T-Mobile today announced that it will upgrade its entire 2G / EDGE network to provide faster 4G LTE service. The carrier hopes to hit the halfway point on that plan by the end of 2014 and "expects the program to be substantially complete by the middle of next year." This month marks the one-year anniversary of T-Mobile's LTE network launch, and in that time the fourth-place US wireless provider has aggressively worked to expand faster data speeds to more customers. Right now, its LTE coverage reaches 210 million Americans.
But the company has largely concentrated its LTE deployment around major cities and metro areas. One of the leading complaints against T-Mobile is that service quality often takes a dive in rural and even some suburban areas. Clearly the carrier is working to improve things, and the 2G-to-LTE transition will go a long way in robbing competitors like Verizon Wireless and AT&T of talking points.
T-Mobile cries foul over Verizon's ads
In the meantime, T-Mobile says it wants Verizon to cease and desist with "misleading competitive claims" in its coverage map ads. Verizon's commercials compare its own massive LTE presence to T-Mobile's still-growing network, while leaving out its smaller rival's HSPA+ coverage area. T-Mobile claims this "cherry-picking" of a single network technology is unfair, since HSPA+ can provide perfectly acceptable data speeds. It also plays a vital role for T-Mobile in areas where LTE service is unavailable.
"Verizon's ink blots massively understate our coverage and don't begin to represent the actual customer experience on T-Mobile's network," said CEO John Legere in a press release. It's not the first time the carrier has gone this route: at CES in January, Legere proclaimed that he would be responding to AT&T's "fastest network" claims with a cease and desist letter. T-Mobile has also debuted a new ad campaign of its own to help spread what it insists is "the truth" about coverage.