T-Mobile CTO Details Nationwide Network Strategy

T-Mobile CTO Details Nationwide Network Strategy 810 456 C-Suite Network
T-Mobile Network Growth

T-Mobile is just beginning to stretch its legs with its new rural 600MHz network in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Scarborough, Maine, the carrier’s CTO Neville Ray told us today. The company plans to cover much more of the country with long-distance, building-penetrating LTE waves this year, and it’s using the new network to set the stage for its 5G plans.

This year, T-Mobile plans to launch 600MHz LTE in Wyoming, Northeast and Southwest Oregon, West Texas, Southwest Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle, Western North Dakota, additional areas of Maine, Coastal North Carolina, Central Pennsylvania, Central Virginia, and Eastern Washington, the company said. That’s a mix of places T-Mobile currently has coverage and places it does not.

According to Ray, Cheyenne and Scarborough were picked essentially as test markets. T-Mobile has coverage there already, but that coverage could be improved.

“We wanted to get our Nokia radio and our Ericsson radio into market testing, so we could get the network up, get the phones in, and get the phones finally tested,” he said. The LG V30 will be the first 600MHz phone available later this fall, and it’ll be joined by a Samsung phone that hasn’t been named yet.

“We’re going to look to push every phone we have to support this banding” in the future, Ray said.

Past those cities, “in some of the early areas we’re leveraging existing cell sites where we may have coverage but don’t have low-band,” Ray said. “You’re going to see us leveraging existing facilities and capabilities out of the gate, and then the next phase is pushing coverage into areas where we didn’t have low-band.”

The network won’t be slow, either. Ray said T-Mobile has 40MHz of spectrum in many rural markets now, which…