T-Mobile says 1900MHz HSPA+ service now in 49 cities, one user finds small patch of LTE in NYCAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
T-Mobile has steadily been refarming its 1900MHz spectrum since late last year, switching the network from 2G service to 3G HSPA+ service in several parts of the country. The move opens up T-Mobile's 3G network to a wider range of unlocked handsets, including the iPhone, which is something that the magenta operator hasn't been shy about promoting. Today T-Mobile shared a list of all 49 cities where its 1900MHz HSPA+ coverage is currently live, telling PCMag that the service now covers 142 million people. There are several major cities on the list, including Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Seattle and San Francisco, as well as other towns like Ann Arbor, Mich., Napa, Calif., and Reno, N.V. The full list of 49 towns can be found at the PCMag link below.
Along with rolling out its 1900MHz HSPA+ coverage, T-Mobile is busy getting ready to launch a 4G LTE network. Magenta has already said that its network is coming to Las Vegas and Kansas City, but the carrier hasn't divulged any other cities that it'll be rolling LTE out to. We now know the identity of one area in which T-Mobile appears to at least be testing its LTE network, though, as GigaOM reader Milan Milanovic has found a tiny pocket of T-Mobile LTE service in a three-by-five block area in Astoria, Queens.
The patch of LTE service was a bit tough to find, as Milanovic explains that he had to force his Nexus 4 to LTE-only mode and manually search for a signal. Even after connecting to the band 4 AWS signal, Milanovic said that he was kicked off every 5 to 20 minutes, suggesting that T-Mo's not quite ready for the public to test this LTE signal. However, Milanovic was able to run a speed test that yielded speeds of 15.57Mbps down and 9.15Mbps up.
T-Mobile is currently the only major U.S. carrier that hasn't yet launched a 4G LTE network. Magenta is getting ready to roll out LTE service, though, and it revealed at CES 2013 that it plans to "step on the gas" with its LTE rollout in order to cover 100 million people by mid-2013 and 200 million by the end of the year.
T-Mo is also working on getting LTE-capable equipment into its lineup, with a new LTE-enabled Galaxy S III on the way along with the BlackBerry Z10, Galaxy S 4. T-Mobile has also said that it plans to roll out an update to enable LTE support on its Galaxy Note II. Of course, T-Mobile first needs to launch the LTE network that these devices will run on, and it's not yet clear exactly when that'll happen. Once T-Mobile's LTE network does go live, how many of you plan on upgrading to some hardware that supports it?