T-Mobile USA had announced that its 4G LTE network launch will happen this month in Las Vegas following some setbacks that delayed the original launch date of Sin City for the Consumer Electronics Show. According to the latest report on Fierce Wireless, the Las Vegas launch is ‘days away,’ with other publications reporting that the launch could happen as early as next week. For its part, the carrier still hasn’t promised a specific date yet for the Las Vegas LTE launch nor a speed range for its LTE network under real-world performance.
Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray from T-Mobile says that the launch “is coming on real fast” and will happen soon.
So what’s after Las Vegas? Fierce Wireless is reporting that Ray has hinted that the LTE deployment will follow the same pattern as when HSPA+ first launched on T-Mobile on the carrier’s 1900 MHz spectrum, which means that Kansas City will be next in line, followed by Baltimore, Houston, and Washington, DC.
At the launch of its 4G LTE network, T-Mobile will have two compatible devices, the Galaxy S3 as well as the Galaxy Note 2. Users of the existing Galaxy S3 on T-Mobile’s current 4G HSPA+ network, unfortunately, will have to upgrade their hardware for LTE compatibility once the network is in place if they want to take advantage of the faster mobile broadband download speeds afforded by the LTE network.
On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 2 has a dormant LTE radio and antenna internally, and T-Mobile will likely deploy an over the air software update to activate the LTE module. That means users of the Galaxy Note 2 phablet will not have to purchase new upgraded hardware to take advantage of LTE speeds.
It’s still too early to tell how much faster LTE on T-Mobile’s network is when compared with LTE on rivals such as Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T. AT&T currently has some of the fastest speeds for LTE and T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ 42 Mbps network is no slouch either promising speeds that are comparable to some slower LTE networks out there. LTE will likely improve T-Mobile’s upload speeds, which will be great for consumers who upload a lot of photos and HD videos to Facebook, Google, or YouTube, for example.