T-Mobile To Focus On HSPA+ Till 2013, Then LTE?

Let me preface this post with a quick beginning as there is reason to consider that T-Mobile rolling out an LTE network may or may not happen.  This isn’t set in stone and is likely to change.  There is nothing concrete being said or proof that it is 100% going to happen, especially when considering something that is more than two years away. However, at this meeting, it was stated that there was an expressed interest in a potential LTE rollout for the future.  That isn’t definitive which why I have a question mark in the title.  I apologize if the original wording confused anyone and made it sound like a sure thing  because that’s far from true.  We do know it was discussed openly at this event and that is one of the only times we’ve heard T-Mobile discuss a path beyond HSPA+ in recent memory.

Plenty has been made about 4G these days, what it is and what it isn’t.  During T-Mobile’s press event at CES, there was a firm commitment to HSPA+ throughout the next few years, especially considering HSPA+ adoption was likely to see wider spread adoption during that time frame than LTE.  What’s interesting then is one more bit of news coming out of today’s meeting.  T-Mobile is considering an LTE network for 2013.  Interestingly enough, T-Mobile will emphasize an LTE buildout for data only and voice and text will run over the HSPA+ network as we understand it.

Also, for those of you in the New York City Subway system, fret not because T-Mobile is bringing service to 6 stations launching “soon,” with plans for over 200 in the future.

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  • J-Hop2o6

    I’m sure Tmo will using simultaneous voice & data over 4G/LTE once 2013 arrives, since LTE should be able to support voice (VOIP) once 2013 arrives.

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

      They already have the capability with the Android smartphones. The Wi-Fi calling app can be rather easily retargeted to run off of the LTE network. Since the Wi-Fi calling app allows for calls and text messages to go through the Internet instead of the cell network, it would be trivial to support it over LTE while T-Mobile implements a more…. permanent solution.

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

      They already have the capability with the Android smartphones. The Wi-Fi calling app can be rather easily retargeted to run off of the LTE network. Since the Wi-Fi calling app allows for calls and text messages to go through the Internet instead of the cell network, it would be trivial to support it over LTE while T-Mobile implements a more…. permanent solution.

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

      They already have the capability with the Android smartphones. The Wi-Fi calling app can be rather easily retargeted to run off of the LTE network. Since the Wi-Fi calling app allows for calls and text messages to go through the Internet instead of the cell network, it would be trivial to support it over LTE while T-Mobile implements a more…. permanent solution.

  • http://twitter.com/3ricmitchell Eric Mitchell

    With T-Mobile waiting till 2013 to use LTE AT&T is going to have LTE and HSPA+ (Saying that AT&T is going to have a larger 4G coverage than T-Mobile by at least mid 2012 since AT&T is planning an launching LTE and HSPA+ this year, meaning T-Mobile will stop making those stupid ads claiming that the have the largest 4G network which pretty soon Verizon is going to have more coverage then T-Mobile)

    • Vdipuccio02

      This is the dumbest argument ever. First, just because ATT is making an LTE network and HSPA+ does not mean it has a bigger footprint. Generally their LTE network is going to only be places where their HSPA+ already is (highly populated areas) so they are overlapping, not adding on. Second, considering verizon has to create an entire network from scratch, their 4G footprint is going to be slow to evolve and will evolve much slower then t-mobiles. Third (although you didn’t directly state this) you can’t really compare ATTs HSPA+ to T-Mobiles because ATTs towers are clocked at a theoretical 14mbps down and i dont think they have any plans to upgrade them (or even if they do they are not going to have any stress to do it quickly since they are focused on LTE), t-mobiles HSPA+ is a theoretical 21mbps and they will roll out 42mbps this year.
      Again, ^^ = dumbest post ever

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TMJPXWZ43W5BFC4MHGWBBFWUCQ Dan B

    I hope the n.y. subway service is better than chicago’s service. i absolutely hate the subway service in the red line subway. Never get data, text messaging doesn’t work sometimes, and you lose service between stations a lot. GRR

    • Anonymous

      What I don’t understand is how come China has cell coverage in all subway stations and even lines in all its subway system in the whole country and the US can’t or won’t do it.

