Substantial portion of current EDGE coverage to make jump straight to LTE by mid-2015

No matter what T-Mobile does, it seems like its biggest issue is the stigma surrounding its network quality and coverage. The nation's fourth-place carrier is working to repair that reputation today with big announcements about its network coverage. This week marks one year since T-Mobile started its nationwide LTE network rollout, and it's hard to deny that it's made strides in getting that new network out to a huge number of people in just 12 months. In terms of numbers, T-Mobile claims 210 million people across 273 metro areas are now covered by LTE. But it isn't stopping there.

While this is a big milestone, T-Mobile is now committing to upgrading its EDGE (that's 2G) network to LTE as quickly as possible. By the end of 2014, the carrier will have a full 50 percent of its EDGE network upgraded to LTE, with the entire upgrade being "substantially complete" by the middle of 2015. That's right, folks will be making the jump straight from EDGE coverage to LTE throughout 2014 and 2015. Part of this upgrade comes along with deploying LTE on the newly-acquired 700MHz A-Block spectrum it acquired from Verizon. Now this is the right way to gain customers.

T-Mobile has been relying on its claims of having the "fastest" nationwide network for some time now based on independent testing, and if these claims of LTE expansion end up being true it very well could be a no-compromise coverage situation as well. Taking a swing back at Verizon, which regularly takes low-blows at the other carriers for their LTE coverage, T-Mobile is even releasing a new TV ad (below) and taking legal action to have Verizon stop its defamatory network coverage ads.

Things are certainly heating up. Let's see if T-Mobile can meet its promises like it did with the initial LTE expansion.

Source: T-Mobile


Reader comments

T-Mobile's LTE rollout continues, 50% of EDGE to be converted to LTE by end of 2014


I'm sure the portion of edge that blankets me is the other 50%. So tired of T-Mobile's network to the point I left it for aio wireless. Suffice it to say it was a good move for me.

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Good move. Aio has been great for me so far. And once T-Mo covers you, you can always switch back if you want.

Posted from one of an unnecessarily large collection of Nexus devices because I'm That Guy

Sprint has be very good to me, but yeah in 2016 your gonna have to look twice at T-Mobile if the meet their projections. Yeah I know the article says mid 2015 but projects never go as planned.

You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

The past 12mo's of T-Mobile rolling out LTE went as planned, and quite swiftly. And unlike Sprint, T-Mobile doesn't seem to have any problem getting the networking equipment that Sprint claims is slowing their LTE rollout.

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Not to disagree but I have hearing about lte where I am with them for a long time and it is next to nothing. Sprint did much better and was much faster than T-Mobile and I live in a pretty important area. There is some in the city and around the highways, but stray a mile in either direction and you drop like a rock
You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

A long time ago, I was a regular ohone Scoop, and there was someone from around there who was a regular on that site, his username was Menno.

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Looking at the Sensorly maps and Rootmetrics, Harrisburg has LTE. That's not to say that it hasn't expanded to where you are at.

What phone do you have?

I keep trying every so often because of work and it is just bad. You would think that a state capital would get some attention even though it is not as big as Philly just because of the amount of people that come and go.

Way late to the party, but other than being the State Capital Harrisburg is rather small and somewhat in the middle of nowhere. That said, I just made a trip to Pittsburgh from Philly and stopped at The Fire House in Harrisburg, Pa for dinner on the way home. I wasn't using my phone much for obvious reasons but I'm almost positve I had LTE in and around Harrisburg. Between Hburg and Pburg there's plenty of 3G/2G zones but it was pretty much the same on friends' phones with Verizon/ATT (in the same car).

Yeah you were down on second St in the heart of the city. T-Mobile isn't terrible down there. Go a mile off the highway in either direction you get nothing

Sprint is replacing whole equipment boxes on towers.
T-Mobile is basically just switching spectrum on their towers.
Of course it might take Sprint a little longer, but new equipment is new equipment. And upgraded equipment is still old equipment with a few tweaks.

Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, with 32GBs of internal memory and no sdcard. (Bring on 4.4.2, I can handle it.)

its another reason for the merger between sprint/tmo. Verizon/ATT can switch out a tower here and there and it would not cause any major hiccups. Eventually T-Mobile will have to go through the same exact thing that Sprint is doing, they will fare just as well and have the same problems. If they combine now, the impact will be a whole lot less

T-Mobile doesn't need to switch out it's towers like Sprint is, T-Mobile's equipment is much newer than the old Sprint has/had. When T-Mobile installed it's equipment for LTE, it was the newest available on the Market, Sprint's been using the same tired equipment for almost a decade.

True BUT considering the upcoming changes to lte, will they be able to handle lte a. At the time it was barely conceived so.... A change might be needed.

I really have no idea, but it is possible.

You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

Supposedly they're installing LTE-A capable equipment, and beefing up the backhaul. What's not clear to me is what's going to happen to voice calling; IIRC, VoLTE hasn't been finalized, let alone turned on on a production network, so ... we'll see what happens when the conversion happens.

