T-Mobile’s Neville Ray Says T-Mobile’s LTE Will Be Better Than Competition

Speaking in two separate interviews, T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer dropped some more hints about T-Mobile’s future LTE rollouts and future integration plans with MetroPCS. One worthy takeaway from the CNET interview is Ray’s claim that T-Mobile’s network will “one-up” both AT&T and Verizon Wireless when it rolls out its own LTE network next year.

“LTE today is good, but LTE tomorrow can be great,” Ray said in an interview with CNET today. “That’s the opportunity we hope to secure and differentiate ourselves with.”

The key to T-Mobile’s success will lie partly in the combined spectrum it will acquire once a merger with MetroPCS is finalized sometime next year. Ray emphasized points made earlier in T-Mobile’s discussions on the merger that the extra capacity will allow for faster speeds, more capacity to handle traffic and an overall increase in service.

Ray believes that with MetroPCS spectrum, T-Mobile’s capacity will effectively double and offer download and upload speeds that surpass the competition. T-Mobile plans to reach 200 million people with LTE by the end of 2013, with the doubling of capacity to start in 2014 with the completion of the roll-out in 2015.

“This deal puts us in a position to jump ahead,” Ray said. “It’ll be in a position that will be tough to match.”

T-Mobile’s current plan is to shut down the MetroPCS CDMA network by 2015, keeping 6,000 antenna systems (1,000 total antennas) to use for improving coverage inside buildings and converting those systems to work with both HSPA+ and LTE.

On a separate but related note, Ray said in a separate interview with GigaOM that T-Mobile will support the Voice-over-LTE services MetroPCS currently has, but it may take another approach to voice traffic over 4G networks later on.

“VoLTE will come,” Ray said, but he pointed out it’s a relatively unproven technology that will take several years to mature into a commercially viable service. “We will certainly support the VoLTE services that MetroPCS has today,” he said. “But is that the VoLTE we want to populate the new network with? TBD.”

Ray says that T-Mobile’s VoLTE decision will be determined by both demand and logistics, stating that T-Mobile is in less of a rush to make the move than MetroPCS due to more breathing room spectrum wise.

Ray did leave the door open for T-Mobile to jump into VoLTE as soon as the merger closes, arguing that would be dependent on the current state of VoLTE technology. The only question is whether Ray will see a need for T-Mobile to launch a large-scale VoLTE service soon after the merger closes, or if T-Mobile can slowly move their network onto that path.


Tags: , , , , ,

  • BigMixxx

    The scary thing about it…I believe him.

    HSPA+ is VERY fast and VERY capable. I just need t mobile to SPREAD that love more in more sparse areas….

    • chris125


    • randomnerd_number38

      I honestly am very doubtful that T-Mobile will ever come near the coverage you’re hoping for. Not that I’m too upset about it, I don’t do a lot of traveling outside of the HSPA+ areas. I think T-Mobile’s strategy is more “talk up the coverage we already have and continue the advancement towards future technologies without much expanding the geographical reach of those technologies.” I’d love to have a HSPA+/LTE network that rivals the rural coverage of Verizon, but I don’t think it’s in the cards.

      • BigMixxx

        Naa, I’m only looking for withing the coverage area. In LV, it’s great. But I live where ATT is “not very good” (as my sister would say) and T mobile is better, only bested by Verizon. Plenty of HSPA+ coverage but a couple of towers will help.

        • Laststop311

          the 42 mbps hspa+ we have in north east ohio is only slightly under verizon’s lte speed and is sometimes faster depending on many factors.

      • Mark

        I hope you’re wrong; there’s no HSPA+ in my entire metro area (we got 3G in early 2010) so far as I’ve been able to determine and I am continually hoping it’ll improve. I didn’t sign on with T-Mobile because it was a bargain brand; I signed on back in the Color Sidekick days because they had the best handset tech available and I was PO’d at Cingular. Tmo hasn’t done anything to make me want to switch yet, but I do wish they’d get back to expanding their 4G footprint and trying to be a technology leader instead of running with the “challenger strategy” (aka “we’re sooo cheap!”)

        • Andrew Brown

          At least you guys have 3g. I’m stuck with 2g or even GPRS signal where I live.

        • xxdrizzyxx

          Where do you live?

    • M42

      Yes, HSPA+ is very fast and this is where T-Mobile should be concentrating its efforts – expanding HSPA+ coverage. They are way back in the LTE race versus Verizon and AT&T.

      T-Mobile started the race and then decided to quit and change cars. All that will do is put them farther behind the competition. Bad move T-Mobile. And they wonder why subscribers leave them by the hundreds of thousands every year.

