T-Mobile Reiterates LTE Network Benchmarks For 2013, Las Vegas Live In “Weeks”

In a statement echoing comments made earlier in the day, T-Mobile’s Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray discussed his company’s LTE rollout. T-Mobile stated as far back as December’s investor event in Germany that they plan to launch LTE for 100 million pops by mid-year, with 200 million covered by the end of 2013. Those comments were again echoed tonight, as Ray again remarked that Las Vegas would be live within “weeks.” 

T-Mobile’s LTE rollout plans are wildly aggressive and while we can’t confirm if their planned LTE network will begin as LTE-Advanced, they certainly have lofty goals. “We’re already giving competitors’ networks a run for their money, and we’ll keep doing it with T-Mobile,” said Ray.

Furthermore, T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere discussed how the company plans to beat their competition with their LTE rollout, going as far as to call AT&T’s network “crap” in the New York City area.

As for devices, T-Mobile announced the upcoming availability of an enhanced Galaxy S III with LTE, and a software update to unlock LTE capability in the existing Galaxy Note II.

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  • Mirad77

    T-Mobile bring it on. Am loving it.

  • thinmanXXS

    I currently have the nexus 4 but when this comes to St. Paul I’m sure ill get new phone to try those speeds out. 2013 will be great for Tmo

    • sagisarius

      A: I’m in STP too… does the Nexus 4 work well here? I’m thinking of picking it up.
      B: It sounds like the band Tmo is using, 4, is the same one the Nexus supports, so who knows.

      • thinmanXXS

        It works pretty good with HSPA+ except sometimes for some reason I get 3G for a few minutes then it goes back to 4G other than that I’d say its a good phone to have here

        And I heard somewhere that Google might take that feature out of the N4 through a OTA update and since its a Google phone I doubt they will activate the LTE but we do have XDA so its OK? Idk

        • sagisarius

          Cool, I’ll have to pick one up. On the Google getting rid of the LTE, I read those reports and there isn’t really anything backing it up (as far as I could tell) it was really just that they pulled part of the Nexus 4 image, and some folks thought it might be to disable LTE… but I could never find anything beyond that. They could just as well have pulled it to enabled it, or do something totally unrelated.

  • Aurizen

    interesting, I wonder How the iphone 5’s will get the update to pick up LTE.

    • spritemoney

      If you have an AT&T iPhone 5 there is no update to pick up LTE.

      • Aurizen

        I have a factory unlocked one.

        • spritemoney

          The A1429? I don’t think that one support Band 4, which is the AWS band. I know T-Mobile 4G LTE service will launch on Band 4 so you might be SOL on LTE on T-Mobile.

        • Aurizen

          no, its the factory unlocked so its the 1428. directly from apple.

        • spritemoney

          The 1428 supports Band 4 so just wait until T-Mobile finally launches LTE in your area. You’ll know because you’ll see LTE instead of 3G. What’s your metro area?

        • Aurizen

          my metro area is philadelphia. but my iphone doesn’t have an LTE switch to toggle to LTE.

        • spritemoney

          I don’t have a 5 to play around with, I have a 4S with iOS 6, and I live in Metro Detroit so a good amount of my area is refarmed. Shouldn’t the LTE settings be under Settings > General > Cellular > then under cellular data shouldn’t there be an Enable LTE button?

        • Aurizen

          nope, I heard there will be an update. to enable LTE, like other tmobile LTE compatible phones.

        • Fabian Cortez

          The 4S doesn’t have LTE. It press maximum of 14.4 Mbps HSPA which is 3G, or “4G” if you rely on AT&T and T-Mobile’s marketing departments.

      • Apple will have to release a carrier update to allow the iPhone 5 to access T-Mobile’s LTE.

        • Fabian Cortez


      • kk888

        Not so true… Apple need to release a carrier update in order for a carrier to use LTE

  • Drew Vallejo

    I like T-mobile’s aggressive stance now. They wont ever be able to please everyone but sure are bringing the heat with LTE advanced.

  • samsavoy

    I think a better game-changing plan is improving coverage and dumping EDGE. Everyone on my local Craigslist page selling a T-Mobile phone is doing so because “their coverage sucked.” or “they dont have 3g here.”

    I’m not bashing T-Mobile here, I’m just being honest. People care more about bars and ubiquitous 3G rather than patchy 4G. Pushing LTE is great but I hope they put half of that motivation into the network they’ve been ignoring since 2002.

    There’s at least 10 cities within a few hours of me still on EDGE with populations over 50,000.

    • Travis Faulk

      I feel the same way. My area only has EDGE and I want to leave them. I don’t get why they don’t upgrade all there EDGE to 3g. I could really care less if my area ever gets 4g.

    • Jon Krugerud

      well i got you beat Im in a GPRS ONLY area and it sucks! and Im only 30 minutes from Minneapolis/St Paul.

