T-Mobile expands LTE Advanced coverage, says Gigabit Class LTE available to some devices


T-Mobile today gave us an update on its LTE Advanced rollout.

T-Mo says that its LTE Advanced coverage, which can up to double download speeds, is now available in more than 920 markets. The combination of 4×4 MIMO, 256 QAM, and carrier aggregation is available in 430 of those markets. Not all devices support all three of those technologies, but those that do can experience another doubling of download speeds in markets where the tech is available.

When you pair 4×4 MIMO, 256 QAM, and carrier aggregation with sufficient spectrum and backhaul, you get Gigabit Class LTE. When combining network and device tech, you can get increased capacity, better spectral efficiency, reduced congestion, and faster speeds.

This means that customers with select devices in 430 markets could get Gigabit Class LTE speeds. There’s no guarantee that you’re going to get these Gigabit Class LTE speeds, but these devices do have the components give you the opportunity to access them, so long as you’re in one of the 430 markets with 4×4 MIMO, 256 QAM, and carrier aggregation.

The T-Mobile devices that have a Snapdragon 835 processor with X16 modem and can access Gigabit Class LTE include the Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Moto Z2 Force Edition, and LG V30.

T-Mobile also said today that it plans to launch License Assisted Access (LAA) on small cells this year. LAA is an LTE technology that utilizes unlicensed spectrum to get more network capacity and speed.

Source: T-Mobile

Tags: , , , , , ,

  • Vaswani

    Does this work with the iPhone X?

    • thenew3

      Nope, iphone 8/X maxes out at 500mbps. You’l have to wait a year or two before an iphone can take advantage of gigabit LTE

      • Sharti24

        2018 iphone band 71…hopefully

        • SirStephenH

          You’d think but then Apple doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to band and technology support.

      • Willie D

        iPhone 8/X on AT&T and TMobile use Intel mobile chips, not Qualcomm – thus they are not capable of the 3 technologies at the same time, let alone LTE-U or LTE-LAA at all – so no. If you used a Sprint or Verizon unlocked device, they MIGHT, however, Apple has a history of crippling Qualcomm chips to make them underperform the same as Intel – which is bad.

  • Steve

    In North DFW about 645am, I got speeds of 162Mbps today on a Pixel 2. It’s definitely the fastest I’ve ever had. I didn’t check the LTE band at the time.

  • CC

    what are the markets?

    • Petey07

      I wonder the same… Speeds in the Bay Area is average… but can be improved Lol.

      • Willie D

        Speed in SF basically rivals Sprint – that’s to say utter crap. A newer Gigabit device helps, basically it doubles the speed to “usable” and matches a horrible performing day if it was ATT or VZW.

        • Petey07

          I disagree with your comment. My service is pretty satisfying around the bay area and other places that I had travel to, but there’s definitely room for improvements.

          When I had Verizon back a couple years back (when the iPhone 4S) came out, both T-Mobile Services and Verizon data service was horrible! I got sick of Verizon data speeds, and came back to T-Mobile when they carried the iPhone, service has improved over time and still is.

        • Sharti24

          Post some speed tests of your results!

        • Ray

          On September 29 at 11:46am, I had 192.97 down and 38.93 up in eastern Contra Costa.

        • Jeff Burns

          Bay Area with a modern phone on T-Mobile (Galaxy S8) with Band12 support worked pretty well, even on BART in the tunnels just 2 months ago. Big improvement over 9 months prior to that. T-Mobile continues to improve very, very rapidly now. (FINALLY)

        • Petey07

          I experienced similarly! Again, service is improving.

          I take bart as my daily commuter to work on the yellow line from Pittsburg. I do have some issues during rush hours between Walnut Creek & Rockridge (going Westbound), which on my iPhone 7 plus, I can force it onto LTE; but on my Note 8, it won’t hold LTE, but it will hold onto 4G (which is unusable). Going Eastbound during the evening commute is totally fine. (go figures… Lol)
          I spoke to T-Mo on Twitter, and they said around this week, there’s engineers doing some work on the towers. Maybe this is what they are doing? Lol.

