T-Mo LTE coverage hits 250 million mark

cactus-cell-tower

We’ve been covering network upgrades here on TmoNews for many months, posting on sightings in various locations. Whether it be new LTE sites or upgrades to wideband LTE. But during that time, one thing has become increasingly clear: The network engineers are working ridiculously fast. We get new sightings every single week, across various states and markets. So it’s no surprise to us that T-Mobile’s LTE network now officially covers 250 million Americans, and has reached that number months ahead of schedule.

In a blog post today Neville Ray, the company’s networking chief, announced the figure and also updated us on the company’s plans for the upcoming months. T-Mo plans to have 280 million people covered by the LTE network by the middle of next year, and 300 million covered by the end of 2015.

We’ll do this by lighting up our 700 MHz and 1900 MHz PCS spectrum with LTE, and by continuing to push LTE on our AWS spectrum. Over 40 markets, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., are the first of what will soon be many to get LTE on our 1900 MHz PCS spectrum and the team has been making huge progress in preparing our network for our recently acquired low-band 700 MHz A-Block spectrum with our first sites already on air. This low-band spectrum will be a powerful boost to our ambitious network plans, substantially improving in-building 4G LTE coverage, as well as expanding coverage well beyond major population centers.

T-Mobile is also building out its wideband LTE network, with Connecticut and the Greater Bay Area being the most recent two areas to receive the speed bump. With those two included, wideband LTE is now active in 19 markets. And if T-Mobile continues at its current pace, that number could rise to 26 markets before the year is out.

Read Carter’s full blog post here.

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  • FILA

    LTE spotted in Maryland Line on 83. This area has and still is a heavily 2G area till you get down to Hunt Valley. This is great news, shows T-Mobile is finally switching on in this stretch. Havent had a chance to test the speeds yet

    • Verizonthunder

      I live near that area and have been updating the Lte blanket around the northern part of Baltimore County and near Carrol county as well with sensorly app. Everyone with unlimited data needs to help out lol a bit of a task doing it by myself it seems.

      • FILA

        I got you. I’ll try to do a test in there within the next couple days. I also just downloaded the app, so you gain another soldier! and to the itguy08 up there, Im glad you can stream via GPRS, cause I sure the hell cant, using Google Music, however alot of my music played off Google will cache itself, so possibly this is your cause too. Cached?

        • Verizonthunder

          Awesome thanks It’s hard mainly on gas wise as I like everyone to know the true extent of T-Mobile’s effort’s to expand LTE elsewhere.

      • Limin

        Believe me when I say I am helping you guys out. Major roads eg 32, 26,27 and 140 are now covered with LTE. I was doing a DJ gig at Vanessa Corner Pub in the intersection of 26 (liberty road) and 27 (ridge road) and speed was 56mbits down and about 20 up. Pretty impressive.

    • itguy08

      Nice. Was down that way a couple weeks ago and there was a LOT of GPRS along 83. The weird thing was that it was actually USABLE GPRS – I was streaming Slacker and it played well into the GPRS areas.

  • Jay J. Blanco

    Lte popped up in Darlington, SC and Beaufort, SC both once 2G only markets. Crazy Hilton Head still hasn’t got 4G upgraded.

    • Marvin Arnold

      Good to hear in Beaufort!

  • Marvin Arnold

    LTE has been spotted in Jacksonville, NC believe it or not. It comes and goes, so they must be testing it.

  • BoB1673

    LTE is now 20 mins away from me use to be 40 mins + lol its creeping my way

    • randude

      Also in Springfield, OH! Noticed the same thing. I’ve seen lte lit up downtown as well as north by Home Rd and along I70 off an on the last two weeks. looks like they are testing.

  • Gkdandx

    EDGE to LTE in marshville and Wingate NC just lit up over the weekend

  • Azn_Android

    LTE spotted down in Charlottesville, Virginia. I’m a student so I only know that they’ve lit it up on the UVA campus. Not sure about the rest of Charlottesville.

