We know that T-Mobile plans to launch a 4G LTE network in 2013 and the company offered some more details on the next step in its mobile data network. Will it be able to keep up with AT&T, Sprint and Verizon when it comes to 4G LTE?
T-Mobile certainly thinks so and CEO Philip said it is in a “comfortable” position when it comes to mobile data because its HSPA+ network is delivering 42 Mbps down in most markets and he believes this is very competitive with 4G LTE offerings from the competitors. It will also be investing a total of $4 billion over time to deploy LTE and to modernize its network.
“We want customers to know us for 4G services, 4G devices and a great 4G network,” Humm said in a conference call.
We can expect $1.4 billion in network investments over the next two years and the nation’s fourth-largest carrier plans to have its 4G LTE service in “the vast majority of the top 50 markets and 20 MHz service in 75 percent of the top 25 markets.” The equipment deployed for this will be LTE-Advanced capable, so the carrier is setting up the foundation for even faster data down the road.
In the markets where it has 20 MHz service, T-Mobile says its 4G LTE will be able to deliver 72 Mbps download speeds but it admits that it will be needing more spectrum to roll it out to all of its markets. T-Mobile recently objected to Verizon’s spectrum bids and it said that it would like to acquire more of these airwaves. Ideally, it would like to have 20 MHz in all the markets it wants to bring 4G LTE to.
The company admits that the AT&T acquisition damaged the brand with customers and it plans to relaunch the T-Mobile brand this year focusing on a few things. It wants to be known as the best value in wireless, wants to have its technology on point and it still wants to have some great devices.
T-Mobile’s CEO also said that this year and 2013 will be about rebuilding and reinvesting. It is seeing a big move toward smartphones with its customers, so it expects having a robust 4G LTE network at affordable prices will have a major impact on subscriber growth.
Of course, T-Mobile is the only major U.S. carrier without the iPhone and that has been hurting it over the last few quarters. The company plans to “harmonize its bands” in order to make itself more attractive for devices like the iPhone (1900 HSPA and 1700 LTE). However, Humm said the company can continue to be successful even if it just has other platforms.
“As for the iPhone, we’ve always said we’d like to have it on the right terms but right now, we’re really focused on Android and Windows phone,” Humm said.