T Mobile

Darn impressive even if not always doubling speed. I wouldn't expect to get 400 megabits at Broadway and 42nd Street at 6 p.m. Some people, in just the right spot, will see speeds close to that. Speeds of 50-150 megabits will be common many places, although those at the edge of cell or through a thick wall the speeds will go down to under 10 megabits.

 CTO Neville Ray has done an extraordinary job keeping up with the technology despite a capital budget of under $5B, not much for a U.S. sized network. He's also extended coverage to 311M pops, about 98%, almost matching Verizon. (Independent testing of coverage is often lower than the telco claims, but I have no reason to believe T-Mobile lies more than Verizon or AT&T.)

The moves to 256 QAM (downstream) and 64 QAM (upstream) won't affect many people because so few phones support them. QAM measures how many bits you send per hertz. Higher QAM encode more data. The analog components and digital signal processing in new phones are improved, allowing more signal to get through. 256 QAM will be common in new phones in a few years. 

 Ray should not have signed his name to the claim, "delivers a massive 2x speed boost to customers."

There are places where doubling the number of antennas will double speed. Doubling won't happen in many other places and the average T-Mobile speed will not go up that much. He knows that but let the ad people have their way. 

 The magic of MIMO is that signals from different antennas, even very close together, can be distinguished. Each signal bounces off obstacles in a slightly different way. Arogyaswami Paulraj discovered MIMO one day when it rained on the Stanford campus. He was doing some experiments using two cordless phones, testing how far apart they needed to be to tell apart. He moved inside that day, not expecting to distinguish the signals. Instead, he clearly saw two separate signals. A few days later, in the barber's chair, he realized what was happening. There are now billions of Wi-Fis and phones built with MIMO.

If you have clear line of sight, MIMO gain can be negligible. Hakan Ericsson of Ericsson told me I was wrong to assume MIMO would help the NBN connect people in the Australian bush. Because there wasn't much to bounce off, his tests results were very disappointing. The company had found a similar effect driving around Stockholm, 8x8 antenna MIMO did have an 800% gain in some places but much less in others. (Hakan is not related to the company founder.) Paulraj confirmed this. He believes MU MIMO and Massive MIMO, now rolling out, will work well in rural areas.

The pr below rags on Verizon, badly hurt by the capes cuts of the last few years. VZ is playing a dangerous game. Their higher prices are based on better networks. Any claim that T-Mobile, AT&T, or Verizon has the best network in the U.S. today is unprovable. Choose the right measure of data source and you can claim to be the best. Reality is they are so similar it rarely matters.

T-Mobile's pr is the most readable in the industry. Some of it is what the courts call "puffery." "Puffery" - claims that go beyond provable facts, but not too far - is legal in the U.S.

LTE Advanced is so 2014. We’re already on to the next big thing. Verizon is now 50% faster … and still slower than T-Mobile!

September 06, 2016 
Chief Technology OfficerT-Mobile’s network is America’s most advanced LTE network. Period. That’s not hyperbole. It’s fact.
 
That’s why I was cracking up at Verizon’s breathless “LTE Advanced” announcement last week.  Really?  LTE Advanced? That same technology (2 channel carrier aggregation) has been available to T-Mobile customers since 2014, and we’ve already rolled out 3 channel carrier aggregation too. 
 
These advanced technologies are already live for T-Mobile customers in 425 cities across the country.  And, it’s a big reason T-Mobile has been crushing the competition in LTE speed for years according to three independent sources OpenSignalOokla and even the FCC. Customers on America’s fastest LTE network already experience typical download speeds of 7-40 Mbps and typical upload speeds of 7-20 Mbps. (Ouch.  I’m sure it’s frustrating for Verizon to be #2 even with all this LTE Advanced stuff they’ve already deployed!)
 
Verizon loves to scream about the massive amounts of money they’ve spent on their network over the last decade. It is a staggering, mind-blowing sum of money. But, here’s something even more mind-blowing: Verizon has spent billions on their network, and it is still slower than T-Mobile, and Verizon still won’t (or can’t) offer unlimited data.   
 
I will hand it to Verizon. They did some cool marketing. And, I really can’t blame them for trumpeting LTE Advanced two years too late. This is what they have to do with their older, slower network. Every couple years, they rebrand it. Remember Verizon XLTE? It’s all but gone. Now, it’s Verizon LTE-A. What’s next? Verizon LTE-BS?
 
Look, in reality, carrier aggregation is not new.  It’s so 2014. That sound you heard from T-Mobile last week was a great big yawn. We’re already on to the next big thing.
 
Today, I’m proud to announce that we’re first (again) to introduce new technology that delivers a massive 2x speed boost to customers. 4x4 MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) doubles the number of data paths between a cell site and your phone.  Double the paths = up to double the speed than before! 
 
This new advanced technology is available NOW in 319 cities. Customers with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will be able to use this new technology with a software update later this month, and more phones will support it soon.
 
But, we’re not stopping there. Today, we’re also first to launch another new technology – 256 QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) for downloads and 64 QAM for uploads.  These new technologies increase the number of bits delivered per transmission for even faster speeds. In fact, combined with 4x4 MIMO, 256 QAM delivers download speeds up to a blazing fast 400 Mbps. 
 
