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T-Mobile Celebrates First Anniversary of 4G LTE Rollout, Announces Major Network Upgrade Program

T-Mobile

Less than a single year ago, T-Mobile launched its 4G LTE network in just a handful of markets across the US. Today, the Magenta Monster covers 210 million people in 273 metro areas nationwide with its LTE network. To celebrate this joyous occasion, T-Mobile announced a “major network upgrade plan,” one which will turn most of its 2G/EDGE service areas into an oasis of LTE coverage. 

T-Mobile hopes to complete the bulk of this revamping by mid of this year, with the work set to be complete by the end of next year. For customers who currently only see 2G/EDGE service in their areas, they can expect to see 4G LTE. For those with access already to T-Mo’s LTE, they can now rest assured in knowing they are covered by fast data in even more places.

In addition to pumping up its own network, T-Mobile is striking against Verizon, which is actually quite the change from its usual attacks on AT&T. Now, T-Mobile has taken legal action demanding that Verizon cease and desist the carrier’s network map advertising. The claim is that Verizon has “cherry-picked” a single network technology to base their map advertising on, rather than using an accurate reflection of the many network technologies in use today.

T-Mo kicked off a new marketing campaign to go along with its battle with Big Red, and we have placed the video below.

If you are a T-Mo customer, things are starting to get even better.

Via: T-Mobile
  • Julian S. in Massachusetts

    I switched to TMOBILE…what a disappointment. I only get 1 to 2 bars most of the time. I have 4G LTE and still it sucks SOOOO BAD…I’m going right back to VERIZON. Life was so much easier w/them.

  • Scott in MA

    If they actually get 4G where I live (which is 2G currently) and travel then I might give up VZW come July when my contract is up. I will definitely stay tuned.

    • Dan Bracey

      Why wait? TMobile will pay the ETF!

  • http://www.vgchartz.com SuperChunk

    Love it. I moved to tmo last year and love it so far. My only gripe is that its footprint is smaller than big red’s. With an obvious push in dramatically improving that, its music to my ears.

  • Al-Burrit0

    Well this is good! As long as they update their coverage also. Idk if I’ll if switch to Tmo since I pay $36 for unlimited text and calls with 2gb of data on ATT. And just this week at upgraded my area to LTE finally. It couldn’t be any sweeter! :D

  • coolsilver

    Living in an T-Mo 2G area but with Verizon LTE… I can’t welcome this change fast enough.

  • bydavidrosen

    Wow this would be so amazing. I don’t understand HOW they can upgrade it so much, but I hope they do since I’d love to stay :-)

  • Poison

    *golf clap* Still a long way to go before they can play with the big dogs at AT&T and Verizon.

  • jnt

    “T-Mobile hopes to complete the bulk of this revamping by mid of this year, with the work set to be complete by the end of next year”

    So they’re going to *start* mid-year this year I’m assuming?

    • Brendan

      No, they’re getting most of it done by mid year, and finish it all by the end of 2015.

  • jnt

    So T-Mobile accuses Verizon of cherry picking, and then uses a stat (96%) based off of an almost useless network technology? Seems almost as bad as cherry picking, to be honest. And I don’t see how Verizon using LTE as the basis for comparison is that bad when that’s the current technology. I can understand Tmobile feeling it unfair to ignore their HSPA+42, but the 42 is nowhere near 96%.

    Converting Tmobile’s 2G / Edge to LTE will be a huge help – that’s pretty awesome. But they still have big gaps in their overall coverage, and I don’t see any verbiage talking about expanding that.

    I like Tmobile and what they’re doing, but between Legere’s antics, which have felt over-the-top lately, and stuff like this – it feels to me like desperation… though that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

  • J Dub

    I tried T-Mobile. They just aren’t good in my area, while traveling, and while I was in the DC area. Forget streaming anything while traveling and forget getting signal inside most normal buildings. The bottom line is don’t just jump head first into a new carrier because they are cheaper. Test them out in your area first. I know some people love T-Mobile. Around here they are just pure garbage.

