T-Mobile to upgrade 2G network to 4G LTE, also taking legal action against Verizon
It was nearly one year ago that T-Mobile started its Uncarrier movement and launched its 4G LTE network in 7 U.S. cities. Since then, the magenta operator has continued to roll out LTE service across the country, and today the service covers 210 million people in 273 metro areas. So how does T-Mobile plan on celebrating the first anniversary of its LTE rollout? With more LTE goodness, of course.
T-Mobile announced today that it's kicking off a new initiative to upgrade its current 2G/EDGE network to 4G LTE service. The plan is for T-Mo to be halfway complete with this 2G to 4G conversion by the end of 2014 and then be "substantially complete" with it by the middle of 2015. T-Mobile also intends to start rolling out LTE coverage on the 700MHz A-Block spectrum this year using the airwaves that it's currently working to acquire from Verizon.
T-Mobile has been pretty aggressive with its LTE rollout, going from 7 cities to 273 metro areas in just a hair under a year. Its LTE footprint still isn't quite as large as those of AT&T and Verizon, but it sounds like T-Mo isn't slowing down on its LTE expansion plans. Its effort to repurpose some EDGE service to LTE ought to help expand its coverage quite a bit, and because it plans to be mostly complete with the conversion by mid-2015, most customers won't have too long to wait before they begin to see the benefits of this change. The impending 700MHz LTE rollout is also good news for T-Mo customers, as it means that those in 700MHz areas will see service with increased building penetration.
Getting back to Verizon, T-Mobile says that it's taking legal action against the big red carrier for making what T-Mo calls "misleading competitive claims." Some recent Verizon advertisements "cherry-pick" a single network technology used by T-Mobile and, as a result, the magenta operator says that they "massively understate" its coverage area. T-Mobile says that it has many network technologies in use, including 4G HSPA+ coverage that reaches 230 million people, some of which are in locations where its 4G LTE service hasn't yet been rolled out. T-Mobile's new primetime ad targeting Verizon and its network claims can be found below.