updated 02:45 pm EDT, Fri June 15, 2012
Modernizing 2500 cell sites by end of July
T-Mobile has detailed its network improvement plans, including LTE rollout for 2013. The carrier is preparing to modernize 37,000 cell sites, including several thousand to be revamped this summer. Additional HSPA+ expansion will occur ahead of LTE trials this summer, before the company formally deploys LTE service next year.
Equipment currently being installed on 400 sites, bringing them up to HSPA+ operation by June, with a further 2,100 sites to follow the same path in July. Zoning approval has been secured for work at 19,500 sites, including building permits for 4,000 more locations.
Visitors to WWDC at the Moscone West Conference Center in San Francisco had a taste of 4G HSPA+ service in the 1900 spectrum, with T-Mobile customers on unlocked iPhones experiencing the faster speeds. This was part of an increase of small-scale tests by the carrier, which is preparing for large-scale deployment by the end of the year.
LTE trials are said to be underway, with Release10 equipment being used in the tests. Release10 is designed to improve carrier aggregation to improve signal banding, and enhanced multi-antenna support for both masts and devices. T-Mobile sees this as one of the advantages of launching its LTE service next year instead of this year.
T-Mobile HSPA+ coverage