    • Chris Schmucker

      Anything that isnt Verizon is garbage at VT

    • jbworldwide1

      You’re being rather dramatic. I live in DC and travel well within the area and its the best service I’ve had since Sprint went to sh*t a few years back. I’m more than satisfied after switching this year.

  • interstellarmind

    I wish all carriers would use avg network speeds on their coverage maps. Instead of relying on terms like “HSPA+” or “LTE” which are just marketing terms used to confuse you into thinking you’re getting higher/ lower speeds. It’s like Apple’s use of “Retina” when describing their screen resolutions or “lightening” connecter to describe their new proprietary charging pins.

    In the end, consumers shouldn’t care what tech is being used to deliver their mobile data speeds, they should care about how much mobile data speeds they’re getting.
    For instance, in NYC, VZW’s LTE was getting me 1-2 megabytes/s and TMo’s HSPA+ was getting me 2-3 megabytes/s (of course TMo’s LTE is now getting me 4-5 megabytes/s). I don’t care what VZW calls it, I don’t care if it is a newer tech, and I don’t care if it’s because of heavy usage from more customers, I care about who’s giving me more speed at the best price.

    • besweeet

      Most users probably don’t know anything about speeds. They just want something that seems fast and reliable.

    • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

      It would be nice, but I don’t see how they could seeing as how the speeds change depending on load.

    • master94

      I cant even get a bar in Brooklyn anymore ever since VZW “updated” it’s network. Only reason I still have them is because the boss pays for it. VZW is over rated

  • interstellarmind

    So glad I switched from VZW to TMo. Best move I’ve made.

    Great phone selection (i.e. Nexus compatibility), better LTE speeds than VZW’s LTE in my area, and now expanded coverage!

    • Daniel Dlugos

      Agreed. I just switched to T-Mo after being with Verizon for 10+ years. Mighty pleased with the service so far.

      • michael arazan

        I left T-Mo after being with them for 6 years to go to vzw. 20% coverage was not acceptable, and that was just for the cellular phone coverage. Plus they would not honor their phone replacement even though the phone was faulty in it’s 11 month of 12 month coverage. Then when I paid to break my contract, recommended by their Rep, to go month to month because of better text rates, they stuck me with an ETF even though I was on month to month and paid to break my contract already.

        • DeeFrog

          Your story sounds fishy

        • Intellectua1

          That’s the EXACT same thing that happened to me. I had a month to month and when I went to cancel it they tried to say I had a pay as you go contract and wanted to charge me 200 but I paid full price for the phone. I do not respect T-mobile or their crappy service and that $200 will forever be on my credit because I’ll never pay it

  • Bobby N

    I’m already seeing improved LTE coverage. My city was just outside of an LTE market, but it now has LTE. Thanks, Tmobile! Now, if you will turn the edge at my house into LTE, I will love you forever.

  • http://petervideos.com/ Peter Mansour

    I really want tmobile to do better so I can convert my ignorant Verizon friends

  • sagisarius

    I’m glad their upgrading a lot of that EDGE coverage, but I really wish they would start expanding their coverage to more areas as well.

  • Intellectua1

    T-Mobile always has and always will suck.. They can run all the promotions and promise me the world, but they’d never win me over as a customer..

    • jbdan

      If I were Tmo, I wouldn’t want you as my customer :p

      • Intellectua1

        Yea because I’m not foolish enough to pay for sub par service. I like to pay for reliable services not sometimes it may or sometimes it may not service.. I’m not that desperate for a discount.

        • jbdan

          Ahh, I see…

  • David Benson

    I just switched from Verizon to T-Mobile. I live in an area where I was lucky to get 2 bars of service with Verizon. Missed phone calls, missed texts… well as of Saturday with T-Mobile I get 3 to 5 bars and LTE. Latest SpeedTest had me 20mb down and 10mb up. Not too bad for two lines for $100 a month. I am very pleased but the real test will be my drive up to MA and Cape Cod this summer. So far though… very very pleased.

