By Telecom Lead Team: T-Mobile USA is set to invest $4
billion to modernize network and launch LTE services.
T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ network currently covers well over
200 million people. T-Mobile will continue to expand its HSPA+ 4G footprint and
its 4G product and service offerings.
“We want to be known for delivering the best value
in wireless because of the advanced technology we deliver at an affordable
price. Over the next two years, we’re prioritizing and investing in initiatives
designed to get T-Mobile back to growth in the years ahead beginning with the
transformation of our network,” said Philipp Humm, CEO and president of
Additional investment areas core to the company’s
challenger strategy include pursuing the B2B segment, expanding the sales force
by 1,000; ramping up advertising spending; and attracting new MVNO partners
with an efficient platform for getting to market. T-Mobile will continue to
remodel its retail stores and expand distribution.
T-Mobile will be installing new equipment at 37,000 cell
sites and refarming spectrum to launch LTE in 2013. The key catalyst of
refarming is the additional spectrum T-Mobile will receive as a result of the
termination of the AT&T transaction. Also, other enablers are faster
adoption of 3G and 4G services and improved device performance.
Over the next two years, the $4 billion Capex represents
$1.4 billion in incremental network investment. T-Mobile expects to reach broad
deployment of LTE, with service in the vast majority of the top 50 markets and
20 MHz service in 75 percent of the top 25 markets.
Launching LTE next year lets us take advantage of
technology infrastructure advancements and benefit from a more mature LTE
device ecosystem while continuing to meet the growing demand for data with a
powerful 4G experience,” said Neville Ray, chief technology officer, T-Mobile
T-Mobile expects to be the first carrier in North America
to modernize 4G network with new antenna integrated radios on many of its cell
towers, which will deliver higher performance and strengthen coverage.
More than 90 percent of T-Mobile device sales in the
fourth quarter were 3G and 4G smartphones. As data usage and smartphone
adoption accelerate, fewer customers are utilizing 2G services.
This enables T-Mobile to refarm existing spectrum
holdings, reducing the amount of 1900 MHz PCS spectrum being used for GSM; to
deploy HSPA+ 4G services in the PCS band; and to make room in the AWS band for
LTE. In addition to creating capacity for LTE in AWS spectrum, deploying HSPA+
in the PCS band will harmonize T-Mobile’s spectrum bands with the U.S. market
and international carriers. As the company refarms spectrum, T-Mobile will
continue to support its 2G customers.