      • TMOTECH

        Because in China they are communist and the government owns everything. They can just tell people to do it because they said so. There are no regulations and no permits to be drawn. And they have plenty of money because they own most of our debt and our interest payments alone are enough to finance their Cell system. They only have one Cell carrier in China, no competition and complete dedication to one technology, one infrastructure, one focus. Personally I would rather be free.

    • Anonymous

      What I don’t understand is how come China has cell coverage in all subway stations and even lines in all its subway system in the whole country and the US can’t or won’t do it.

  • Anonymous

    Impressive, if you ask me! Tall order, but impressive and can be done. I am sure LTE will support voice/data by the time, but what smart about what T-Mobile wants to do is the fact that they don’t want to bog down their network. Android devices are generally data hoggers, then throw in other smartphones…it won’t be pretty. So it’s smart to have HSPA+ (which it very fast) run voice and text, and let the LTE build-out handle data. So long as we can continue to multi-task, I’m good :)

  • Anonymous

    Impressive, if you ask me! Tall order, but impressive and can be done. I am sure LTE will support voice/data by the time, but what smart about what T-Mobile wants to do is the fact that they don’t want to bog down their network. Android devices are generally data hoggers, then throw in other smartphones…it won’t be pretty. So it’s smart to have HSPA+ (which it very fast) run voice and text, and let the LTE build-out handle data. So long as we can continue to multi-task, I’m good :)

  • http://twitter.com/BiGMERF Marvin Feliciano

    if you ask me separating data and voice is genius !

    • J-Hop2o6

      no its not.. having TWO radios (WCDMA/3G & LTE/4G) running at the same time is a battery killer.. think Evo4G.

    • J-Hop2o6

      no its not.. having TWO radios (WCDMA/3G & LTE/4G) running at the same time is a battery killer.. think Evo4G.

  • Anonymous

    The reason Verizon has done so well with their network IS because they separate voice/data. Data hogs don’t make your calls drop.

    I think LTE voice only will only be a short term solution for a few years if that and pending a suitable agreed upon LTE voice solution from the International Community. LTE has the efficiency to handle both voice/data with ease and while using much less resources.

  • Anonymous

    The reason Verizon has done so well with their network IS because they separate voice/data. Data hogs don’t make your calls drop.

    I think LTE voice only will only be a short term solution for a few years if that and pending a suitable agreed upon LTE voice solution from the International Community. LTE has the efficiency to handle both voice/data with ease and while using much less resources.

    • Mbregar13

      Correct me if I’m wrong here… but isn’t the reason they can’t use them simultaneously because they DON’T separate them? Whereas T-Mobile uses different frequencies for voice and data, a byproduct of which is simultaneous usage?

      • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

        Correct. GSM and UMTS networks use separate parts of the frequency to handle voice and data, whereas CDMA and EVDO do not.

      • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

        Correct. GSM and UMTS networks use separate parts of the frequency to handle voice and data, whereas CDMA and EVDO do not.

    • Mbregar13

      Correct me if I’m wrong here… but isn’t the reason they can’t use them simultaneously because they DON’T separate them? Whereas T-Mobile uses different frequencies for voice and data, a byproduct of which is simultaneous usage?

  • Anonymous

    The reason Verizon has done so well with their network IS because they separate voice/data. Data hogs don’t make your calls drop.

    I think LTE voice only will only be a short term solution for a few years if that and pending a suitable agreed upon LTE voice solution from the International Community. LTE has the efficiency to handle both voice/data with ease and while using much less resources.

  • Anonymous

    The reason Verizon has done so well with their network IS because they separate voice/data. Data hogs don’t make your calls drop.

    I think LTE voice only will only be a short term solution for a few years if that and pending a suitable agreed upon LTE voice solution from the International Community. LTE has the efficiency to handle both voice/data with ease and while using much less resources.

  • Anonymous

    The reason Verizon has done so well with their network IS because they separate voice/data. Data hogs don’t make your calls drop.