      • Trevnerdio

        They leave by the hundreds of thousands because:
        1) They’re all whiny iSheep that fawn over Apple because it’s “the greatest thing since sliced bread.” and

        2) Douchebag Telekom tried to sell T-Mobile off to AT&T, the very company many ran AWAY from, in favor of T-Mobile.

        • jcj1

          I am in suburb of large town and have full 4G

        • Shadow

          I left tmobile because of the service…. Verizon is just way better in over all signal and their 4G is blazing fast compared to tmo’s 3.5g hspa+, now I actually get signal everywhere I go like the hospitals or malls

  • chris125

    I hope it does make it better than the competition. I will gladly switch if they can expand their coverage, right now verizon is so far ahead it will be interesting to see if tmo can come close to the amount of lte coverage as the competition.

    • Trevnerdio

      Have you seen the combined MetroPCS/T-Mo spectrum holdings map? It’s crazy! They have at least 1 license in EVERY part of the US! Now, deploying anything in those areas is another thing, of course…but they should do it!

  • Whitney

    Let see how do on phones first. They variety of phones besides android and windows

    • randomnerd_number38

      how i right sentence?

      Nah, but seriously, they’ve got a great variety of phones. I gotta admit though, the bigger carriers do seem to get a better selection of high-end phones. And then, of course, there’s the gorilla in the room, the phone you were obviously referencing when you said “besides android and windows,” the iPhone. Will we ever officially carry it? I have my doubts …

      • Whitney

        They don’t have any other besides Android and Windows. I am getting tired of Android city myself.

        • TBN27

          I am leaving amdroid myself. However Symbian/Meego is supposed to be back in a couple of years provided Jolla brings it to the US. And hope the iPhone comes to t-mobile provided a deal to offer them is favorable to both apple and t-mobile

        • Are you trolling? because there are only 3 stand out contender iOs Android and Windows Phone of which still struggles to gain any market share mind you.

        • Whitney

          They need more higher end phones to compete which is something they don’t have.

        • MuthaFuckinStephen

          Try iOS, I heard it’s very revolutionary and a lot of people are using. i don’t own one. Wish i could afford it though. ;)

        • Mark

          They have a couple of Blackberrys, plus a couple of feature phones they will tell you about if you beg them (a rep told me they weren’t supposed to sell them, but I’m not buying data plans for the rest of the fam).

          Sometimes I do miss my AT&T (pre-Cingular) 60 minutes/month (no data) for $19.99 or whatever it was.

  • Whiskers

    Faster yes , but it can only be better if T-Mobile’s coverage improves to the point where you can actually get full 3G/4G coverage outside the major cities.

  • Yozo

    Better yes, with backhaul. Otherwise keep 4G without a backhaul in most places.

  • Chimphappyhour

    My question is, do we have to buy a new phone each time they jump up the network speed like with HSPA+? Or if we get the GNote2 now, will that benefit directly from any changes in the network down the road?

    • you DON’T have to buy a new phone everytime with HSPA+ when T-mobile jumps the network everyone receives better speeds so long as their devices are gsm or umts.

      • Gouv

        Yes, but you should want to just because new phones are AWESOME!!!!

  • BiG ReD LTE

    Tmobile LTE will be the slowest just like there HSPA…LMAO Good one Neville Ray.

    • Bronze 6

      Tmobile 2G Netowrk beats Sprit’s 3G network; Tmobile’s HSPA+21 Network is better than ATT’s HSPA+21 Netowork. Verizion may be better, but in my area, its not worth $50 a month more.


      T-Mobile’s HSPA+42 keeps up with other carriers LTE in many cities. What the hell are you talking about? You might want to check your stats.

      • cover

        i live in kansas city mo and have no signal in about 10 percent of the city

    • @google-f62c2ae7bc9da1bd0bac5570cf7a2f1a:disqus why even entertain big red lte. He’s clearly hating. He’s probably some Verizon executive upset that tmobile is gaining ground.


      T-Mobiles HSPA+ is 2 to 4 times faster than At&t’s in every case.At&t has “THEIR” network capped at 14.4Mbps T-Mobiles Network is much more advanced and reliable. “THEIR” LTE will be release 10 which is at least 2x faster than Verizon’s is today. By the time it is up and running our coverage will be as strong as At&t and our capacity will be better. We will be better, stronger and faster than all else. So go troll somewhere else.

  • fsured

    If the merger goes though then how would Metro Pcs spectrum benefit the entire network? As an example, how does the company getting extra spectrum in Dallas help customers who live in Omaha? There are a lot of holes in the network there. You can go from one block to another and have no signal to full bars.

