T-Mobile USA executives are talking reinvigorated challenger strategy and the carrier’s Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray (whom we interviewed last month) just confirmed that its 4G network, being deployed in 2013, “will be compatible with a broader range of devices, including the iPhone.” He also warned T-Mobile “will continue to need more AWS spectrum to support a deeper LTE rollout.” Luckily, the carrier walked away from that failed AT&T merger with not only $3 billion but also some AWS spectrum.
Basically, in addition to its 1700MHz AWS band, the carrier will also use the 1900MHz band for HSPA+. This will result in a faster 84MBps HSPA+ service and iPhone compatibility because Apple’s handset utilizes the more common 1900MHz frequency band. Following the network reconfiguration, users of unlocked iPhones should be able to enjoy true 3G HSPA+ speeds on T-Mobile USA’s network.
Chief Executive Officer and President Philipp Humm stressed he wants his company known for “4G services, 4G devices and a great 4G network.” T-Mobile will re-launch its brand at some point and reposition as the Best Value in Wireless. As for the prospect of landing the iPhone this year, Humm said there is “nothing new to report,” and he argued such a deal would require “right terms” —a notion shared by U.S. Cellular.
According to Ray, T-Mobile expects to become the first carrier in North America to modernize its network using new antennas with integrated radios. Specifically, re-farming the existing frequencies will cut the amount of 1900 MHz PCS spectrum used for GSM to deploy HSPA+ in the PCS band and to make room in the AWS band for LTE. Deploying HSPA+ in the PCS band will “harmonize” T-Mobile’s spectrum bands with the United States market and international carriers. New antenna-integrated radios deploy on many of the carrier’s cell towers, resulting in higher performance and better coverage. This modernization, the carrier confirmed, will encompass 37, ooo cellular sites.
All told, T-Mobile will invest $4 billion over time to modernize the network, including approximately $1.4 billion in incremental network investment over the next two years that will pave the way for 4G LTE deployment sometime in 2013. The company expects to reach broad deployment of LTE with service in the majority of the top 50 markets and 20 MHz service in 75 percent of the top 25 markets. Other initiatives include various efforts to double down on business customers, remodel retail outlets, ramp up advertising spending and work harder to attract new MVNO partners. All of this will need more workforce, so the carrier is going to hire a thousand new workers.
Earlier this morning, the Bellevue, Wash.-headquartered wireless carrier, known as the nation’s fourth largest, announced a 3.3-percent quarterly revenue decline down to $20.6 billion in revenue. It also reported huge customer defections, losing a whopping 802,000 contract customers due to lacking the iPhone— a fact mentioned seven times in the official press release.
- Unlocked iPhone 4S working in some pockets of T-Mobile USA’s network utilizing HSPA+ 1900MHz spectrum (9to5mac.com)
- T-Mobile will use resources and spectrum gained from failed AT&T merger to become iPhone compatible (9to5mac.com)
- T-Mobile USA updating Samsung Galaxy SII software with battery, WiFi and Caller ID enhancements (9to5google.com)