Early Details of T-Mobile's New LTE Network (March 2013)

Early T-mobile LTE Stats

As we count many network engineers among the userbase of our OpenSignal app, we've been able to get an early look at the, as yet unreleased, T-Mobile LTE network and can reveal a number of details:

See our interactive map of T-Mobile's LTE cities after the break.

Speeds and Devices


We've seen T-Mobile LTE on the Note II, the S IV, the S III and the S II HD LTE.

Firstly these speeds are only an early indication of real world speeds. It's based on a small sample size, there's no other load on the network and the tests that gives us this data were likely carried out close to cell sites with good signal. Disclaimers aside, we've observed a respectable 25Mb/s average download speed, an 8Mb/s average upload speed and an average latency of 40ms. All of these would come in above the average real world speeds of LTE networks all around the world (see our recent Global State of LTE report).

In terms of devices, T-Mobile have been clear that the Galaxy Note II will be their first LTE Android device and recently upgraded the software to handle LTE. However, we've also seen them use an unreleased Galaxy S IV to test their LTE network. Interestingly we can detect the Galaxy SIV chipset that is being used and can confirm that (for the US version) it is the Snapdragon S4 (MSM8960) which is a little disappointing as it is a chip that has been out since early 2012 and is not likely to offer the same performance as the newer Snapdragon 600 or Samsung Exynos, which is going to be used by the other international versions of the device.

We also saw users on the network with a Galaxy S III (AT&T Version) which indicates that unlocked AT&T S III's will be able to work on the T-Mobile LTE network when it comes online.

T-Mobile LTE cities


T-Mobile has ambitious plans to roll out LTE to 100 million people by mid-2013 and 200 million people by the end of 2014. This means they will need to start launching in a number of cities very soon. Only Kansas City and Las Vegas have been specifically mentioned by T-Mobile and all other launch cities remain a mystery, however, the following cities where we've detected testing are likely to be among the first. Note, we've fuzzed the exact locations of the testing in the map below.

City list:
Seattle,
Denver,
Las Vegas,
New Orleans,
New York,
San Diego,
Kansas City,
San Jose / Bay Area.

The Future


We'll be monitoring T-Mobile's LTE network as it rolls out and watching how the average speeds evolve as consumers start signing up and putting the network to use. We'll also be mapping the coverage of the network and seeing if T-Mobile can live up to its roll-out promises. Keep an eye on our coverage maps to monitor this, where all the data comes from real world users of the OpenSignal application.

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