    Lots of talk of carriers switching spectrum in different markets makes it sound as if the spectrum is allocated to a particular area. If they are going to keep some of the Metro towers for better signal in buildings then again it only benefits those customers in the cities where Metro pcs has current service.

    • cover

      omaha has terrible coverage

  • 0neTw0

    Sure it will be. The being the 3rd or 4th largest carrier has its perks. Not as many people on the network. Making the LTE experience better for the few who are on it. Thanks Verizon and Att

    • T-mobile could have as many subscribers as verizon and we would still pull mbps down better

  • cover

    tmobiles coverage is horrible i live in a very strong signal area and i cant even get signal inside my home its redic

  • cover

    only the major cites have decent coverage that why verizon wins becasue they have coverage everywhere its reliable

    • #ErkMeThursdayz People ware me out with that “it don’t work for me(in my .000400134 percentage of america) so it must suck everywhere”. Climb a tree and jump off it. Dont hurt yaself, just snap back to reality!

      • Whiskers

        To much koolaid drinking is a bad thing.

        • MuthaFuckinStephen

          I like drugs.

        • koolaid is not healthy, just like your comment

  • nycplayboy78

    So three years and waiting…I so wonder what the future holds for T-Mobile USA and the consumer mobile space in general….hmmmm….Interesting….

  • kalliman gomes

    The problem is it will only take a couple of years to be done. Tmobile is always behind the competition!

    • Behind the competition how? oh our LTE isn’t up yet you say? HSPA+ holds it down pretty well for competing. I’d rather have a reliable tested proven network than one that jumps on a new band wagon almost daily >.> I’m looking at you sprint with your nextel wimax lte pushing mess of a network.

      • chris125

        coverage, it’s all about coverage, no matter how fast the speeds are tmo needs to 1st and foremost expand their coverage

        • My coverage has always been great here in San Antonio and in Panama City Beach FL when I went there for vacay Austin has the 4g love too. wherever I go Im not complaining. Could T-mo expand coverage? yes always. If a bunch of whiners didn’t complain about not having stupid LTE maybe T-mobile would have been able to comfortably chosen to expand coverage areas but all people care about is teh iPhonez 5zz and the Ltezzzz so t-mobile forever focused their attention to bringing it on.

          T-mobile isn’t behind the competition T-mo is doing just fine and T-mo has been expanding coverage.

        • Jpatt

          Really? Try going to New Guilbeau and Caen which is inside the loop and try to do as much as MAKE A CALL

        • rugmankc

          +1 Chris–I am in 4g area and have only 2g at work and home and sometimes no data connection. Where can you find out when 42mb will make it too your city. Dayton Oh–May have to change carriers at contract end in Feb–

    • T-Mobile is always behind? Ummm… T-Mobile was the 2nd carrier with 4g period(If you even consider Sprints network 4g). T-Mobile still has the best 3g network. Oh and that lil bitty 4th last carrier your talking bout held largest 4g network for almost a year.

      Climb a tree and jump off it. Dont snap ya neck, just snap back to reality!

  • This is great !!!!! hopefully phone batteries will last longer when they deploy lte and have compatible handsets !

    • JBrowne1012

      Seeing as T-mobile was shooting for LTE -A that wish may come true

  • Mark Williams

    I would bet that he is right, sometimes T-Mobile is last to the fight, but the way technology keeps jumping, they will have the latest and greatest version

  • ian g.

    Faster is good but more coverage will be better. I would settle for more coverage than faster. Who is not happy with the HSPA, I know I’m. Tmobile should address its coverage issue, more coverage more customers.

  • Guest

    Hopefully this guy doesn’t quit.

  • silentstriker

    awesome, hoping this means that the signal will be more stable just going to the other side of my house or in large buildings. Only question is if my GS3 will be able to benefit the lte since the processor has the radio built in if i’m not mistaken. Either way hspa is plenty fast and getting better coverage in my area is awesome

  • angry black man

    I don’t want to see the words T-Mobile and LTE in the same sentence, until they expand their 3g footprint!! This is total backward thinking on T-Mobile’s part. Fix the engine before you think about slapping custom rims on your car!! Buy a house before shopping for granite countertops!! Get it?!! I don’t know how else to get my point across!

    • mattcat03

      I’m with you on that. Tmobile likes to count their eggs before they hatch. Seems like a marketing ploy on their part. Anyway it’s always a waiting game with Tmobile. That’s how it is when there is no direction from the Top. Their saying they got their sh..t together now and will survive with the big boys. All we can do is wait again and see what happens.

  • mingkee

    T-Mobile has to expand HSPA and future LTE coverage much more aggressively so more customers will enjoy how great HSPA and LTE are, but until now, what is good when the customers are stuck in 2G area?

