T-Mobile USA announces plans to launch a 4G LTE network in 2013

T-Mobile USA has just posted their Q4 2012 finical results. We’re not going to bore you with all the details, except to say that these guys lost over 800,000 subscribers and they’re blaming the iPhone for that. They really are the last operator on the face of the planet to not offer their subscribers Apple’s Jesus Phone. Anyway, on to the meat and potatoes, T-Mobile USA announced that they’re going to build a 4G LTE network using the AWS spectrum they gained after the U.S. government told AT&T to piss off. No word as to how many people they plan on covering or when exactly in 2013 this mysterious 4G LTE network will go up, but we’re happy to see that T-Mobile is actually moving forward instead of sinking into irrelevance. Now if you’re wondering what’s going to happen to the 42 Mbps HSPA+ network that T-Mobile’s already built, the folks at AnandTech have solved that riddle by discovering that customers are being moved to the 1900 MHz band for 3G. It used to be that the 1900 MHz band was used for 2G, but now T-Mobile is doing something called “refarming spectrum”, which is just a fancy of saying they’re going to better manage what little spectrum they have by deprecating old technology and moving to newer stuff.

So just how fast will T-Mobile’s 4G LTE be compared to AT&T’s and Verizon’s? Not very if they plan on sticking to using 5 MHz wide channels. Plus both AT&T and Verizon are using 700 MHz for their 4G LTE, so they’ll have better signal propagation and penetration through buildings. It’s not all bad news though, there’s a strong rumor that Dish Network is interested in partnering with T-Mobile. Dish has 40 MHz worth of spectrum in the 2 GHz band they want to use for an LTE-Advanced network. Combine that with T-Mobile’s network and you’ve got one insanely competitive operator.

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