256 QAM and 64 QAM are already live in half our network, and by end of October, we’ll light up every single cell site across our nationwide network. Customers with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will be able to use this new technology with a software update in October, with more phones on the way.
 
We’ve already launched seven LTE Advanced technologies – more than anyone else in the industry. (For those keeping score, they are VoLTE with eSRVCC, Carrier Aggregation, CoMP, SON, HetNets, EVS and higher order modulation.)  Already, one of those technologies – Voice over LTE (VoLTE) – carries roughly 60% of calls on our network, far more than any of the carriers. Our LTE Advanced is so much more advanced than the competition, it ought to be called LTE Advanceder®.
 
While carriers like to announce everysingledevice. they test in the lab on new technologies, the Un-carrier acts. We put new technology to work for our customers in the field, not in press releases.
 
But, equally important as our technology leadership is coverage. Today, I’m also proud to announce T-Mobile now covers nearly 312 million!  That’s right.  Verizon’s claimed coverage advantage is gone. We cover 99.7% of the people Verizon does. Now, almost everyone can choose a faster, more advanced network from T-Mobile – a network that can handle unlimited with more cell sites and more spectrum per customer than Verizon. A network that already carries 55% more data per customer than Verizon.
 
There’s a reason Verizon and AT&T don’t offer everyone unlimited high-speed data and have been running away from it for years – their networks just can’t handle it.  Their networks were built when a phone call was the #1 smartphone app – not Instagram or Pokémon Go or Snapchat.  Their network was not built to handle the massive amounts of data people use today.  T-Mobile’s network was built a generation later with newer technology – and it was built for how people use smartphones today – for massive amounts of data!
 
With every new technology-first we deliver, we build on our LTE Advanced foundation and extend our leadership. We’re not just pushing this industry forward on things like service contracts, overages, international roaming and unlimited data. We’re pushing this industry forward on next-gen technology, too – beyond LTE Advanced, towards 5G and towards a future where people can just use wireless without worry or fear.
 
There’s a reason T-Mobile customers are the most satisfied and T-Mobile customers are more likely to recommendthe Un-carrier than customers of any national wireless company. It all starts with our blazing-fast, super-advanced network – that just got a lot faster and more advanced.  If you haven’t tried it lately – trust me, you simply haven’t tried it at all!

Newsletter

Often interesting

Latest issue

 Gig LTE & Massive MIMO ushering in the Age of Wireless Abundance

Wireless Abundance is here: What the new tech means http://bit.ly/Wirelessabundance
Sprint & T-Mobile Charge to be 1st in U.S. to Gig LTE bit.ly/STMOgig  AT&T bit.ly/ATTGIG2016
Kitahara of Softbank “I am crazy about Massive MIMO” http://bit.ly/MMIMOCrazy
20 Gig mmWave, Massive MIMO & Gig LTE at the Huawei MBBF http://bit.ly/Huawei20
LTE gets to the gigabit explained for non-engineers http://bit.ly/GigLteexplained
Massive MIMO explained. http://bit.ly/WHMassiveMIMO
2017's Big Gigabit story: Qualcomm 835 is ready http://bit.ly/BigGigLTE
Doubling speed with 4x4 MIMO & 256 QAM at T-Mobile http://bit.ly/2k1gEOQ
Netgear Nighthawk M1, Telstra do "gigabit class" LTE http://bit.ly/2k1s5Gq
Spectrum price down by half http://bit.ly/Spectrumhalfoff
Dish and the telcos see big asset cut http://bit.ly/auctionlosers
Shorts on 3GPP,  NYU research, Ralph de la Vega, 5G new radio

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5GW News

dave right5G? 4G? Whatever the name, wireless is going to a gigabit, soon.  I've reported broadband since 1999 and now is the time for gigabit wireless. Catch a mistake or have news? Email me please. Dave Burstein

 

Stories worth writing

Starry may match Verizon 5G at half the cost
OFCOM in UK: Share all spectrum, even licensed
OFCOM's Boccardi: 26 GHz worldwide: U.S. goes 28 
Verizon 5G fixed tests will be only 100's of homes
Massive MIMO FD at China Uni, Tele, Huawei, ZTE

 

 

 

Datapoints

Verizon and AT&T burying price increases in fees. 

Huawei's Richard Yu intends to pass both Apple & Samsung in smartphones in five years. 

The 3,000,000,000 transistor Qualcomm 835 is a revolution. Gig LTE, incredible cameras, better VR & AR, & ... State of the art CPU, DSL, GPU, ISP tightly integrated

1,000 T-Mobile small cells 2016, 6,000 more coming. Tech Life

New $84 Reliance Lyf Wind 7S has a 5" screen, a quad-core Snapdragon, an 8 megapixel camera, and some extras. Not state of the art, perhaps, but completely usable at a modest price. 

Orange/FT 4G covers 97% of Poland, 96% of Moldova, but only 84% in France, Q3 2016. They have 113.5 mobile customers in Africa compared to 25.5M in Europe.

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