    • Kerry

      Or they have no signal at all. I had to switch away from TMO due to coverage or lack of towers outside of the i-5 corridor in Oregon. I had decent coverage when I traveled outside the state but you quickly lose coverage when you get outside the metro area’s here.

  • cover

    wheneverybody has service guess whoe doesnt the tmobile guy

    • Trevnerdio

      When you’re in the middle of nowhere. Otherwise, invalid argument.

  • frigadroid

    The 3 most important things most people other than t-mobile executives know about running a business are location, location, location! When and if they can ever understand that they are at # 4 because of poor coverage then they can move forward.

  • Wilma Flintstone

    This is great. Hopefully Tmo can make good on this. I am for this LTE rollout simply because of Device compatibilty.

    Now on to more very interesting news:

    November 21-22 is the big Jolla MeeGo event people!!! Jolla has been donated $260 Million to ensure a successful Ecosystem. The New Jolla MeeGo OS codenamed Sailfish (I really think they could’ve come up with a better name but I see why they chose it) will be unveiled those two days. November is going to be a huge month!!!

    WiiU Release (CAN’T WAIT!!!! (Oddly enough, it’s releasing in NA BEFORE Japan)

    Presidential Elections

    Jolla Mobile OS shown and possible device release

    LG Nexus may be released (If it’s not released on the rumored October 29th (Unfortunately the 8gb storage that GOOGLE made them do, is keeping me from wanting this Nexus now, hopefully LG Sneaks an Expandable SD Card slot onto it because the device looks SWEET)

    Black Friday (Already storing up my cash for this glorious day)

    and the best part,

    Thanksgiving!!! :D

    So yea just a little tidbit of info for those that want to keep tabs on it.

  • goodness

    tmobile put towers up in kansas city and omah metro are your service is horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • goodness

    Omaha nebraska needs towers!!!!!!!!!!!

  • omaha

    omaha needs service very poor coverage tmobile

  • SamsungOnly

    This is a great news! Go T-mobile! The question is What will be the first LTE device? Is it the SGN2?

  • qpinto

    im ready for tmobiles LTE. but imagine what happens once you combine LTE with tmobiles 42+ hspa+ at the same time? i remember it being on an image on this website about 18 months ago. mimo dual carrier technology. keep hspa42 on one, and LTE on the other. the speeds are endless…

  • Good stuff. But has the T-Mobile SGNote 2 hit the FCC yet?

    • Yup, and it’s already been posted!

      • thanks, let me back track and find it…I’m not all here this AM. (big YAWN)

      • mikkej2k

        Mr. Beren , is it only the Galaxy Note II that will have T-Mobile LTE potential? I thought I remember seeing LTE potential in a recent press release for an upcoming Windows Phone?

  • Gouv

    Bold claims, but at least tmo finally has a real opportunity with this merger. From the looks of it though metro seems to over lap tmo quite a bit so i don’t see them expanding this rapidly to a bunch of new markets. Quality of service is of utmost importance but there also needs to be a nice network foot print which im not sure will be greatly improved over all. But he may be right, it has the potential to possibly out perform its competitors. But alas, i doubt the others are just sitting on their laurels. This is going to get interesting now that tmo has a future again.

    • conservative_motorcyclist

      The key thing to look at is not where Metro has coverage, but to look at the spectrum Metro has. That, combined with T-mobile’s existing spectrum results in a spectrum map that blankets pretty much the entire US with enough useable spectrum to vastly improve coverage.

      Whether on not T-mobile builds new towers to take advantage of this remains to be seen.

  • scottmog

    My xperia play with finally get 3g in january…

  • macman37

    When T-Mobile rolls out their LTE network next year, it’s going to be 3GPP Release 10, right?
    What are some of the specs when we compare it to other carriers current LTE offerings?

  • Winski

    PROVE IT ! Short term -PROVE IT !!

  • Trevnerdio

    Ahh, isn’t Disqus so great?
    Screw Engadget…

    Anyway, to the topic! I really like this…I would love to see it all happen. 200 mill by end of next year when their LTE won’t be ready till Q2? That’s extremely aggressive, and almost too good to be true…prove me wrong, T-Mobile.

  • corona10

    Now bring some high end devices besides the GS3. And the Galaxay Note2. There are other oems besides Samsung.

  • Kerry

    Would be great if TMO’s coverage got better outside of metro area’s in Oregon. Not sure if their LTE rollout will address that or not. I would still be with TMO if it wasn’t for coverage issues, but in Oregon when you leave the metro area’s or the I-5 corridor you lose signal quick.