Bellevue, Wash. – T-Mobile launched nationwide Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and began rolling out 700MHz-band LTE equipment in base stations to increase data speed, capacity and coverage, the company announced.
T-Mobile began its VoLTE deployment two months ago in Seattle, and more than 2.8 million VoLTE-capable devices already operate on the T-Mobile network, thanks to the company’s efforts to seed the market in advance with compatible devices. The VoLTE devices are the LG G Flex, Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy Light and Note 3, with more to come.
VoLTE moves circuit-switched voice calls from 2G and 3G networks to 4G LTE, which converts voice to IP to conserve bandwidth.
In adding the 700MHz band to its cell sites with 1900MHz and AWS-band 1700/2100MHz radios, CEO John Leger said, “expect to see big improvements in in-building 4G LTE coverage — as well as coverage out beyond major metro areas.” The carrier is already field-testing devices with 700MHz radios and expects to get them in stores by the end of the year, he said.
T-Mobile purchased the spectrum three months ago from Verizon Wireless.
Also to improve capacity and coverage, the carrier has been “aggressively” rolling out Wideband LTE and upgrading its remaining 2G footprint to 4G LTE, Legere said.
The carrier operates at least 10+10MHz 4G LTE in 43 of the top 50 markets, he said. And Wideband LTE, defined by the company as offering at least 15+15MHz of spectrum in a market, is available in 17 metro areas, with 26 total metro areas planned for the end of this year. All of the carrier’s customers with LTE devices will enjoy the benefits as soon as Wideband LTE is turned on in their markets, he said.