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T-Mobile's iPhone Is Coming, LTE Network Expansion This Year

By James Geddes , Feb 28, 2013 05:41 PM EST
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It looks like T-Mobile subscribers will be happy to know that during its fourth quarter 2012 financial report a few important details were discovered. The carrier revealed that its HSPA+ 4G network now covers more than 225 million people nationwide. The company also revealed more information on its 4G LTE network.

The first two markets that are complete are Las Vegas and Kansas City. Customers in those areas will be able to use T-Mobile LTE devices when they launch in the coming weeks. The wireless carrier announced it has accelerated the launch of its 4G LTE network and plans on reaching more than 100 million users with LTE by mid-2013 and more than 200 million by the end of the year.

 T-Mobile is already building up its portfolio of LTE equipped devices in anticipation of the official launch. T-Mobile has committed to carrying a few popular LTE packing smartphones. A leaked calendar reveals the dates when T-Mobile will begin offering two highly anticipated smartphones, the BlackBerry Z10 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE.

According to the calendar, the BlackBerry Z10 will launch on March 27 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE will see a launch on March 27 or April 3. T-Mobile's version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has an LTE radio built-in but it's currently disabled. T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said in January that an OTA (over the air) update for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 would be able to turn on the 4G LTE radio inside the smartphone, he did not reveal when this update would occur.

The financial report also reveals that T-Mobile's BYOD (bring your own device) program continues to grow at an accelerated rate, and it's all thanks to the carrier allowing unlocked iPhones to run on its network.

T-Mobile is adding approximately 100,000 iPhone customers per month, according to its report. The carrier also announced that it currently has more than 2 million iPhone customers using its network. What's interesting about that announcement is that T-Mobile will begin carrying its own branded version of the iPhone very soon, and current rumors point to an official iPhone 5 launch before April.

The iPhone 5 is probably the most anticipated LTE smartphone T-Mobile will offer. It's pretty safe to assume that the 2 million iPhone users currently on its network will increase dramatically once the carrier begins selling its very own iPhone. T-Mobile is the last of the four major carriers in the U.S. to sign a deal with Apple to carry the iPhone.

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