updated 11:45 pm EDT, Mon May 7, 2012
Spectrum needed obtained from 1900MHz AT+T sale
T-Mobile has hired Ericsson and Nokia-Siemens today for the upcoming $4 billion LTE buildout. T-Mobile's current HSPA+ network covers 220 million people in 229 major markets, and the company argues that it can be called 4G based on speed alone. The LTE expansion is expected to be completed sometime in 2013.
Both Ericsson and Nokia-Siemens have experience with construction of vast LTE networks having worked with Verizon during its ramp up to LTE. In the interim, T-Mobile is expanding it's 1900MHz HSPA+ network using bandwidth acquired from AT&T, and plans to have several uncovered markets serviced by the end of the year. The 1900MHz spectrum is important to T-Mobile to either service unlocked iPhones on its data network, or to ultimately add the iPhone to the roster of retail-available phones.
T-Mobile has limited network expansion since the failed merger with AT&T. First quarter financials are expected on May 10. T-Mobile is in the tail end of a previously rumored trade-in deal for competitor's smartphones.
[T-Mobile's HSPA+ coverage]