T-Mobile's subscribers in selected cities in the United States are beginning to enjoy faster download speeds on the carrier's recently upgraded LTE networks. For instance, subscribers in Columbus, Ohio are currently clocking in at 30.2 mbps; in Boston, it is 24.1 mbps; while in Kansas City, T-Mobile users are experiencing speeds of 19.3 mbps.
Take note that the numbers mentioned above are just averages. T-Mobile has even reached speeds as high as 86 mbps on its LTE network, which the carrier now calls the Wideband LTE.
Wideband LTE is now officially available in 21 US cities and metropolitan areas. Customers who are based in these areas can enjoy 50 percent more or even twice the bandwidth of T-Mobile's 4G networks.
In terms of download speed, that would be equivalent to 100 mbps to 150 mbps, theoretically. Although it should be noted that in actual conditions, speeds may vary depending on the current condition of the mobile networks used.
As far back as 2012, T-Mobile has already been busying itself adding more spectrum into its network. When the AT&T-Mo merger did not pull through,T-Mobile got itself some consolation airwaves. The carrier then decided to launch an LTE network, at the same time, toning down its 2G capabilities while shifting 3G to other bands. A year later in 2013, T-Mobile bought MetroPCS, a move which further piled more 4G spectrum into its network, especially in large key cities.
So it is not surprising that in 2014, T-Mobile is able to provide a wide 4G spectrum in big metropolises. In Detroit and Dallas, the carrier can field as much as 40 MegaHertz; in some areas, it's 30 MegaHertz. Also, T-Mobile is beginning to deploy new LTE networks in a much lower frequency band, extending the carrier's 4G coverage beyond urban areas.
Of course, the competition is not just sitting idly by. This year, Verizon Wireless launched a new 4G offering called XLTE. Like T-Mobile's, it uses 30 MHz to 40 MHz blocks of spectrum (although customers will need a newer Verizon handset or modem to enjoy high speeds). As for AT&T, it is also prepping its own upgraded LTE offering, which uses a new technique called carrier aggregation. Basically, it brings spectrum from different bands together in order to achieve more capacity and faster speeds. Even Sprint is upgrading its Spark network, expanding it to more regions while making an effort to improve its overall bandwidth.
The next step for T-Mobile is to deliver on its promise to make its Wideband LTE service available to 22 of the top 25 US before the year ends. As for the 21 cities and metro areas, here is the full list:
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