T-Mobile (http://www.t-mobile.com) has announced multi-year agreements with Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) to support T-Mobile’s US$4 billion 4G network evolution plan, including network modernization and deployment of long term evolution (LTE) service in 2013. The network improvements will purportedly allow the carrier to offer HSPA+ service in the 1900 MHz band compatible with current iPhone hardware.
As part of the agreements, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks will provide and install state-of-the-art, Release 10 capable equipment at 37,000 cell sites across T-Mobile’s 4G network, increasing signal quality and enhancing performance beginning in 2012. T-Mobile also expects to be the first carrier in North America to broadly deploy antenna integrated radios, enabling accelerated deployment and reduced site loading.
Last week, T-Mobile secured the AWS spectrum licenses from AT&T which were agreed to as part of the breakup of the proposed merger between the two companies. This new spectrum, in addition to the refarming effort, enables the launch of LTE in AWS spectrum and up to 20 MHz of LTE in 75% of the top 25 markets.
“We’re making great progress on our four billion dollar 4G network transformation,” says Neville Ray, chief technology officer, T-Mobile USA. “With these partners on board and the AT&T AWS spectrum secured, we’re on track to enhance our 4G experience this year and deliver nationwide LTE in 2013.”
The company’s timing for LTE allows T-Mobile to take advantage of the latest and most advanced LTE technology infrastructure, improving the overall capacity and performance of its 4G network, while optimizing the company’s spectrum resources, he adds. T-Mobile will also apply deep LTE technology experience gained from its parent, Deutsche Telekom, a recognized global leader in LTE development and standardization, says Ray.
As part of the company’s network modernization effort, T-Mobile also plans to launch 4G HSPA+ service in the 1900 MHz band in a large number of markets by the end of the year. Network modernization trials have shown up to a 33 percent increase in HSPA+ data speeds as well as improved in-building coverage. Rolling out 4G HSPA+ services in the 1900 MHz band will also provide customers with the ability to use a broader range of devices, including the iPhone, on T-Mobile’s 4G network.
T-Mobile also announced that its nationwide HSPA+ network has expanded to deliver a competitive 4G experience to well over 220 million people in 229 markets. In addition to an expanding 4G footprint, the 4G experience T-Mobile provides is pervasive among its customer base, Ray says.