T-Mobile, a couple years ago, probably had one of the worst networks in the US. But with the whole Uncarrier revolution the team has been working hard to improve the network, acquire new spectrum and build the fastest LTE network in the country, and that's according to Ookla (who uses crowdsourced data from people like you and me). T-Mobile's Chief Technology Officer, Neville Ray, has just posted his year-end highlights on the network as well as a look ahead for the magenta network.
In 2015 alone, Ray states that the T-Mobile network added coverage to 1-million square miles, which is equivalent to one third of the continental US. That means LTE was brought to 219 new markets for the first time. That alone is a pretty big step for T-Mobile. Neville Ray also pointed out that this year, the network saw peak data speeds of 150Mbps. Additionally, about 40% of calls were made on VoLTE, which T-Mobile claims is the most advanced voice experience you'll find. Finally, with their Extended Range LTE (using band 12), they've used carrier aggregation to combine mid-band spectrum along with low-band spectrum to make for a pretty spectacular network.
Now looking into the Future, Ray states that they will continue to roll out advanced network technologies that will benefit their customers. Some of that includes extending T-Mobile LTE into new suburbs, towns and other destinations. As well as building more speed and capacity (because as T-Mobile adds more and more customers, they are going to need more capacity to handle those customers), as well as rolling out 4×4 MIMO and 3-band carrier aggregation. Neville Ray also states that they will participate "aggressively in the upcoming broadcast spectrum auction" as many other T-Mobile execs have been saying all along. The team is also looking to drive more innovation to LTE-Unlicensed.
We've heard some talk of 5G from Verizon, and T-Mobile says that when 5G is ready, they will be delivering it to their customers. Ray reiterated that industry standards for 5G are not yet established, so it's still in its infancy. T-Mobile is also planning to keep the focus on bringing an ever-evolving network experience to their customers today and in the future.
The future looks pretty bright for T-Mobile and its network. It'll be interesting to see how much it improves in 2016. In 2015, it improved greatly, especially in the suburbs and smaller towns.