  • spritemoney

    Honest I am proud of T-Mobile to play catch up and finally competing. I just wish they would expand their coverage and honestly make EVERY edge areas into 4G LTE (and HSPA+) areas. They have so much EDGE coverage on their network, which is better than nothing but they really have to expand 4G LTE to all of the EDGE areas, then T-Mobile will grow.

    • samsavoy

      If they pull fiber to a tower, there’s no excuse not to have LTE.

      • jarrod

        From a report they released a while back what I gathered is that 95% of their 3G network had fibre backhaul.

      • fentonr

        Actually, there is, in most cities that haven’t undergone the refarm yet, they have no spectrum to run lte on yet. That’s the purpose of the refarm, to free up the 1700 MHz band for lte.

    • CPPCrispy

      T-Mobile should at least make all 2g/EDGE areas into HSPA+.

      • spritemoney

        I know, that’s probably a plan for 2014 or midway 2013, hopefully. I mean they’re getting the iPhone and launching LTE. That should probably be next on the list.

      • Trevnerdio

        At least 3G, I mean come on, throw them a bone lol

    • Luis Medina

      They will do that eventually. it’s easier for them to let verizon and att to get there first. so they can get cheaper fiber contracts.

    • drivethruboy168

      T-Mobile has been in the process of reaching out to customers with 2G devices and at 1 point offering a free 3G or 4G device or offering rebates if they purchased a new phone with or without contract extensions. So T-Mobile is trying to get rid of 2G and slowly moving to 3G or 4G. Just a matter of time.

    • T-Mobile would be wasting there money if they upgraded from edge to HSPA+, what they are going to do is go from edge to LTE, HSPA+ which is the way to go Both hardware at the same time. T-Mobile’s new LTE is going to be the advanced LTE which is faster than both Verizon’s and AT&T’s. This time next year T-Mobile is going to shock the US consumers, they are going to all wish they were T-Mobile customers.

      • Dave

        They can’t go from EDGE to LTE directly because they have a large number of devices that are GSM/UMTS/HSPA+ only. They need to provide voice/data coverage for those subscribers.

        • superg05

          i was under the impression from reading specs in all that lte networks where backwards compatible

      • spritemoney

        To add on what Dave said there are many people with a HSPA+ device but they’re on edge. We need to have compatibility for them too.

  • Engadget’s Jon Fingas has reported T-Mobile confirmed it’s indeed launching as LTE-Advanced.

  • Richard Yarrell

    Yes Sir this is the start of some major announcements and big accomplishments in 2013. People can come on here and hate from other carriers all they want to the bottom line here is tmobile is excellent and my Galaxy Note 2 is enjoying unlimited data usage on a excellent network heads and shoulders above Verizon out here in New York City.

  • Mark-Anthony

    I’m giddy to get LTE goodness on my Note 2. Bring it.

  • chris125

    It will be interesting to see if this helps broaden their coverage.

  • just me

    Drat, I was hoping for a live lte demo tonight. Oh well, at least I can be confident that I’ll be able to experience it on my note 2 :D

  • GinaDee

    If you don’t already have HSPA+ with T-Mobile now, you will neither be getting LTE or reframed PCS anytime this year unfortunately. If you only have GPRS/EDGE on T-Mobile now, you will likely continue to do so in 2013.

    They still limit themselves to the same “200 million POPS,” figure which is about as far as they care to invest.

    One can hope that they either accelerate this rollout to cover more cities, towns and the interstates that connect them in 2013 or at least promise to hit around 300 million Americans with LTE by expanding their network in 2014.

    I like T-Mobile but I hate having EDGE and patchy slow 3G service just 65 miles northeast of Los Angeles with no promise of upgrades in site.

  • Bud

    really, is vegas bigger than nyc.

    • Herb

      Vegas tends to go live first because of trade shows like CES.

      • milanyc

        It’s also much flatter, and easier to deploy than in NYC, and it was the very first re-farmed 1900Mhz HSPA+ market last summer.

  • nivekkev

    Ok, now when this LTE network finally goes live, will it have better building penetration than the HSPA+ we are using now?

  • ghulamsameer

    This is great. T-Mobile does have many places were edge and GPRS are the norm, but the upgrades to HSPA and rollout of LTE are a quicker and ironically more financially viable method of attracting customers. They need to reestablish themselves as a strong competitor before the resources to expand coverage can be used. Hopefully, 2013 is the turnaround year for T-Mobile.

    • Herb

      Thank you for speaking with some sense. So many people piss and moan about the amount of GPRS and EDGE coverage, but you have hit the nail on the head. Can’t build out without resources, can’t get resources without attracting customers.

      • Jon Krugerud

        I totally get what your saying. but what about keeping customers as well. there are a lot off people that arent leaving because of the lack of iphone they are leaving because they cant get decent data connection on the phone they have and like because the internet is so slow it makes the smart phone pretty useless. Ive never though about leaving tmobile until now when i need internet speed on my phone because i never can complain about bars and coverage that has always been really good which is why tmobile did much better 10 years ago but now that people need internet they are leaving. I hate being so close to Minneapolis and getting stuck in 1999 just because my town doesnt have enough people to warrent tmobiles attention.

