T-Mobile is aware of its issues regarding 4G coverage. The company is determined to change the current trend of having 70 million Americans stuck in the slow EDGE network. Its timeline? Two years.
CTO Neville Ray spoke with PCMag.com, and shared their promise of a better and broader in-building coverage from their network. He said that their method is a multi-point, coordinated assault on the coverage weaknesses while they continue to sell unlimited data plans.
Talking about unlimited, there are a lot of discussions – how long and where it's heading. Ray said the company is in a good position with regards to supporting growth and capacity of the networks at this time. Whether or not unlimited plans last forever, the network needs to plan for it, as well as how to support unconstrained and unlimited growth for the next five years.
T-Mobile's high-speed coverage is usually in large cities. In the latest contest of RootMetrics drive testing, T-Mobile lost as the top 125 cities only covered a little over the half of the test area; whereas Verizon focuses on rural LTE square mileages. RootMetrics' calculation of performance was weighted more on geography, instead of population.
T-Mobile will expand its coverage to over 250 million by this year-end. It will be mostly by expanding their metro coverage radius. By mid-2015, about 301 million people will have LTE, substantially completing the project, Ray said.
Not all the coverage of T-Mobile is its own. About 17 million people are serviced by rural carriers which T-Mobile has deals with. Many of them are holding back on LTE installation due to worries that phones will be out of stock for Band 12 spectrum. However, AT&T has agreed to make the phones Band 12 compatible in the rural carriers thus, LTE and T-Mobile will reap the benefits as well.