Earlier this year, we learned of T-Mobile’s plans not to go ahead with upgrading its infrastructure to support 84Mbps HSPA+, and instead focus its efforts on developing an LTE network. With Sprint planning to offer service this summer, that puts T-Mobile in a distant fourth among the big guys for its progress towards launching such a network; just where is it in the process, and when can we hope to see T-Mobile LTE up-and-running?
The carrier posted an update on its blog today, detailing some of its progress in upgrading its network. Before LTE even gets here, we’ll see more and more T-Mobile 3G coverage on 1900MHz, beyond the 1700MHz we’re used to from the company. That’s going to give subscribers access to phones that might not have previously been an option, including iPhone models. Right now, this is still in a limited testing phase, but T-Mobile expects to launch 1900MHz service in a significant number of markets before the end of the year.
LTE is also currently in limited testing, but this isn’t the same old LTE we’re familiar with already; T-Mobile is planning to build its network with 3GPP Release 10 standards in mind, setting it up to support even higher-speed data. The first trials of T-Mobiles use of that technology will take place this summer, and if all goes well, the carrier hopes to publicly launch its LTE service sometime in 2013.