    • jbdan

      I did the switch about 1 year ago. I’m right there with you on home location. Tmo is better than vzw (hard to believe some would say). Traveling to rural areas (even the ‘ruraliest’ of areas) tmo still has me covered just fine (email/text/phone calls), but at the cost of edge. For me this works. For some, it does not work. It’s all about the individual. An interesting point is that in those rural areas I travel too, which is infrequent, vz’s 3g is as painfully slow as tmo’s edge, actually even slower in some cases.

      • David Benson

        I am ok with slow data speeds. I just want to be able to get a phone call or make a phone call if needed.

        • jbdan

          You should be just fine then :D (hopeful for you)

        • jnt

          That’s why I ultimately switched back to Verizon – for now. When we tried Tmo recently, areas that showed I should’ve had Edge or at least voice/text service, I had nothing at all. Couldn’t receive a text or a call… Wouldn’t have been as big of a deal if the map hadn’t shown otherwise.

          • David Benson

            VZ map said I would have “Excellent” 4G LTE around my house… nope.

          • jnt

            Yes, but at least you HAD coverage. That was the kicker with Tmobile for me (again, for now). I understand there are discrepancies in usage per tower, bottlenecks, congestion, etc – but to have zero coverage where there should be some was the ultimate deal breaker for me.

            Obviously this is a very experience based discussion :)

    • ronald bernard

      I live in Plymouth and work in Brockton. I also go to Ayer for reserve duty and stay at the mother in laws in North Chelmsford. So far I have had very little issue and the rest of my wife’s family lives on the Cape. We have not really had much of a problem at all. So far we are very happy since switching. And to save almost $80 a month right now too is fantastic. I won’t lie on occasion like when I am in Ayer I do miss Verizon a little bit bit if the edge is upgraded then that won’t even be an issue.

  • JSo

    I’ve always hated those Verizon commercials. Pulling people off the street to look at maps and picking which one is better. And stupid people go “Oh, this one must be better because I can’t argue with a map.”

    • Tom

      Not sure whose commercials are worse, Verizon’s who uses misdirection or AT&T who always feels like they are talking down to everyone (especially with their “it’s not complicated” commercials.

  • Tim242

    Hey Ledger…HSPA+, is not 4G. It never was, never will be. They aren’t cherry-picking, they are comparing apples to apples. Get some Preparation H, that should help.

    • sagisarius

      By definition (100mbps)… neither is LTE.

      • Tim242

        You are incorrect. It has more to do with the capability and the fact that it is a new tech. HSPA is revamped 3G, LTE is an actual 4 G tech. Regardless, Verizon is comparing LTE to LTE.

        • sagisarius

          You can look it up, no one in the US has 4G, it’s being used as a marketing word.

          This might help…

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4G#Technical_understanding

          • TuckandRoll84

            I feel like you should probably read the second paragraph of the link you posted.

            This might help

            “Since the first-release versions of Mobile WiMAX and LTE support much less than 1 Gbit/s peak bit rate, they are not fully IMT-Advanced compliant, but are often branded 4G by service providers. On December 6, 2010, ITU-R recognized that these two technologies, as well as other beyond-3G technologies that do not fulfill the IMT-Advanced requirements, could nevertheless be considered “4G”, provided they represent forerunners to IMT-Advanced compliant versions and “a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed”.

          • sagisarius

            Yeah, I did read that. It seems kind of non commital, not that they changed the definition, just that they weren’t going to bother with it. I think they basically said “for marketing… do whatever”. But to the original point, that paragraph basically says LTE is no more 4G than HSPA+, which is also a “candidate system”.

          • t3lancer2007

            Except the definition of 4G was changed. Read further in the link you just provided.

          • Tim242

            I’m not having this argument. It was put to rest long ago. Ledger is just butthurt, as are you

    • zepfloyd

      Exactly. it’s not a 4G map comparison, it’s clearly labeled an LTE comparison, which there’s nothing wrong with. TMO doesn’t like the inconvenient facts, tough.