    I think LTE voice only will only be a short term solution for a few years if that and pending a suitable agreed upon LTE voice solution from the International Community. LTE has the efficiency to handle both voice/data with ease and while using much less resources.

  • Anonymous

    The reason Verizon has done so well with their network IS because they separate voice/data. Data hogs don’t make your calls drop.

    I think LTE voice only will only be a short term solution for a few years if that and pending a suitable agreed upon LTE voice solution from the International Community. LTE has the efficiency to handle both voice/data with ease and while using much less resources.

  • Anonymous

    The reason Verizon has done so well with their network IS because they separate voice/data. Data hogs don’t make your calls drop.

    I think LTE voice only will only be a short term solution for a few years if that and pending a suitable agreed upon LTE voice solution from the International Community. LTE has the efficiency to handle both voice/data with ease and while using much less resources.

  • Anonymous

    The reason Verizon has done so well with their network IS because they separate voice/data. Data hogs don’t make your calls drop.

    I think LTE voice only will only be a short term solution for a few years if that and pending a suitable agreed upon LTE voice solution from the International Community. LTE has the efficiency to handle both voice/data with ease and while using much less resources.

  • Anonymous

    The reason Verizon has done so well with their network IS because they separate voice/data. Data hogs don’t make your calls drop.

    I think LTE voice only will only be a short term solution for a few years if that and pending a suitable agreed upon LTE voice solution from the International Community. LTE has the efficiency to handle both voice/data with ease and while using much less resources.

  • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (???????)

    What confuses me about what this article says is whether T-Mobile will start building in 2013, or will they start switching on LTE in 2013. Pretty huge distinction between the two, if you ask me. If it is the former, then I wonder where they’ll get the spectrum. If it is the latter, then I have two questions. One, assuming the HSPA+ network is being kept alive, does that mean that the GSM network is being replaced (by reusing the 1900MHz spectrum for LTE)? Two, does that mean that by 2012, T-Mobile will start offering dual-mode LTE/HSPA+ handsets?

  • Soken Chea

    i think this article is on the wrong track, T-mobile is on board with Long Term HSPA Evolution as this artical is posted by engadget http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/15/long-term-hspa-evolution-specs-come-together-promise-speeds-of/

    • http://tmonews.com David

      I think you guys are missing the point altogether. As I said, no less than a dozen people in attendance at this meeting said T-Mobile is looking at LTE, not long term anything, LTE. I didn’t misprint anything, if my sources or the witnesses at this meeting heard wrong, that’s one thing. I’ve got a dozen emails that say “LTE.”

      • BigMixxx

        David I think everyone is missing this.
        ‘T-Mobile is considering an LTE network for 2013. Interestingly enough, T-Mobile will emphasize an LTE buildout for data only, voice and text will run over the HSPA+ network as we understand it.’

        This is a smart move for data, they see a broadband movement coming especially in business. (clear is making good money, hand over foot here). They could potentially offer real, unlimited wireless access across data lines… Businesses are looking at LTE as a very, VERY, viable option for networking, especially where Sprint (yes sprint has a ton of business partnerships with that and Gov’t) have been failing.

        • http://tmonews.com David

          Right but again, there is no 100% smoking gun this will come to pass. I
          don’t want to say its a rumor, because that wouldn’t be true, but there are
          plenty of possibilities that all of this could happen or none of it. The
          roadmap is far enough out that I’m sure someone, somewhere knows whats going
          to happen but nobody has said, 100% for sure.

        • BigMixxx

          That roadmap was pretty clear at CES, HSPA+ has growth.
          But this direction may be Capacity on Demand. The rush to LTE is a good thing for verizon, because they need it to remain ‘on top’. The rush to LTE for ATT is that they just need it to increase capacity. t mobile says that they have the capacity and the backhaul to support anything. HSPA+ has plenty of bandwidth left and the devices we are pushing out will give customers 2+ years of growth.

