It appears that T-mobile will begin to utilize some of the 700MHz spectrum that it purchased from Verizon Wireless back in 2013, as reports state that they will be using it to fill in some gaps that deserve some much needed attention. Those gaps are largely the portions of T-Mobile’s coverage outside the major metropolitan areas where the 4G LTE coverage doesn’t yet necessarily touch, and they will be doing this with the help from the company that helped lay out and build their LTE network the first time, which is Ericsson.
Ericsson is also helping to build out LTE systems for T-Mobile in the 1900MHz frequency band, so the 700MHz bands aren’t the only spectrum that will be getting some treatment. This initiative will mark the next phase of T-Mobile’s LTE network rollout, something that should make customers that aren’t currently in supported LTE areas happy, assuming that they will see 4G LTE coverage after this phase is completed. As part of building out the network Ericsson is said to be utilizing old 2G and 3G spectrum and re-positioning it for better use so T-Mobile will have more 4G LTE frequency capacity. All of this plays into plans to not only reach more of T-Mobile’s customers with 4G LTE, but also get things moving so that eventually T-Mobile’s network will have unified all of it’s usable LTE frequencies of the 700MHz, 1700MHz, and 2100 MHz bands into a data super highway of sorts using a technique called carrier aggregation.
It will be a while before we start to see real speed increases and improvements to the network that really blow the lid off what we experience in most places now, but these things have to start somewhere and it’s nice to see Ericsson taking the initiative and getting things going at this stage. Unfortunately there isn’t a time line for when we will start to see blazing fast speeds from the carrier aggregation process, but at least more 4G LTE coverage is on the way to areas that don’t currently have it. Among the midst of the major network stuff that Ericsson is doing for T-Mobile, they’re also setting up tiny little cells all over T-Mobile’s network that should help to increase the data coverage in areas that are more populated, using small cells that Ericsson is calling Radio Dots. This should help to provide some extra network power when lots of people are in a small area at the same time and all using data frequently.