      • KingofPing

        AT&T sued VZW in ’09 for basically the same thing as I recall…this isn’t new to the business and isn’t limited to T-Mobile. They all cry foul when the other makes them look silly. :)

  • Rodeojones000

    This is good news as I’m in an Edge area. Another option for carriers is definitely a good thing.

  • Miguel

    You people need to stop defending tmobile’s poor network, it is what it is.
    Until we see the changes I won’t be singing their song.

    • PSU_DI

      Have you tried T-Mobile recently if ever? I switched from VZW and I’m completely happy, it works as good if not better than VZW in my local area. T-Mobile is a viable option for a lot of people and their pricing really puts them ahead.

      When I switched I worried a lot about dropped calls and lack of service but honestly I haven’t had either. I do dread seeing the 2G network in some places but today announcement goes a long way to improve that situation.

      • JSo

        I’ve been on T-Mobile going on 2 months. I came from Verizon as well. I pretty much always have LTE. Its been just as good as Verizon in my area.

        • KingofPing

          Been better than VZW for me in my area. VZW was great for years, and then within the last two I’ve been seeing more and more dead-zone/dropped calls/data. (Like, twice every day on the way to and from work).

          T-Mobile has me covered with HSPA+ or LTE all the way…and it’s a 45 minute drive from a farm town (LTE) to just south of the metro area (also LTE). There are better and worse areas than my commute, but it’ still been better than VZW has been lately.

      • Bruce Purvis

        I also switched to T-Mobile a few months ago from Verizon and in my area I have zero issue with their service.

        In fact I ran a network speed test the other day at work with a co-worker who was running his mouth about T-Mobile. He’s on Sprint, yeah I killed his speeds so he said that would not happen against Verizon. We found another employee who has Verizon and again T-Mobile’s LTE was the faster of the two, this actually shocked me!

        • LionStone

          Yep, I have the Nexus 5 on T-mo and I get better speeds than LTE on my Vzw phone.

    • Stone Cold

      We don’t defend it it works for some now for others if you don’t used the service then why care?

  • jbdan

    And it just keeps getting better :)

    • jimt

      And Verizon stays the same or sucks more. Go Tmo!

  • gambit07

    I love what T-Mobile is doing, but the problem is not 4G vs 3G/HSPA/Edge coverage. The problem is coverage. If you’re in a decently large city, chances are you’re fine. If you travel outside of that to more rural areas, it’s a toss up whether you will have any service or not. They need to expand their service area coverage first, then update towers to support 4G.

    • sagisarius

      Totally agree. Every large city I’m fine, but when I get out to more rural areas it’s so hit or miss.

      • Josh Rahn

        Mostly miss around here. :(

    • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

      While that’s true, upgrading the smaller cities and larger towns to at least 4G/LTE would make T-Mobile a much larger player. Once they upgrade more residents in those areas will switch over to them, and they will keep expanding.

      • gambit07

        Agreed, I just wish they would address the bigger issue instead of skirting it by calling out Verizon for not giving a correct coverage map. I’m sure everyone who’s been on T-Mobile can attest that coverage is an issue. You are right though, that will most likely give them more customers in the cities which could create more revenue for expanding the entire network. At least I hope so!

    • Mark Mann

      9000 people strong and 4G lte here

  • The Narrator

    You know what they say, “rome wasnt built in a day”.

    • Tim242

      They also say, “You get what you pay for”.

      • The Narrator

        Yeah , what i pay for Verizon is a dash of lube. Nothing spectacular

        • jbdan

          lmao

  • moelsen8

    doesn’t really matter if they don’t also expand outwards. i couldn’t even get 2g/edge in a lot of places for the few months i tried t-mobile. or a voice signal in some spots. i don’t care if they’re upgrading 2g/edge to lte, still doesn’t help once you leave the highway.

    • KingofPing

      Works just fine once you leave plenty of highways. Over-generalization is always false.

      There’s no doubt they have plenty of room to improve and plenty of folks who do not get coverage in many areas. There are also plenty of folks who get great coverage; even in rural farm-towns. All depends on where you live. They’ve got central Minnesota locked from Montgomery to St. Cloud. Some areas are even better than VZW speed and dead-zone wise.