    • Guest

      LTE in Charlottesville almost everywhere now. A lot has lit up within the past two weeks. Previously EDGE areas now becoming LTE.

  • Deswaga

    LTE turned on in Laurinburg NC since 23rd October. I just knew we would br the last place on earth. Boy, was I fooled!!

    • Deswaga

      be*. I also did some serious mapping with the sensorly app.

      • Verizonthunder

        Keep it up

    • Chad Dalton

      Where is laurinburg, i’m in a small town called Mocksville. We have Edge/3G…

      • Deswaga

        28352 area code..Sandhills area of NC.all rural… highway 74…and highways 15/401/501 junctions. All the sensorly app data is from me.

        • Deswaga

          ughhh…i meant 28352 zip code.

    • Jonathan T

      The LTE is very spotty toward south part of Laurinburg near 74 which is where I am mostly but very strong in the center of town. I usually drop back to edge. I find it funny that outside the t mobile store is 2g and they only have one bar LTE there because they are broadcasting a signal at the store themselves. I’ve been mapping some of the areas when I’m around on weekends. I’m waiting on Elizabethtown NC to get LTE but I think that will be a while -_-

  • besweeet

    The desert’s still looking good :D.

  • EDGE to LTE in Columbus, Indiana. Surprisingly late since it’s a fairly populous city, 70,000.

    • Danny Lewis

      The engineers got confused and kept adding LTE to Columbus, Ohio by mistake.

    • Zach Garrison

      How does service look south of Columbus? Seymour area.

  • Ivan

    4G in East Palestine,ohio and Beaver Falls Pennsylvania, between the two cities, Edge to nothing at all. hope an update is coming soon. also Columbiana Ohio has minimum to nothing.

  • Zummy

    They haven’t finished with that cactus yet?

    • dtam

      no, they keep on getting pricked when they try to put the top on

  • Verizonthunder

    Everyone needs to download and use the Sensorly app it will be a big help.

    • jay_max

      If Sensorly would make an app for Windows Phone, I’d use it.

      • Verizonthunder

        Why not directly email them and request Sensorly to make an application for Windows devices?

    • or the RootMetrics app.

      • Verizonthunder

        No way I prefer Sensorly they are unbias and update immediately after you pass through a untapped area.

    • Mark McCoskey

      I use Sensorly. It’s good at showing coverage and signal strength. While coverage is increasing, T-Mobile definitely need to reinforce the areas for increased strength. While I’m living in an LTE area, it’s color is a very pale purple.

      • archon

        I just started using it in Iowa. Does Tmoible HPSA+ count as 4g? Because I dont show any 4g in the Des Moines area – only the 2g/3g map is populated….

        • Vijay Virmani

          hspa counts as 3g even though tmobile markets it as 4g

        • TylerCameron

          I heard that T-Mobile is TERRIBLE in that area with only like, 3 towers.

  • Zach Mauch

    I just want it on the interstates!!! That is the only thing holding me back from returning to T-Mobile.

    • Some interstates have been upgraded in certain areas, it’ll take a while though for everywhere to be upgraded though

    • Douglas Quaid

      I95, one of the busiest roads in America is probably a great start.

  • emcdonald75

    I just wish T-Mobile would list the cities they are adding LTE to. They mention the Wideband LTE cities, but no mention of the cities that T-Mobile converts from EDGE to LTE. Why not?

    • vrm

      The problem with adding new coverage is that it will initially be spotty. They may upgrade a few sites in a market and not others. They measure the pops covered by the population RESIDENT in the area of the upgraded sites. The same pops may travel to another part of town and see the coverage change/deteriorate. As the number of pops covered increases, these areas fill in nicely and you will see more consistency. The pops covered can be scattered- it is as and when things happen as “things” are not always in their control (permits, vendors, backhaul, equipment etc).

      In the wideband scenario, its usually existing, mature markets where they are increasing the bandwidth by adding spectrum. It is a different scenario, easier to quantify and state.

