T-Mobile silent on its mid-year LTE deployment progress

T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) is not talking about whether it met its goal of deploying LTE covering 100 million POPs in the U.S. by the end of June. In response to questions from FierceWireless, Alexandra Schwerin, spokeswoman for T-Mobile said this: "T-Mobile remains committed to achieving the LTE milestones we've previously announced and we have nothing new to share at this time."

The company launched its first seven LTE markets in late March. Those markets include Houston, Kansas City; Las Vegas, Nev.; Phoenix, Ariz; San Jose, Calif.; Baltimore, Md.; and Washington DC. Since then, the company has not officially launched any further markets, but wireless signal testing firm Root Metrics has reported picking up the company's LTE signal in a variety of markets such as Denver, San Francisco, Seattle and New York.   

T-Mobile has scheduled a media briefing in New York next week, the topic of which is unknown. However, if an update on the firm's LTE network is not on the agenda, company executives will likely be fielding questions from the media regarding its deployment status.

T-Mobile executives have long boasted about the company's ability to catch up with its competitors by being able to quickly migrate to LTE Advanced despite the fact that T-Mobile is late to the game in terms of deploying LTE. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) have launched LTE networks and are in the process of growing their LTE footprints. Last week Verizon said its LTE network is substantially complete, with more than 500 markets covered offering LTE and coverage at more than 298 million POPs nationwide.

T-Mobile maintains that it will be able to move to LTE Advanced faster than its larger rivals because its network equipment and radio access network are already capable of supporting LTE Advanced. Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and Nokia Siemens Networks are T-Mobile's primary LTE infrastructure vendors and have been installing LTE Release 10-capable equipment at 37,000 cell sites across T-Mobile's network footprint

In May, T-Mobile touted its progress in getting subscribers from its MetroPCS brand off legacy CDMA service and onto its HSPA+ and LTE networks, saying that it is ahead of schedule in the migration. The company also said it plans to significantly expand the footprint where its MetroPCS brand offers service--by around 100 million POPs over the next six quarters--as it continues to modernize its network and integrate MetroPCS customers following the merger between the two companies that closed in May.

For more:
- see this PC Mag article
- see this Root Metrics post

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