After months of work, T-Mobile has officially activated the newly bonded spectrum from the MetroPCS LTE holdings in select parts of North Dallas on its LTE network, marking the first steps to a 20×20 LTE network in the area, which will allow for much faster data access.It should be noted that the work is ongoing in markets where MetroPCS previously had a native CDMA/LTE network established and does not apply to newly launched markets where MetroPCS acts solely as a T-Mobile MVNO.
The service expansion is currently limited to selected North Dallas suburbs such as Carollton and Addison TX, with peak speeds averaging 106Mbps down and 29 up, which is faster than the major fixed line ISPs in the general vicinity. T-Mobile expects to roll out the service enhancements to more areas of Dallas in the next few months, eventually covering the entire D/FW area with faster speeds, as the previous Metro PCS LTE network served the whole of both cities and outlying suburbs, as well as the top 25 markets in the country.
Unlike other initiatives being pushed by other carriers to increase LTE speeds and capacity such as Verizon’s recent AWS spectrum activation and Sprint’s Spark tri-band LTE service, the T-Mobile enhancements do not require software updates or new hardware, as they are merging and bonding existing spectrum and hardware to operate on T-Mobile’s core network, where Verizon and Sprint’s LTE updates require either completely new hardware or software updates for improved service.
It should also be noted that T-Mobile is quickly transitioning other aspects of the MetroPCS network away from the CDMA network, as all new activations are now done on T-Mobile’s network while the CDMA network is being sunset over the next year in order to repurpose the spectrum for increased HSPA+ capacity on the 1900 Mhz PCS band, work that is expected to be completed by 2015. Currently, the CDMA network is being maintained for subscribers that are still relying on older CDMA/LTE devices and have not yet upgraded to the new lineup of HSPA+/LTE devices.