When AT&T announced they were going to buy T-Mobile, everyone freaked out. America needs more competition, not less, and apparently the government came to the same conclusion when they told AT&T to piss off and leave the nation’s fourth largest operator alone. Now AT&T was so confident that the deal would go through that they gave T-Mobile an amazing break up offer, something like $3 billion in cash and a huge chunk of spectrum in the AWS band. The dude who architected that break up fee has probably been fired by now and is likely living in a sewer under Las Vegas. Earlier this week T-Mobile posted a question and answer session with Neville Ray, their Chief Technology Officer, about what they plan on doing with all this newly acquired spectrum. The key highlights:
- T-Mobile is investigating HSPA+ 84 Mbps technology, but hasn’t yet made a decision.
- The infrastructure equipment T-Mobile plans on using is 3GPP Release 10 compatible, which is a fancy way of saying LTE-Advanced.
- Some of the 1900 MHz spectrum that T-Mobile is currently using for voice and SMS will be refarmed (read: put to better use) for HSPA+.
- Because of this spectrum refarming, T-Mobile will be able to offer data on the 1900 MHz band, the same band AT&T uses, which means roaming deals between T-Mobile and AT&T, and best of all T-Mobile finally being able to officially sell the Apple iPhone.
- 75% of the top 25 markets will have a 4G LTE network that uses 20 MHz worth of spectrum. The rest will have just 10 MHz.
When is all this scheduled to happen? 2013, and we wish we could be more specific than that, but we don’t have anymore details. We’re absolutely thrilled that T-Mobile is living to fight another day since they’re one of the most innovative wireless companies in North America when it comes to pricing. Here’s an example: Unlike AT&T and Verizon, which charge you for a fixed amount of data and then add overage charges once you hit your cap, T-Mobile offers you a fixed amount of data without throttling. Any data you use after you hit your limit is capped in terms of speed, but you don’t pay any more for said data.
That’s how it should be if you ask us.