Metro PCS turned on VoLTE in 2012. The three major networks in South Korea launched the first VoLTE coverage in 2012 as well, and have been running it successfully ever since.

All of T-mobile's equipment is LTE-A ready, just as Sprint's is. That was one of the benefits of not launching LTE right away.

I live in the northern California bay area and I left Sprint for T-Mobile and the LTE speeds and voice quality are far better. Thankfully, the "merger" isn't a real threat yet and hopefully it will stay that way.

Well, if plans work just like it did for them before then the projections are accurate. When tmobile first announced their LTE I was on sprint and had maybe couple sections where I got LTE with sprint. After the 2nd lte announcement tmobile had already surpassed Sprint here where I live. If you compare apples to apples then sprint is moving very slow. That is reason I switched and with this announcement it makes that switch even sweeter.

+1 million

Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, with 32GBs of internal memory and no sdcard. (Bring on 4.4.2, I can handle it.)

To be fair if their new owner would focus more on quality than quantity sprint would be in a better position than T-Mobile but Son is doing what he said trying to own the biggest mobile network and buying T-Mobile will do that for him he can care less right now about sprint lte rollout until he can no longer make a bid for T-Mobile

~My $0.02~

The Sprint plans and the money was spent long before softbank got there so it is still going the way it was laid out. Think of it like when Google bought moto, there was time in between the finalization of the sale and Google influence

You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

I'm in California State capital, was on Sprint for Four years until recently, 4G LTE never came, kept hearing big stories but sprint never rolled it out as claimed and California is one of the most important States , two years later I switched to TMO, fastest LTE speeds consistently everywhere I go. My cousin who is an engineer in a company that is working on LTE rollout in this area, said sprint is lagging the most in LTE and we will not see any of the claimed technologies for another 2+ years and tmo is way ahead of the game in LTE rollout.

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I'm in Sacramento also and the speeds here have only gotten worse. If Sprint does not fix their network by the time the Note 4 comes out, I'll be going to T-Mobile also.

Actually, Verizon thinks that T-Mobile can beat them. For the first time in forever, Verizon is actually up on TV with ads that highlight Verizon's *price* and not just its coverage. They've heavily plugging their singe line plan at $45 (with barely any data) and data savings on bigger data packages to share on family plans. That tells me that even Verizon is nervous at T-Mobile's moves.

As for the lawsuit, it's true that Verizon misrepresents their competitors' coverage by picking LTE only and eliminating other coverage that deliver LTE-level speeds (especially Verizon's LTE level speeds). The coverage story is distorted. BUT, on the other hand, every company cherrypicks their strength to highlight in contrasts, so the Cease-and-Desist letter may be more of a PR move on T-Mobile's part to make consumers aware of actual speeds and coverage rather than to actually get anything out of Verizon legally.

This is exactly what I've been hearing from my cousin who is an engineer works on LTE rollout in my area

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I think I laughed out loud when you said "Verizon" and "LTE speed" in the same sentence. In the last two years I never saw faster than 12Mbps downloads ANYWHERE in San Diego, and the average was closer to 2-3Mbps. And, the voice sound quality is TERRIBLE. Switched to T-Mo recently and never looking back.

That's good to hear. I hope they are also improving the cell voice coverage also. It would be nice to be able to use my phone as a phone more reliably too.

Use your phone as a phone? What are you, Amish?

Posted from one of an unnecessarily large collection of Nexus devices because I'm That Guy

Not sure how you can speak about every city out there. The best you can offer is anecdotal evidence for a city or two where you regularly visit. In Seattle, you'd be hard-pressed to find a place without T-Mobile LTE.

And Seattle is precisely where I intend on moving to, this May or June! Actually a suburb only 10mi's outside of Seattle called Renton. No state tax in Washington! Bouyeah! More $ in MY pocket!
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Same here in California, TMO has awesome coverage and best LTE speeds

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Yea, it sucks if you don't have coverage where you live. But here where I work 5 days a week I get LTE at over 20mbps on regular. Only time drop down to 2g is at my house and I have wifi there. So yea, it sucks if the only service you get is the expensive verizon coverage, which is definitely good but way to expensive.

I don't know.,.. I live in NYC and I'm sure we have more than one mile of land here. I'm covered in LTE from Queens to the Bronx, Brooklyn to Manhattan. I haven't been to Staten Island in a while but I'm sure they have LTE there also.

I have great coverage in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point of NC. I'm excited about this because soon, it will mean that more of the places I go will have better coverage.
I ditched Sprint because they couldn't get LTE rolled out for me and their "3G" speeds were HORRIBLE.

I live in Orange County, Ca, and get LTE pretty much anywhere in OC and LA. My HSPA and HSPA+ speeds are better than Verizon's 3G (Verizon's 3G was pretty much unusable).

I've gotten great LTE speeds in the NYC area throughout Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx, so I don't know what you're talking about.

Glad I'm on straight talk so I can switch whenever I want. I'll see where they are at in a year.

via moto x.

