T-Mobile’s LTE network, which uses the AWS band (1.7/2.1 GHz), was only rolled out earlier this year. But T-Mobile’s LTE network already has a reach of over 200 million consumers, and can now be considered truly nation-wide in scope.
But coverage doesn’t actually tell us anything about how the network performs, says Open Signal. For this reason they decided to run an analysis comparing how AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon performed in the 10 biggest US cities by population.
The results showed that T-Mobile is already performing excellently in the big urban centres. Sprint, with the least well developed LTE network of the ‘big 4′, does comparatively poorly.
T-Mobile mostly used PCS (1.9 GHz) for voice and AWS (1.7/2.1 GHz) for HSPA data. Now it’s moving HSPA to the PCS band. That benefits some 2 million iPhone owners (which don’t always work on the AWS band). The carrier has been installing HSPA+ 21 on 1900 Mhz around the country.
T-Mobile says using the AWS spectrum (1.7/2.1 GHz) will enable 2X20 MHz spectrum channels in 90 percent of the top 25 U.S. markets.
LTE Advanced provides carrier aggregation which can combine two or more carriers into a single channel. It can combine spectrum both within a single band and across multiple bands to provide higher peak data rates (up to 150Mbps over 20MHz), improved coverage and a better mobile broadband experience.
Light Reading reports that T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray is eyeing 2x15MHz and 2x20MHz channel updates for next year and beyond. “20-plus-20 is going to be a 2014 to 2015 story for us,” he said.