T-Mobile shutting off HSPA+ service on its AWS spectrum market by market

T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) is in the process of shutting down HSPA+/UMTS service on its 1700 MHz AWS-1 spectrum as it completes the transition to supporting those services on its 1900 MHz PCS spectrum.

"We're providing our customers a better network experience by seamlessly moving them from the AWS spectrum band to the PCS band, which frees up additional AWS spectrum to be used for LTE," T-Mobile said in a statement to FierceWireless.

T-Mobile first started refarming its 1900 MHz spectrum for HSPA+/UMTS service in September 2012. Up until then, T-Mobile had exclusively been using its AWS spectrum for those services. However, as it reconfigured its network, T-Mobile used the AWS band as its primary band to support LTE, which it launched in March 2013.

T-Mobile's LTE network now covers 280 million POPs, and the company aims to reach 300 million by year-end. In addition to the AWS band (Band 4), T-Mobile's LTE network also runs on the 700 MHz A Block (Band 12) and 1900 MHz PCS (Band 2).

T-Mobile has been migrating HSPA+ customers over from the AWS spectrum to the 1900 MHz PCS spectrum and will be shutting down HSPA+ service on 1700 MHz AWS market by market.

­Earlier this week the blog TMoNews reported that such shutdowns have already occurred this year in Indianapolis and Louisville, Ken. The blog said that on June 18, Chicago saw HSPA+ service on the AWS band go dark, with around 20 more markets to follow in the next two months. A T-Mobile spokesperson declined to comment on when and where HSPA+ service would be shut down in the AWS band in markets across the country.

On Sunday, T-Mobile shut down operations on MetroPCS' legacy CDMA network after turning off the service in Dallas, Miami and New York City.

For more:
- see this TMoNews article

Related articles:
T-Mobile: 190,000 MetroPCS subs were still on CDMA network ahead of shutdown
T-Mobile catches up with Sprint: Both carriers now cover 280 million POPs with LTE
T-Mobile appears set to bring 700 MHz LTE service to NYC area
T-Mobile hopes to deploy LTE in all of its 700 MHz A Block spectrum this year
T-Mobile will work with Nokia Networks to launch LTE carrier aggregation
T-Mobile to focus on 1900 MHz LTE deployment to expand network footprint

Article updated June 24 at 2 p.m. ET with an updated statement from T-Mobile