It's great to hear that 50% of T-mobile's EDGE network will soon be upgraded to LTE. Like a previous poster, chances are that I'm in the 50% that'll be left behind. But my most pressing question is about what they're going to do about their GPRS coverage area (if you thought dial-up speeds were bad...).

Nothing is being left behind... ALL of the EDGE NETWORK is being converted, they are just saying they know they can get HALF DONE by end of 2014

There's only one place where I have had GPRS coverage with T-Mobile: King City, CA. I wonder what they will be doing with this coverage too, is this part of the 2G coverage they plan on upgrading? Technically speaking, it wouldn't be.

Well then that's it, no upgrading for me until there are 700mhz A-Block phones to choose from. I will just sit tight and be happy with my S4 for however much longer. This is very, very exciting news!!!
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T-Mobile's 700mhz is band 12. Still waiting for the S5 to pass through the FCC to see if it will have the supported band.

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Sprint covers rural farmlands, just ask all the cows in the cow-pen down the street from me.

Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, with 32GBs of internal memory and no sdcard. (Bring on 4.4.2, I can handle it.)

Good news! I'm hoping they deploy where it's needed the most! Just outside major cities!

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Yay T-Mobile! So happy to hear them trying to address this. I'm hoping the next step is filling in holes where there is no coverage (aka my parents house). Still very happy to be a T-Mobile customer.

Hope T-mobile is better than Sprint. I was told what seems like the same thing by Sprint years ago and I still get sub 1mbps speeds...

In my opinion, its about time, leaving over half your customers on 3g, even worse on 2g for so long, and selling yourself as the fastest, is in massive bad form, to me, they are ranked last for a reason, lack of upgrading to more current equipment,, or even buying Verizons old used equipment, people flame over vzw's prices, but vzw upgrades quickly,, everywhere, not just a couple dozen cities,, you get what you pay for

Posted via my outdated Droid RAZR Maxx HD using the Android Central App

Kindly cite where you found the data that 50% of T-mobile's customers are on 3G and 2G.

(Hint: you can't because it doesn't exist)

Wow, T-Mo's managed to roll out their LTE footprint in the span of 12 months? Hey, Sprint, maybe you should take a look at what they're doing.....oh, that's right, you are.

Granted, it doesn't seem that more remote/rural locations get much T-Mobile signal, but it appears that they're working on that. Sprint's LTE rollout seems like a bunch of higher-ups are just tossing darts onto a map.

I like darts.

Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, with 32GBs of internal memory and no sdcard. (Bring on 4.4.2, I can handle it.)

Other than a couple of total dead zones during my commute, I find T-Mobile's LTE coverage in the New York area far superior. In fact, it is faster than my home wifi by leaps and bounds.

Good news but still wondering how (the Sprint takeover (if it happens) is going to help expanding their coverage since all the bands (especially CDMA) are not in tmobile devices. Neither in Sprint's.
Will they just order from OEMs the new network specific phones w all possible radios inside?

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VZW Moto X

Good news. Sprint just hit my smaller rural town with LTE last week. But the more choices the better. I hope T-Mobile will give some love to the huge amount of 2g they have in the Midwest.

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I'm hoping for interstate deployment first. Specifically down interstate 85 in SC and GA. Also 385 and 26 from Greenville SC to Myrtle Beach.

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I'd be happy with some interstate deployment anywhere in Indiana. I -70, I-69, I-65, I-74, US-31 are all horrible. Edge data results in 0.01 Mbps on Ookla speed tests. Can't even get GasBuddy to load local gas prices.

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T-Mobile jabbing at Verizon is just like a barking chuaua trying to scare a t-rex. Put up or shut up....

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Verizon is responding. Look at their latest commercials. I know of several people who recently switched from Verizon to T-Mobile.. including me. Couldn't be happier.

Well, I'd say they are putting up, with their recent promotions actually making a positive change in the mobile industry.

Hell, even Deutsche Telecom is having second thoughts about selling them, at this point.

Only time will tell.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

I agree. they are putting up. they are changing the mobile industry as we know it. But all those changes are not only costing them money, but their network isn't up to par with the likes of AT&T and Verizon. I'm interested to see if they can sustain all these changes and contract buyouts long enough to see a profit...

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For the majority of their customers, T-mobile's network is equal to or better than Verizon or AT&T's. In the areas where it may not be, those other networks aren't great either.

You obviously have never tried using their crappy limited network or you would know better than to make such an ignorant statement.

Thats the last thing T-Mobile want to go against with verizon wireless with there 4GLTE coverage map.To be the 4th smallest phone company T-Mobile have a lot of big talk they are bitting off way more then they can chew they are much better of going again sprint network thats the closet they would match up against anybody.....

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The moment they cover my town(currently 2G) with LTE, I am switching from AT&T prepaid to T-Mo's $30 prepaid plan.

I'm still waiting for the HSPA + upgrade from EDGE that they promised would be completed by the end of 2012. The clock is still ticking and the network is still on EDGE, so excuse me if I snicker at their latest round of promises to be broken.