T-Mobile promises big things with LTE

Posted by Raven Lovecraft

T-Mobile is finally getting on the LTE bandwagon.

Thanks to the company's merger with MetroPCS, it finally has LTE spectrum to play with, and now it plans on making LTE a focal part of its future strategy.

When it comes to 4G, Verizon was late to the game. Sprint was the first to the market with its Evo 4G phone that came out more than two years ago.

But Sprint's network was powered by a standard called Wimax, which was significantly faster than the previous 3G network infrastructures but not nearly as fast as LTE.

AT&T and T-Mobile, meanwhile, launched their 4G services on a completely different standard known as HSPA+, which was inferior to Wimax so Sprint still dominated the game for a while.

But then Verizon finally entered the 4G market, and because it took the time to wait it was able to launch an LTE network from the outset. It quickly leapfrogged right ahead of all its competitors.

Now, AT&T and Sprint are both playing catch-up as they ditch their HSPA+ and Wimax networks to set up their own LTE infrastructures.

T-Mobile has remained on HSPA+, which is partially why it still offers unlimited mobile data at great rates. Nevertheless, LTE is a necessity to remain competitive.

"LTE today is good, but LTE tomorrow can be great. That's the opportunity we hope to secure and differentiate ourselves with," T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said in an interview with Cnet.

"This deal [with MetroPCS] puts us in a position to jump ahead. It'll be in a position that will be tough to match," he continued.