Andy Rubin isn’t the only one spilling his guts to reporters at Mobile World Congress this week. T-Mobile USA’s Andrew Sherrard also spent a moment talking about the future of the company he works for, confirming that once T-Mobile finishes rolling out its 42Mbps HSPA+ network, they’ll be skipping straight to LTE and abandoning all plans to deploy 84Mbps HSPA+.
T-Mobile may have been previously committed to brining their network up to speed by utilizing HSPA+ technology, but not anymore. Instead of using spectrum obtained from the botched AT&T merger to buildout an 84Mbps HSPA+ network, T-Mobile will instead use this spectrum to focus on LTE.
Magenta still faces the same problems with LTE as it would have with 84Mbps HSPA+, but as LTE has a brighter future ahead of it, they believe that’s where they should be placing energy and money. In order to successfully deploy LTE, T-Mobile is going to have to refarm spectrum, putting a strain on their 2G network. Sherrard said T-Mobile doesn’t imagine this will be a problem however, as more and more T-Mobile users are using 3G devices. T-Mobile will also stop carrying devices that don’t offer 3G access.
Plans to launch an LTE network for T-Mobile subscribers should come to fruition as soon as early 2013. By the beginning of next year, T-Mobile expects LTE to be available in the majority of the top 50 markets in the US. Abandoning the deployment of HSPA+ 84 and focusing on LTE should help the company achieve this goal.
I’ve been with T-Mobile myself for over five years now, watching my carrier of choice play catchup at every turn. If placing all of their resources on LTE means T-Mobile could finally catch up for once, I’m all for it. How about you?