Bellevue, Wash. — T-Mobile U.S. will mark a year since its 4G LTE network rollout by kicking off a major new program to upgrade its 2G/EDGE network with 4G LTE.
The year-old 4G LTE network has “abolished a litany of consumer pain points through a series of revolutionary new programs and services,” the company said.
T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network now reaches 210 million people in 273 metro areas nationwide. Building on the quick pace of its LTE rollout, the company plans to complete 50 percent of the 2G/EDGE upgrade work this year and expects the program to be substantially complete by the middle of next year, T-Mobile said.
The upgrade will provide customers who currently experience 2G/EDGE coverage new access to 4G LTE, and many already covered by 4G LTE will enjoy access to 4G LTE in more places. In addition, T-Mobile plans to begin deploying 4G LTE this year in the new 700MHz A-Block spectrum the company is in the process of acquiring.
“Right now, T-Mobile covers 96 percent of Americans, and over the past year, we’ve completely shattered records with the fastest 4G LTE deployment the U.S. wireless industry has ever seen,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “Our competitors want you to believe our network doesn’t measure up. But that just isn’t true. And American consumers are going to see right through the spin and half-truths when given the facts.”
In a span of six months, T-Mobile said it deployed its 4G LTE network coast to coast, going from zero to nationwide coverage between March and September 2013. The company called its network “America’s fastest nationwide 4G LTE network” based on speed tests by real customers using Ookla’s Speedtest.net app on their own devices. More than 6.5 million customer tests have been conducted in 2014.
“Through this major new network upgrade program, and other initiatives already underway, we’re driving hard toward our multibillion-dollar strategy to further improve what is already an amazing network experience for our customers,” said Neville Ray, chief technology officer for T-Mobile. “Our 4G LTE is going to reach 230 million people across the U.S. by midyear. By year’s end, we’re going to be delivering wicked-fast 4G LTE to more than 250 million people. That’s how the un-carrier rolls out 4G LTE.”
In a statement, T-Mobile announced it is pushing back against misleading competitive claims through a new prime-time TV ad that has begun airing, and the company has demanded Verizon cease and desist with its well-known map ads.
“Verizon’s ink blots massively understate our coverage and don’t begin to represent the actual customer experience on T-Mobile’s network,” said Legere. “So we’re setting the record straight — both by demanding an end to the misinformation, and by going straight to the people with the truth.”
T-Mobile argued that Verizon has cherry-picked a single network technology to depict in its ads rather than accurately reflecting the many technologies widely in use today. T-Mobile reaches more than 230 million people nationwide with 4G HSPA+, which provides 4G coverage in many locations where LTE has not yet been rolled out.
The company’s new network television spot is now available for viewing on YouTube.