      • emcdonald75

        There was a time when T-Mobile told what cities were being upgraded. Now, they do not. Even the list of 4G LTE cities on their website has not been upgraded, possibly even the coverage map. I am happy that T-Mobile is upgrading their network. It would just be helpful to know which cities are being upgraded, so I can determine do I want to come back. I love their speeds on my tablet but not the limited coverage area. I want to leave AT&T because their service is expensive and their network is slow in Jackson, MS, but their LTE coverage is spot on in the city and outside of the city. AT&T is slow but at least it not EDGE/GPRS, which is an absolute nightmare.

        • Jay J. Blanco

          Sensorly is the most accurate lte tmobile map

    • I’d like to know if the 2G -> LTE areas are getting any HSPA as well, or will you be stuck on 2G forever until you get an LTE phone?

      • John

        Get an LTE capable phone, problem solved. If cost is your concern, you could get the lumia 635 which is LTE capable for $95.76 on T-mobile’s website (sale price regularly $119)

      • Tim Engen

        Nope there only adding LTE.

    • Tim Engen

      That is a very good point.

  • Marco

    EDGE to LTE in Hammonton, NJ. And between Hammonton and Egg Harbor where there was no service. Now LTE.

  • bigsexy

    Sweet Band 2 LTE is coming for everyone :D

  • TechnoRealz

    Question for you network coverage & bandwidth experts: I am investigating the unicorn phone OnePlus One & its specs. With TMO’s rapid upgrading its network, will the OPO have issues keeping up? or worse be not usable on the TMO US network?

    TECHNOLOGY

    GSM:

    850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz

    UMTS:

    850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz

    FDD LTE:

    700 (band 17), 1700/2100 (band 4), 1800 (band 3), 2100 (band 1), 2600 (band 7) MHz

    TDD LTE:

    2300 (band 40), 2600 (band 38) MHz

    Data:

    LTE, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS

    • Bryan Pizzuti

      It’s missing both Band 12, and T-Mobile WiFi calling capability. I’d stay clear.

      • TechnoRealz

        Hmmm…is Band 12 that much of an issue for LTE coverage?

        I know that: even the iphone 5S does not support band 12 Actually not a single model of the 5s/5c including versions made for outside of the USA supports band 12. The Moto X GSM developer version does not support band 12. Even the Galaxy S5 GSM edition supports only 7 LTE bands which does not include band 12 either.

        • Bryan Pizzuti

          Band 12 is a new thing for T-Mobile, but it’s an absolute necessity for future-proofing. The Galaxy Avant, Xperia Z3, and Galaxy Note 4 all support Band 12, as does the 2014 Moto X for T-Mobile. The GS5, HTC One, and LG G3 were all designed before T-Mobile ever acquired any 700 MHz licenses, and hence don’t support it. I’m surprised the iPhone 6 doesn’t support Band 12, but that’s probably a result of AT&T arm-twisting. The 2015 Q1 flagships will likely all support it.

        • TechnoRealz

          Thanks for that explanation.

          I was worried if TMO will repurpose any of the existing bands that are compatible with the OPO to render the OPO a gimp.

          I’ve read a lot of stories on TMO’s supposed strategy but haven’t gotten a clear defintion.

        • Bryan Pizzuti

          As far as anyone knows, T-Mobile’s strategy is dirt-simple: deploy LTE on every band they’ve got licenses for (except for one off 850 MHz license). They’re deploying on Band 12 (700), and Band 2 (PCS), and Band 4 (AWS). 2G and HSPA are being shuffled around to accommodate, and will eventually be retired.

          Now, things could change after the upcoming 600 MHz auction, but those frequencies have yet to be integrated into a proper band definition, so anything with those is probably two years out. I don’t think much will come of the AWS-3 auction next month unless T-Mobile grabs some of the EA-sized licenses, but likewise there’s no equipment for it yet.

        • Craig Foster

          I love my OnePlus, but by the time Band 12 comes to my area I will have already moved to a different phone.

