December 23, 2015
By Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer
We’re just over two years into this Un-carrier revolution and it has become an unstoppable force. This movement has always been about reinventing US wireless to build a better experience for all Americans. And at the very center of it all has been our unwavering focus on delivering our customers the best network experience in America.
Customers tell us that this means data speeds that support their texting, tweeting, streaming and Skyping; and reliable coverage where they live, work and travel. They want a network that will keep up with them because now more than ever, they rely on their smartphones to connect to the Internet and to each other. So that’s where we’ve put our focus over the past year…
America’s Fastest 4G LTE Network
For seven straight quarters and counting, T-Mobile has delivered the nation’s fastest 4G LTE network.
Throughout 2015, we’ve continued improving network speeds and quality with the rapid roll-out of T-Mobile Wideband LTE that pushed data speeds peaking over 150Mbps in places like San Francisco and New York City.
It’s no surprise that millions of crowd-sourced speed tests confirm T-Mobile’s LTE network speeds continue to blow the others away. We don’t plan on this changing anytime soon.
America’s Fastest-Growing LTE Network
Our mission has been to bring the Un-carrier revolution to as many Americans as possible and we’ve been working hard to bring ever-improving network coverage to even more places where customers live, work, play and travel.
T-Mobile Extended Range LTE − which carries our LTE signal 2x farther and 4x deeper into buildings – is now available to customers in a long list of major cities including Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis, LA, Miami, Philadelphia—and, as of last week, Seattle, Cincinnati and New York City.
Customers in more suburbs and smaller towns including Helena and Kalispell, Montana; Sioux Falls, Sturgis, and Watertown, South Dakota; and Palestine and Athens, Texas now have T-Mobile LTE for the very first time. You can find some fun updates here.
In 2015 alone, our LTE footprint grew almost 1 million square miles or a third of the entire continental US. We’ve brought LTE to 219 new markets, and we’re looking forward to expanding our distribution to make T-Mobile available to many more Americans.
America’s Most Advanced LTE Network
Network coverage and speed are the two most common measures of network performance but there are additional technology advances we pay attention to in order to make the customer experience even better. Take a look at some of what’s under the hood:
Rolling out our new Extended Range LTE presented a unique opportunity to activate an LTE-Advanced technology – known as carrier aggregation − which, when done right, delivers a network experience that’s greater than the sum of its parts. Customers get rock-solid low band reliability combined with great mid-band performance and faster data speeds all around.
We now have 18 devices available to customers that support this new technology, including the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, Galaxy S6, and the LG G3.
You may remember that T-Mobile was the first to roll out Voice over LTE (VoLTE). Now, with high VoLTE penetration (and a significant portfolio of compatible devices), our customers benefit from the highest performance in data and voice on LTE. Almost 40% of calls made on the T-Mobile network are now on VoLTE. VoLTE is the most advanced network experience you’ll find, and yet, one vocal vendor selling “scientific” network drive test results won’t count these calls when testing the T-Mobile network. Ask those other guys how much of their voice calls are made on LTE!
And we’ve built on our investments in nationwide VoLTE to bring the age-old text message and voice call into the mobile internet era. Earlier this year, we were first to launch RCS-based Advanced Messaging… then we added native Video Calling, which our customers can enjoy on their compatible phones right out of the box.
We Put Spectrum to Work. Fast.
As you know, underlying all of this – every single American’s wireless experience – is spectrum.
While the other guys squirrel away spectrum resources, happy to maintain status quo for their customers, we’ll never leave assets sitting around that could benefit customers today. In 2015, we put into customers’ hands the 700MHz spectrum bought from Verizon (which they had been sitting on for years) in mere months.
At the same time, we finished folding all MetroPCS spectrum into the T-Mobile network far ahead—years ahead—of schedule, delivering benefits to both MetroPCS and T-Mobile customers.
The Future of Fast – Looking forward!
Because we know that content is moving to the Internet, and the Internet continues to go mobile, we’ve worked to roll out advanced network technologies to benefit customers today and this sets us up to deliver on our customers’ wireless needs tomorrow. Over the coming year:
And yes, when 5G is ready, you bet T-Mobile will be ready to deliver the benefits to our customers. But don’t be too distracted by certain carriers teasing premature promises of 5G today. The industry standards don’t even exist for 5G yet, but if you look at what T-Mobile has being doing to give customers an advanced LTE experience (a prerequisite to 5G), you’ll see that we fully intend to bring 5G to the market in a very real way when the time comes.
Meanwhile, at T-Mobile, we’ll keep the focus on delivering you an ever-evolving network experience today−while doing all the hard work to deliver on your wireless needs well into the future. After all, in a very real sense, this Un-carrier revolution was ignited and is still fueled by you. Listening to you is what started all of this…. and we’re still listening today.