If you're a T-Mobile customer or have been one for some time now, you're likely very familiar with the ever-haunting "E" icon in your notification bar. E stands for EDGE for those unaware, and denotes that you've entered the Twilight Zone, i.e. a 2G area that no one should ever venture into for any reason at all. While T-Mobile has significantly improved their 4G network since launching it nearly 4 years ago, they've yet to make any actual improvements to their 2G network, namely replacing it altogether. A year or so ago during an investors call T-Mobile executives concluded that their 3G rollout was complete and that they would be focusing full-force on the 4G LTE rollout from there on out. This disappointed a number of people, including myself, who just wanted to see that nasty EDGE network go away forever, hopefully to be replaced by just about anything since it's so slow. Thankfully T-Mobile heard our hue and cry and is now officially replacing the ultra-aging EDGE network with cutting-edge 4G LTE technology, and it's happening faster than one might have expected. Over the last handful of months since T-Mobile launched it's 4G LTE network last summer they've expanded it at a record-breaking pace, going from no LTE coverage to covering an estimated 210 million people (by their numbers) in 273 metro areas nationwide. These metro areas are designated as such because of a high population base, which is why they were prioritized for 4G LTE rollout first. This new rollout is going to be placed in the 700MHz A-Block spectrum that was acquired from Verizon not too long ago.
T-Mobile is following up this news with a series of new ads showcasing their 4G LTE network, it's current rollout and the new rollout we've been talking about here. In the latest ad posted just yesterday they tell Verizon to "fold up that old map" that's used in so many of Verizon's ads lately, showing the seemingly small LTE network coverage T-Mobile has. T-Mobile goes on to say that 96% of Americans are covered by its network; a figure that sounds nice but doesn't really mean much unless all you like to do is talk and text all day. Without proper data coverage and good speeds smartphones are essentially just super expensive dumb phones, and can't perform many of the tasks we love to do every day. The new 4G LTE replacement of the 2G EDGE network is expected to be 50% completed by the end of 2014, and should total somewhere in the vicinity of a quoted 250 million people, meaning somewhere around 80% of the US population will have T-Mobile 4G LTE coverage. While there's no specific maps provided for these areas we expect to hear a great deal about the rollout over the rest of the year, as CEO John Legere continues to lead the company to profit with his trademarked attitude and style.