T-Mobile has shifted the mobile landscape significantly in the past year, doing away with device subsidies and forcing a small price war among the largest mobile providers in the U.S. One area T-Mobile still struggles to compete in, however, is the overall quality of its network. Neither T-Mobile nor Sprint have the data coverage reach across rural America that AT&T and Verizon have bought over the past decade.
To rectify this, T-Mobile is, of course, making big promises. The carrier today announced a new program to aggressively roll out 4G LTE data access to areas that currently only have access to its EDGE network. The company will also deploy 4G LTE over the 700 MHz A-Block spectrum that it purchased from Verizon early this year.
T-Mobile expects around half of this major initiative to be complete by the end of 2014 and has predicted that the program will be "substantially complete" by mid-2015.
"Through this major new network upgrade program, and other initiatives already underway, we're driving hard toward our multi-billion dollar strategy to further improve what is already an amazing network experience for our customers," said Neville Ray, CTO at T-Mobile. "Our 4G LTE is going to reach 230 million people across the U.S. by mid-year. By year's end, we're going to be delivering wicked-fast 4G LTE to more than 250 million people. That's how the Un-carrier rolls out 4G LTE.
In addition to the infrastructure upgrades, T-Mobile today also announced that it has "taken legal action" against Verizon, demanding that the company cease and desist its network coverage map ads. T-Mobile believes that the ads, which depict only 4G LTE networks, are unfair because the leave out T-Mobile's HSPA+ network, which it also considers to be 4G.
"Verizon's ink blots massively understate our coverage and don't begin to represent the actual customer experience on T-Mobile's network," said John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile. "So we're setting the record straight - both by demanding an end to the misinformation, and by going straight to the people with the truth."
As it is unlikely Verizon will stop comparing its 4G LTE network with other carriers, T-Mobile has released a new ad touting T-Mobile's total coverage (not just 4G):