(Updated) T-Mobile’s LTE Network Gets Official Trial Run As LTE Update Releases For Galaxy Note II



Update: T-Mobile’s support page for the Samsung Galaxy Note II now includes the latest update. 

T-Mobile’s LTE network is beginning to show some signs of life as a number of sites just posted some hands-on results conducted in New York City last week. That means some good news for Galaxy Note II owners as the long-awaited LTE software update finally rolls out beginning today.

The tests, conducted by The Verge, Engadget, LaptopMag and CNET, we’re getting a first look at what the network is truly capable of. There’s a caveat of course, that all of these tests are running on microcells with absolutely no traffic on it so real-world speeds will be theoretically be slower with thousands of customers on a tower at any given time. As was case with the HSPA+ rollout, the use of new tower equipment along the necessary LTE hardware should result in better coverage for everyone says T-Mobile Product Management Director Randy Meyerson. That’s good news for customers who may choose to ignore T-Mobile’s first round of LTE handsets as improved coverage is always welcome.

As for those of you looking for the BlackBerry Z10, T-Mobile’s first LTE-ready BlackBerry, that’s still on the calendar before the end of March. The carrier says LTE is ready in both Las Vegas and Kansas City and all that’s left is flipping the switch allowing customers officially on the network. With the promise of a network that covers 200 million people with LTE before the end of 2013, T-Mobile’s rollout is bound to ramp up quickly.

As for the speeds themselves, LaptopMag was able to hit download speeds as high as 58.8Mbps, with uploads running as high as 25.5Mbps. Engadget faired a little better pushing above the 60Mbps mark hitting a high of 62.13Mbps and a download high of 25.67Mbps. Overall, speeds appeared to average well into the high 50’s on the download and in the high trends on the upload side. Remember the earlier caveat though. a

One major advantage for T-Mobile’s LTE network and a selling point the company will certainly use when it rolls out its rumored “Dual 4G” marketing later this year is HSPA+ 42Mbps as a fallback. The ability to fall back on speeds that T-Mobile has long claimed rival competitor LTE networks is an advantage T-Mobile will attempt to use against the likes of Verizon.

For now, T-Mobile highlights that its LTE network will be focused on measured adoption, with an emphasis on higher-end handsets focusing on the technically savvy, media heavy-set of customers. As for how long it will take before T-Mobile has their LTE network rolled out to more than two cities? That’s a great question that T-Mobile is playing coy with answering. With plans to have 100 million customers cover in LTE before summer, we’re certain we’ll find more cities lighting up in the near future.

The Verge, Engadget, LaptopMag, CNET

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 9.32.13 AM

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  • mdosu

    Just updated to 4.1.2. Did anyone notice the new 4G LTE boot screen?!?! Awesome, can’t wait.

    • NYCTheBronx

      It took me 3 hours to update and yes, I’ve noticed the new 4G LTE animation and I was very excited to see that. Now we know 4G LTE should be out any day now. :D

      • Marcelo_L

        3 hours to do the phone update ? Can anyone else confirm this is how long it takes to do through Kies ?

        • AM Gone

          took me about 30 minutes total.

        • mreveryphone

          Is the little eye tracking icon staying on in the notification bar?

        • thepanttherlady

          It did for me but you can uncheck Smart Stay in settings to remove it.

        • mreveryphone

          I did and it’s still there

        • Marcelo_L

          Yeah, methinks there’s a bug in the evil eye code……

        • thepanttherlady

          Big brother ;)

        • thepanttherlady

          Took me around 15 minutes.

    • Get_at_Me

      Just noticed this! Love it.

    • ChitChatCat

      The new boot screen is awesome!

      • Marcelo_L

        Nice, but I miss my launching Android ! :(

        • ChitChatCat

          Maybe he’s still there, he’s just too fast to see on LTE ;)

    • mdosu

      I have a theory why some owners have to use Kies and other gets the notice through OTA. It’s either telephone number or phone location dependent. So if you’re likely in a LTE launch city, then you’ll get the OTA. I’m not sure if it’s telephone number specific, or whether TMO can just detect where your phone is. I have a Columbus, Ohio number but operate the phone in Washington DC.

      • Chimphappyhour

        Nah, it isn’t the location. I live in KC and it took me two days to get the update OTA. It was a bit like getting a sled for Christmas and no snow though as the LTE isn’t on yet.

        • mdosu

          so you confirmed my theory. You’re in a LTE launch city and therefore you got it through OTA. I’m not, so I didn’t get the prompt.

        • Chimphappyhour

          Nope, doesn’t confirm your theory at all. It took me two days to get it. I know people in non-launch cities that got it day one OTA.

    • mdosu

      T-Mobile has already adjusted their webpage to reflect LTE-ready phones for purchase (look for the LTE checkbox). Of course the only phone under that category is the Note 2.

  • Shanesha

    I got mines!

    • Antdog

      mines? What kind of mines? Gold? Silver?

  • Richard Yarrell

    I am definitely waiting for this update. It’s great to know that here in New York City LTE will be ready real soon.

    • lovingmyGN2

      Hey yarrell haven’t seen you in a while. Your pretty popular, your name even pops out in other sites. Haters will be haters, F them.

    • NYCTheBronx

      Hey buddy, are you talking about the 4G LTE and 4.1.2 update for the Samsung Galaxy Note II? If you’re, then just plug your phone in your computer and use Samsung Air Kies to update it. I had to plug my phone in too because from the settings it said my phone was up to date even though it was 4.1.1 and when Kies found my Note II it said new firmware update. There’s a new T-Mobile 4G LTE boot IP animation now and the 4G logo looks different. Plus you get to customize the notification bar and get rid of the toggles you don’t like and put in the quick toggles you do like. And the ability to hide the brightness slider. And I’ve noticed my Samsung Galaxy Note II has gotten a little snappier especially closing open apps with the home button. The folders look different as well. I haven’t noticed anything else brand new but only those I just listed above. Yeah man, can’t wait for 4G LTE to finally come out forb T-Mobile. We’ll be seing our competition in the dust lol.

  • ChitChatCat

    Well, I have my new firmware and my shiny new 4G logo, but no LTE switched on in my part of DC. Hopefully as I move around town I’ll hit some LTE testing and get some awesome speed test results to post.

  • James

    Hopefully it will work with our current sim cards as well. I know when they add features (wifi calling) or change things on the network, in order for the features to work proper we always had to go in for a sim chip swap.

  • Marcelo_L

    One thing I’ve noticed that is probably going to be annoying to people, and may turn out to be a bug is that the “Evil Eye” is now always on. It used to only be one when you rotated the phone, or if you tiled it, but now it’s on constantly.

    Anyone else experience this with theirs after the upgrade ?

    Anyone know if there’s setting that has to be changed ?

    • Bill Smith

      Go to Display in Settings uncheck Smart stay.

      • Marcelo_L

        Nope, it’s still on for me…… I have to rurn off Smart Rotation as well.

  • Chimphappyhour

    Looks like there might be other small tweaks here and there. When I type a text, I get the normal suggested words but now they put the best guess in the center and highlighter in blue. That’s in either the normal text app and the G-Voice app.

  • monchis

    What about Los angeles? :'(