      …and just liek there are places like that where it’s all good, there are places where it’s abysmal. Have they got anything in Montana yet? ;-)

  • Indianajonze

    “T-Mobile hopes to complete the bulk of this revamping by mid of this
    year, with the work set to be complete by the end of next year.”
    translation, please. is it going to be completed mid this year or the end of next year?

    • T4rd

      I have no problem comprehending that quote. I’m not sure how to re-word or simplify that for you, lol.

    • Greg Buxton

      I read that as “the bulk of the work” being ~51%, and complete == 100%

      • Indianajonze

        i guess i’m just dumb then. so 3 months to hit 51% and then an extra year and a half to upgrade 49% of the country?

        • Greg Buxton

          Something like that. I’m not sure of the specifics or their logistics, but if the “bulk” of their 2G coverage are in various metro areas those could be easier to upgrade than more rural towers, etc.

  • AUSTEEEZZZ

    My girl has T-Mobile in Los Angeles. I have Verizon in Los Angeles… She constantly asks me to hotspot my Droid MAXX so she can use her phone. WTH!?

    • WCM3

      She’s just using you for your unlimited data..

    • Kyle

      She’s just trying to “connect” with you! :P

  • zepfloyd

    Finally.

    Though it will be interesting to see in practice. Outside of spectrum, many of these sites were left on EDGE for a reason. Upgrading them is going to require a decent overhaul and certainly be expensive. A big chunk are also not owned by T-Mo rather local leases.

    • besweeet

      It just seems like something they’ll eventually have to do, so why not do it when they’re having all of this positive momentum? Will definitely be pricey, but hopefully it’ll bring in even more new customers.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    “For customers who currently only see 2G/EDGE service in their areas, they can expect to see 4G LTE. ”

    Most important thing they’ve said in months.

    • Larry Bublitz

      If their EDGE area was 4G LTE…. holy cow!

    • AnotherAndroidKid

      And yet I can go only 60 miles north of NYC and have solid dead zones without even EDGE. This is a start and I’m loving TMo vs the VZ I dropped. but they’re not there yet. Hoping for good things.

      • michael arazan

        I hated road trips pulling off the highways to get gas, food, or lodging and then no signal just from leaving the highway 200 ft. Just one of the eight reasons or so I left them.

    • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

      The next most important thing is if they release a statement on which markets will be upgraded first.

  • Johnny Steele

    Oh good! Hopefully they will still be buying out contracts! :D

    • KingofPing

      Legere said it wasn’t a promotion but rather a permanent service. ETF payoffs aren’t going anywhere. :)

      You’ll still be able to switch when they get the improvements out in your area.

  • Jarred Sutherland

    I’ll believe it when I see it. I want T-Mobile to be great around here, but this area has had so many issues with T-Mobile (Cincinnati).

    • BT

      Ditto, most of the areas in my travels are “4G/LTE” areas, but more often then not I’m running around on the 2G network and unable to do much of anything, even sending messages through GroupMe is a hassle (I know it has sms mode)

    • Drew Carpenter

      I have T-Mobile in Cincy and its been great. Sure we dont have LTE (Thanks Cincy Bell…) but 3G is fast and signal is good inside the 275 loop.

      • Jarred Sutherland

        That’s great if you live inside the 275 loop, but there are many of us that do not and EDGE is useless.

    • Chris Hilbert

      Hoping they finally bring signal to the black hole that is Hillsboro OH. Type that into the coverage map for a chuckle.

      • SpaceJIMM

        Hey, Hillsboro has a comedian for a mayor. Is he pretty good?

        • Chris Hilbert

          Hillsboro had/has a looming budget. He came in to make cuts to rectify, so that of course makes people upset. It is what it is….

  • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

    T-Mobile actually has great coverage in my area, it’s just that most of their coverage is 2G. This is great news! (And thanks DL!)

  • Tony Byatt

    Sprint’s Overlords are hunting you…