current nexus 5 doesn't support the 700mhz LTE band.... But it does.... gsm arena says it does.

Don't scare me like that!

T-Mobile will be deploying LTE in band 12. The Nexus 5 and many other phones support band 17. It's not compatible.

Posted via Android Central App

It supports 700mhz but in different block. 700mhz block c is considered band 17 IIRC. while tmobiles new acquisitions is block a spectrum known as band 12

I agree in rural areas I have basically no service with t mobile. But if you have wifi access it still works which my parents do and that's the only place I go that has no service so. It's manageable

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T-Mo is just not for everyone.. But those lucky enough to be able to utilize them, are rewarded with Great Plans.

Wait the moment. So in other words we will have to purchase new phones that have Bend 12 LTE in order to take advantage of this frequency? Is there any TMOBILE phone now that could connect to this bend?

Is Tmo for real? This morning my wife gets a free text from Tmo saying that they've upgrade the LTE in Houston and thanks for being patient. Still only getting HSPA+ in our apartments.

My Sprint G2 keeps spinning and laughing. While I torrent Game of Thrones at the stoplight.

I have T-Mobile and love their service I'll admit sometimes the customer service is hit or miss depending on what you call for. But their plans are great and affordable for me. To each his own.

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