  • Sharti24

    No pixel or iphone? Wtf

    • JB45

      Iphone does not use snapdragon

    • yankeesusa

      iphone refuses to use qualcomm chips and usually apple will delay a tech a year or so on purpose for testing or just to make people upgrade and spend more money. There was an article about that somewhere if i remember. Apple knows how to play the money making game very well

  • Bronwyn Charles

    Would like to take this opportunity to point out that based on the tech specs of the Pixel 2, Google is throttling the Snapdragon X16 inside of it. The X16 is Cat 16 in the downlink for theoretical peak speeds of 1Gbps, but the Pixel 2 is only Cat 15 at a peak of 800Mbps. While the X16 can support 4-carrier aggregation in the downlink, the Pixel 2 only supports 3-carrier. Additionally, the X16 actually supports 2-carrier aggregation in the uplink for a peak of 150Mbps, but the Pixel 2 does not and only supports peak upload of 75Mbps.

    • kpb321

      Carrier aggregation and MIMO both rely on being able to send or receive multiple things at once. For CA this is on different frequencies and for MIMO this is different spacial streams in the same frequency. Doing both at the same time at the levels required for the Gigabit class LTE requires lots of antenna and supporting hardware (filters amplifiers and such). I don’t really consider not including that hardware throttling as opposed to not choosing to implement all the hardware features. Those antenna’s have a cost in the BoM and in spaces inside the phone so it is a Design decision. Do you try to implement everything and win the spec race or aim for what will actually be useful for the majority of your customers.

      This is much like just because the modem chipset supports a particular band doesn’t mean a phone will support that band.

      • Bronwyn Charles

        Yes I understand the technicals behind how QAM and MIMO work. However, your suggestion that frontend hardware is the issue is fundamentally flawed. This would be the case perhaps when adding band support. For example, I was really disappointed that the Pixel 2 did not support Band 71 on T-Mobile’s network, but it is common knowledge that additional hardware is required to support the band similar to Band 12 when it first came out, so for that I’m not concerned because it could have delayed the manufacturing and release. Things though like the number of carriers you can aggregate are functions of software. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if later on in the lifecycle of the device they release a software update that does enable 4x carrier aggregation in the downlink and dual carrier agg in the uplink. Google did do something similar last year to the carrier profiles. The Verizon profile of the Gen 1 Pixel was capable of 3-carrier aggregation but the T-Mobile profile was not despite the fact that the phone physically supported it and the specs indicated as such. It seems now in this case they’ve simply opted to restrict across the board.

  • Willie D

    What’s shady is that the company already had these three major technologies for years, and the network had in many areas all 3 active at the same time, but until recently no devices could use all three at the same time, only 2 at the same time (it switched between which two based on performance). So this is actually nothing new other than expanding. As for Gigabit LTE, again, devices recently capable of using all 3 technologies at the same time are on the market, and are faster on average, sometimes double, but nothing in terms of speed much higher than 120mbps (nothing near the 500mbps TMo shows), and even still, none of this will make a huge dent until TMo actually deploys LTEU and LTELAA, which is only in a handful of markets now. Basically they had a massive press release over old things they’ve already done and are trying to boost their cell phone sales themselves.

    • superg05

      if i ever saw near or over 50 in Dallas in non affluent areas i’d be happy

    • yankeesusa

      How is it shady? They might have had the tech but manufacturers have to put the right hardware in their phones. It wasn’t until the note 5 that this started to happen when it came to carrier aggregation. and yes your’e right no speeds near 500 in the real word, but there has been 200 spotted and many times in the real world when it should be near 500 it’s not because of congestion which they test for and calculate in the labs. I normally get around 90mbps in a certain area around my town but in others i get only 18mbps. It all depends. Don’t know how that’s being shady.

  • Jamie S

    Meanwhile back at the ranch…

    Had to leave the stinky pinky and join big red. It’s nice to finally have 4G LTE! Even tho I hate big red.

    • moonoverparma

      And here is the problem. The carriers are more concerned about speed than coverage.

      • SirStephenH

        What else should they be concerned about while the top four’s coverage are within a couple of points of each other?

        • moonoverparma

          T-Mobile has plenty of holes where I live where their coverage could be much better. If your download speed is 100 or 10, that isn’t going to matter much when you can’t get a good signal. T-Mobile still can’t touch Verizon when it comes to coverage. Sprint is even worse…way worse.

    • yankeesusa

      I guess in the depends on the ranch and where it’s at. Yes verizon does have better coverage in more rural areas but tmobile is no slouch lately when it comes to rural areas, and their getting better.