          There has to be something else up the ‘T’ sleeve. I can hypothesize as if I were the CEO of T mobile USA all day…

    • http://tmonews.com David

      I think you guys are missing the point altogether. As I said, no less than a dozen people in attendance at this meeting said T-Mobile is looking at LTE, not long term anything, LTE. I didn’t misprint anything, if my sources or the witnesses at this meeting heard wrong, that’s one thing. I’ve got a dozen emails that say “LTE.”

  • Soken Chea

    i think this article is on the wrong track, T-mobile is on board with Long Term HSPA Evolution as this artical is posted by engadget http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/15/long-term-hspa-evolution-specs-come-together-promise-speeds-of/

  • Soken Chea

    i think this article is on the wrong track, T-mobile is on board with Long Term HSPA Evolution as this artical is posted by engadget http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/15/long-term-hspa-evolution-specs-come-together-promise-speeds-of/

  • Ryan

    Wow, awful article….tmobile has said nothing about LTE….someone who doesnt understand too much about wireless, could really be swayed by this….. needs to be updated!

    • http://tmonews.com David

      Ryan, clearly you are missing the point of the article altogether. T-Mobile said something in this particular meeting about LTE, if you saw my inbox or recognized that I wasn’t writing it based on opinion, but based on the witness testimonials of no less than a dozen people in attendance, I wouldn’t have said anything. Perhaps you should have considered why I chose to write it rather than spending the energy trying to debunk it.

      • BigMixxx

        Well said…

        • Anonymous

          here here….

      • BigMixxx

        Well said…

  • Ryan

    Wow, awful article….tmobile has said nothing about LTE….someone who doesnt understand too much about wireless, could really be swayed by this….. needs to be updated!

  • Anonymous

    This is most foretelling about a T-Mobile partnership with Clearwire?

    ____________________

    “Clearwire announced Jan. 8 that wireless industry pioneer John W. Stanton, already a member of Clearwire‘s board, will be its new chairman. Stanton succeeds another industry pioneer, Craig McCaw, in that position.

    Stanton already owns a wireless holding company based in Kirkland, Wash., (which is where Clearwire is based) that runs wireless systems in Latin America and in the Caribbean. Stanton was responsible for rebuilding much of Haiti‘s wireless network infrastructure following the 2010 Haitian earthquake.

    What’s notable about Stanton, in addition to his roots at the beginning of the cellular industry, is his reputation as a dealmaker. Stanton was responsible for the sale of VoiceStream Wireless to Deutsche Telekom and its transition into T-Mobile USA. He served as T-Mobile‘s CEO until he brought in the recently departed Robert Dotson as his successor. Stanton’s wireless companies use both GSM and CDMA services, and he is well-versed in the international aspects of wireless operations.

    Stanton takes over as chairman following the abrupt resignation from that position by McCaw on Dec. 31. McCaw’s departure at the time seemed to open the way for an investment in Clearwire by T-Mobile USA’s parent Deutsche Telekom, a move that had been previously rejected prior to a shakeup of Clearwire’s board. Previously, the Clearwire board had been heavily populated by executives from Sprint, which is Clearwire’s dominant investor.

    However, with Clearwire facing money problems, and Sprint declining to increase its current level of investment, Clearwire needed to look elsewhere if it was to continue expanding Sprint’s WiMax network and to be able to deploy the LTE network technology it’s currently testing in Phoenix. T-Mobile badly needs a true 4G solution to expand its network and grow its customer base. While it’s been calling its HSPA+ network a 4G solution, the company needs to grow beyond that in the long term.”

    • BigMixxx

      WOW! this might be the bigger article….

      • Anonymous

        I’d say so, but I did not want to say anything.

        People tend to forget that when there’s billions at stake, some people losing that amount, (Sprint) others needing it,(Clearwire) (and unable to get it from the old bag (Sprint) and someone having lots of cash to spend, (DT) that makes for a beautiful relationship, so the saying goes.

    • BigMixxx

      WOW! this might be the bigger article….

