T-Mobile (Europe, not US) recently discussed its concern with everybody's favorite 4G technology: LTE. In Europe, it seems like T-Mobile has been falling behind in their LTE plans and here in the states AT&T and Verizon have both announced their LTE aspirations while T-Mobile is still focusing on their 3G rollout. So what gives? Is T-Mobile ignoring 4G and LTE altogether?
No. T-Mobile has some serious concerns regarding 4G and specifically LTE. Their first concern is that LTE does not natively support voice. Yeah, voice. As in communicating from one phone to the next. If a phone doesn't support voice then well, it ain't no phone to us. Currently different carriers are offering different solutions to solve the voice problem but T-Mobile has yet to announce what their plans are. Also, T-Mobile is worried about the strain that 4G--which will be capable of downlink speeds of 20mb--will have on their infrastructure. And finally, business and profitability issues are of concern: intellectual property, owning spectrum, deployments, and other yawn-inducing terminology we don't care to repeat.
In other words, T-Mobile seems pretty content to see where LTE/4G is headed before they abandon their 3G network. See you on the other side T-Mobile!