    • SirStephenH

      Good luck, to each their own. You may regret it though in a couple of years when T-Mobile’s band 71 rollout is in full effect.

  • The Borg

    Just goes to show you, you can’t make some people happy no matter what you do

  • Mike Thaler

    Why do people need internet speeds on their phones that are many times faster than they get at home?

    • Mr Fluffy

      faster porn….

      • Adam

        She is going the distance, but he is going for speed.

    • Sharti24


      • Mike Thaler

        Congestion at home? Not likely. Vast majority of people now have home internet more than enuf to do live streaming. 30-40Mbps is more than enuf. Why does someone on one instrument (phone need 100?200?
        More likely to have congestion on mobile – especially in a crowd like a sporting event.
        When we got 300mbps service from our provider (it’s supposed to be 100, but speed tests are usually 3 times that ($25/mo. from Google) = I noticed very little in the way of faster connections over the Comca$t 40Mbps service.

        • Sharti24

          No, i ment congestion on the network. Thats why they need speeds faster on their phone. Id say more people use laptops/tablets at home rather than their cell phones

    • yankeesusa

      Congestion. And yes at home which can be anywhere including in the middle of a city. And if you look at statistics home internet in the usa is not as far as people think. You can thank monopolies for that.

    • SirStephenH

      These are theoretical speeds that result in usable speeds in many real life situations.

  • big curt

    I get 102 download and 36 upload in tricities was using the Huawei mate 9

  • Matt Ferguson

    30 minutes north of Cincinnati I got 189.99/35 on my Pixel XL. This was at 6:06AM.

    • Sharti24

      Damn son

    • JB45

      West Chester Area?

  • moonoverparma

    S8+ also? Or just the S8?

    • yankeesusa

      Both s8’s.

  • cehiatt87

    Definitely not available in Charlotte, NC. Do we have a list of these markets or a way to find out? I wonder if they are using Band 66 for these speeds?

    • SirStephenH

      There’s nothing special about band 66, it’s basically just an extension of band 4 and actually supersedes band 4. T-Mobile more than likely uses contiguous band 2 or band 4 spectrum along with carrier aggregation to obtain those speeds.

  • riverhorse

    Add HTC U11 to list.

  • Sharti24

    Does the iphone X support 3ca, 4×4 mimo or 256qam?

    • master94


    • SirStephenH

      No. The iPhone is always behind in cellular technology.

    • slybacon

      The iPhone X supports 4x CA and 256 QAM, but NOT 4×4 MIMO.

  • Alberto

    Pixel 2?

  • yankeesusa

    Yes, this is great and yes not everyone will get these speeds and yes there are rural areas that are horrible for tmobile. But the same goes for other services. The best thing is to try it for yourself and what works for you. I see all this bickering over where and when service was bad and where it wasn’t. Just use the service that works for your specific needs.

  • Sharti24

    Has anyone heard of the tower company “eco-site”? Their towers have been popping up all over my area (akron/canton, oh). i used antenna search’s website to see where the towers are located. All the towers have nothing on them yet, they’re just poles waiting for equipment to be installed. They’ve been like that for 2-3 months now

    • Sharti24

      I Emailed them and they replied. All these new towers in my area are confirmed by eco-site to be tmobile towers

  • aw

    Which 430 cities?

  • aw

    And nobody at any level in T-Mobile customer support or advanced technical support has any idea what advanced LTE is, How it works. And They can’t answer questions about 4×4 mimo or 256 qam. All they can do is direct you to press releases. Sad. Neville Ray needs to train his staff. Or zip it.

    • Irfan

      U need to go to school instead of calling cs , how , where not cs job ..

      • aw

        Yep, a personal attack. Nice!!! The Internet clown show continues. What is CS there for? To answer questions. If nobody at TMO can answer technical questions about phone or network capabilities that’s a complete failure from the top down to support their customers and company. And perhaps a class in grammar for you.

  • Omar Lozada

    Is Chicago any of those cities?

  • Stephan Tchorbajian

    I’m sorry but this claim is completely ludicrous. Why not T-Mobile check out speeds in midtown where you get anywhere from .5 – 2 mbps/sec during rush hour. I think T-Mobile has come a long way but please don’t b.s. when you can’t maintain decent speeds in Manhattan and my Youtube is constantly buffering.