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.mingkee Matt Tsui

    I’d see T- Mobile go for LTE-A instead of LTE.
    HSPA+ still has room to grow (not like EDGE which is already dead-end) and it’s backward compatible with other UMTS/HSPA devices as long as frequency matches.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.mingkee Matt Tsui

    I’d see T- Mobile go for LTE-A instead of LTE.
    HSPA+ still has room to grow (not like EDGE which is already dead-end) and it’s backward compatible with other UMTS/HSPA devices as long as frequency matches.

  • Contributing Positvely

    This is old news. Neville Ray spoke to this in June during the meeting in Washington. The idea is to let take the cheap and easy path of HSPA+ for the next couple years until everyone else (ATT, VZW and especially the other T-Mobile properties in Europe) have had a chance to “stretch the wings” of LTE. After that, the equipment will be cheaper, tested and proven. Oh… and faster that HSPA+ will be.

  • Contributing Positvely

    This is old news. Neville Ray spoke to this in June during the meeting in Washington. The idea is to let take the cheap and easy path of HSPA+ for the next couple years until everyone else (ATT, VZW and especially the other T-Mobile properties in Europe) have had a chance to “stretch the wings” of LTE. After that, the equipment will be cheaper, tested and proven. Oh… and faster that HSPA+ will be.

  • MIKEEEEE

    the thing that i don’t understand is CDMA/LTE?

    sounds like an oxymoron to me.

    vodafone must really be in a dilemma, cdma here with verizon and gsm everywhere else.

  • Anonymous

    I for one would prefer 100% US coverage rather than 100Mbps data transfers on my cellphone. I know tablets and sticks would benefit a great deal more from super rediculous speeds than a cellphone but even those need better coverage more than they need quadrupled speeds.

    Lucky for me I live a block from a Tower and so I get full 3-err I mean 4G in my basement and it is PLENTY FAST enough to watch YouTube in HD tethered from my phone to my Laptop.

    Sadly I guess T-Mobile needs to invest all this money into being the fastest in order to keep up with the Joneses. Nex year we’ll hear: “T-Mobile’s #G is ONLY 84Mbps?!?!” (while most people’s cable internet is still pushin out around 20Mbps)

  • Anonymous

    I for one would prefer 100% US coverage rather than 100Mbps data transfers on my cellphone. I know tablets and sticks would benefit a great deal more from super rediculous speeds than a cellphone but even those need better coverage more than they need quadrupled speeds.

    Lucky for me I live a block from a Tower and so I get full 3-err I mean 4G in my basement and it is PLENTY FAST enough to watch YouTube in HD tethered from my phone to my Laptop.

    Sadly I guess T-Mobile needs to invest all this money into being the fastest in order to keep up with the Joneses. Nex year we’ll hear: “T-Mobile’s #G is ONLY 84Mbps?!?!” (while most people’s cable internet is still pushin out around 20Mbps)

  • Anonymous

    As long as the coverage improves by a considerable margin and the speeds are not significantly slower than what the other carriers are offering I don’t really mind this decision at all.

  • Anonymous

    As long as the coverage improves by a considerable margin and the speeds are not significantly slower than what the other carriers are offering I don’t really mind this decision at all.

  • Anonymous

    As long as the coverage improves by a considerable margin and the speeds are not significantly slower than what the other carriers are offering I don’t really mind this decision at all.

  • Lunatic

    They should FIX 1st my area !!!!

  • Lunatic

    They should FIX 1st my area !!!!

  • Anonymous

    Humm has already announced that the company is aggressively going after the pre-paid, lower tier phones and customers. That being said, we see that MetroPCS is broadening their 4G LTE hookup and beefing up their phone offerings. Might this be a partner??? (Egad!!!)
    http://phandroid.us/2011/01/another-samsung-with-lte-headed-to-metropcs.html

  • Gerald

    I thought TMobile was launching LTHE not LTE? did they change plans?

    • J-Hop2o6

      Maybe this:

      HSPA+ –> HSPA+ Advance/LTHE
      +
      LTE –> LTE-Advance

    • J-Hop2o6

      Maybe this:

      HSPA+ –> HSPA+ Advance/LTHE
      +
      LTE –> LTE-Advance

  • Gerald

    I thought TMobile was launching LTHE not LTE? did they change plans?