    • CPPCrispy

      What you say is true but how many people are not switching (and thus not supplying the resources) because they see that once they leave the city they live in, they will drop to 2G? Yes, some people live in the city and rarely/never leave but there are others that might, for instance, go on trips on weekends that want 4G (HSPA+). Or, another example, a college student that goes to a school that is close enough to home that they go home every weekend. In this instance, the college area has 4G but home does not.

      Yes, T-Mobile does need customers and resources to expand but it discourages people from switching when to go from one 4G are to another, they have to use 2G. What I am trying to say is, T-Mobile should at least upgrade the 2G on the Interstate highways.

      • I agree. The large swaths of 2G do need to be upgraded. At least along the interstate highways would be acceptable to me. Whenever traveling between major cities on T-Mobile you still have to deal with 2G in between. That’s all okay if they’re trying to compete with Sprint but if they want a chance at the big 2 (AT&T, Verizon), they’ll need the coverage for travelers. I hope upgrading their 2G areas will be next on the agenda after the LTE rollout in cities.

        • fsured

          I think upgrading their footprint should be done while doing LTE and this current upgrade. If they wait until their larger areas are in LTE then some new form of technology in LTE will come along and they will need to upgrade again in their starting markets to remain competitive. Like our handsets, something always nicer just a few months away. These suburbs and areas between cities could be left out again.

  • Living in Vegas and having a Note 2, this is great news!

  • The Architect

    Hopefully Tmo/Samsung will release the ota/kies LTE update for my note 2 before my trip there in April!

  • mreveryphone

    If the LTE rollout follows the refarm rollout it looks like Kansas City should be getting LTE sooner than later since we were one of the first cities to get refarmed. #fingersandtoescrossed

  • sushimane

    i hope lte comes to south carolina thinking on getting the note 2 if not i always go hspa+42 just as good.

  • fsured

    With a number of posts below about the need to upgrade the signal in 2g only areas, has anyone seen an article or interview with Tmobile actually addressing this concern? Anyone have a way to ask the proper contacts in the company about this who won’t give a generic answer of “always looking to expand the network” etc?

  • Spanky

    AT&T’s network in NYC is most certainly not crap. I live in NYC (Brooklyn, to be exact), and left T-Mobile for AT&T last summer. T-Mobile’s data speeds in my supposedly 4G neighborhood topped out at 0.5 Mbps downstream. On AT&T, I get between 25-50 Mbps downstream anywhere in NYC. Mr. Legere needs to check his facts.

    With that being said, I’m curious to see what T-Mobile’s LTE will bring to NYC. I’m certainly not opposed to switching back to save a few bucks, but only if the godawful coverage in my area is improved.

    • milanyc

      I’ve been both T-Mo and AT&T user for years, and in fact AT&T’s HSPA network is terrible. Dead last in performance in NYC. LTE is fine. But the phone calls depend on that circuit switched 3G, and I’m dropping calls daily. AT&T has been terrible in NYC for the past 5 years.

      • kk888

        But AT&T doesn’t put LTE on every tower(due to good penetration property of 700 band), so some places have low bars. If they do..their service could be fantastic

  • Sweet. Im in Las Vegas. Hope I can get my hands on the new S3 with LTE radios!

  • Bill Smith

    I bet someone’s butts in a sling for not having this up and running for CES.

  • Turtle07

    David, do you know a time frame for Houston LTE advanced being launched? Also with the At&t deal, wouldn’t an unlocked penta band phone with a T-mobile sim give t-users access to 3g where T-mobile only has edge or gprs? Wasn’t that part of the breakup fee?

    • Sorry, no I don’t. If I ever know timeframes, I’ll post them!

  • daniel

    Does the metro pcs and t-mo merger mean that t-mobile is going to turn metro’s network into lte?

  • Instead of growing numbers grow quality. I rather a network be confident and not greedy & limit the # of subscribers their network can handle instead of adding and adding. You say you cover this many millions of people well focus on guaranteeing high quality, managing a network for millions of people should be time consuming

  • Elier Ruiz

    Still no LTE anywhere. Almost end of February. :(

    • Bill Smith

      Did you really think T-Mobile was telling the truth. Never have they released a date and met it.

  • Bill Smith

    T-Mobile announced LTE is up and running in Vegas…anyone have it?

  • fxrsniper

    This article is laughable at best and they wat they compare speeds to other Carriers ‘s LTE is dumb and in accurate HSPA speeds are no where near the speeds that LTE Has, Verizon for one And HSPA plus is so limited on range compared to LTE 41Mbs on Verizon is not what T-Mobile is getting on HSPA fake 4g. They cant afford to deploy a full LTE network which is one of the reasons AT&T was buying them out. Not happening