Earlier this year, T-Mobile confirmed that it’s spending $4 billion to upgrade 37,000 cell sites and install LTE release 10 capable equipment to form the backbone of its 4G network. Now, Dave Mayo, senior vice president of technology at T-Mobile, provides details on T-Mobile’s updated LTE rollout schedule.
Mayo confirms the carrier expects to start small by installing new equipment at 400 GSM / HSPA+ sites by the end of June. Next month, though, T-Mobile will pick up the pace and upgrade 2,500 cell sites by the end of July. Mayo also noted T-Mobile has bridged the regulatory hurdles to start work on an additional 19,400 sites. All this activity will lead up to a projected LTE launch sometime in 2013.
Besides updating equipment, the carrier is also ramping up small scale tests on its 1900MHz spectrum. Normally reserved for its 2G service, the spectrum is being repurposed for 4G HSPA+ that’s compatible with GSM handsets like the iPhone. T-Mobile recently launched this service at Moscone West conference center in San Francisco. The timing coincided with Apple’s WWDC developers conference this week.