    • I currently have the OnePlus One, and everything works fine. The only complaints I have are although the phone supports Band 4 LTE, it is still missing Band 2 and Band 12 LTE. Also, you won’t be able to use Wi-Fi calling with this phone, unless T-Mobile creates an app for it somehow. I even messaged Mike Sievert the CMO of T-Mobile, and he says that they’re working on it, but its hard to incorporate it due to the software used on a bunch of unlocked phones.

      • TechnoRealz

        Are you on the stock OEM CM11 OS or some forked version?
        I asked because it appears the signal indicator on some OPO’s show only 1/2 bars at best & I am wondering if this has to do with the band incompatibility on the TMO network…

        • Yes, I am on stock OEM CyanogenMod 11 with the latest 38R update. As far as the signal indicator, I do notice that my LTE signal likes to fluctuate from 0 bars to 1 bar where I live, however I do live in a “good” area according to T-Mobile’s coverage map, and I’ll assume that the LTE signal fluctuates because its only compatible with Band 4 LTE, if it at least supported Band 2 as well, then maybe it won’t fluctuate as much, because the phone could swap between the two bands. HSPA+ signal is normal though. Same with LTE, if I’m in a “excellent” coverage area I’ll get 3-4 bars 4 is full bars. But according to the OnePlus forums some people are noticing the signal bars fluctuating a lot, which is most likely a software issue, that can be fixed with an update. It has nothing to do with the bands being incompatible with T-Mobile. I don’t have a T-Mobile branded LTE phone, however my previous phone is HSPA+ capable, so I could compare the HSPA+ signals between the two phones to see if the OnePlus one is showing anything different. I’ll update you when I get to it.

        • TechnoRealz

          Thanks for the feedback.. IT does appear my OPO’s shows low LTE signal using the signal icon BUT it is in a good TMO coverage area and is performing as expected.

          Just a bit disconcerting that if Band 4 were to ever go away…we’d be in trouble. :|

  • archon

    And still no love for Iowa….

    • jay_max

      T-Mobile is reportedly a joint-venture owner of iWireless in Iowa. I doubt you’d see much native TMO coverage there since they own iWireless.

      • archon

        If thats the case, it would be nice to at least be able to use Iwireless high speed data :-)

        • TylerCameron

          You are! I was recently in Dubuque, Iowa and I was on their 4G network, AND it was unlimited.

  • Anybody in the Portland OR area with a hacked Nexus-4 see their LTE go away this week? My wife’s Moto-G has it full bars but I’ve been kicked down to HSPA. I’ve tried rebooting and my settings and hacked radio are still in place. I hope they didn’t move it off of band 4 for some reason.

    • Nevermind. It’s back. They must have been working on it.

  • WildBill

    LTE spotted in Shippensburg PA which is very suprising….not sure if its leaking over from Carslile or if they are upgrading E towers, very spotty but i got 15mbps download and 6 mbps upload in the same spot a month ago i got .15mbps dl and .07 upload on edge….

    • Eric

      I thought my phone was going crazy because it kept saying LTE but I couldnt use data. Now it is actually working and the signal is pretty strong at the university campus which is pretty exciting!

  • IneedLTE

    they need to bring LTE to Brawley California!

  • mike

    brawey is in the middle of nowhere, it will never get there!!! muhahahahaha

  • LTEFORBRAWLEY

    I agree! TMobile are forgetting about the small country towns. it would be nice to have LTE like tmobile promises..step the game up!!

    • I live in small country town and just got LTE this weekend (took long enough) but they’re on it.

  • Shawndh

    I keep seeing all these reports about LTE in new areas. I would be happy with regular coverage when at work in Metro Atlanta. Seems my signal is getting worse! If my phone doesn’t say LTE, I can’t get any data at all and calls are missed constantly on 4G. All this advertising is a bunch of hype to me.

  • k

    Volte in portland oregon neville and john!!!! And yeah, get that rural coverage going. Especially here out west!

  • Jay J. Blanco

    Lte popped up on Sensorly in Bluffton, SC outside of Hilton Head.

  • LTE finally here in my little dinky town of Cokato, MN.