T-Mobile rolls out more HSPA+ 42, picks vendors for LTE and notches 1 million VoIP users

With CTIA 2012 getting under way, T-Mobile is the latest company to check in with an announcement, proudly informing the world of the latest developments in its 4G expansion efforts and Bobsled VoIP service. On the 4G (not faux G) front, it's selected "Release 10" hardware from Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks to support the $4 billion LTE rollout the company is undertaking (using AWS spectrum acquired from AT&T) starting this year and will continue through 2013. While nationwide LTE should be reality next year, right now T-Mobile is delivering HSPA+ to new markets, with HSPA+ 42 live today in Fayetteville and Little Rock AR, Lake Charles LA and Springfield, MO. Due later in the year, as expected, is 4G HSPA+ on the 1900 MHz band that should bring faster speeds, better building penetration and 4G access for the iPhone. While we're still not sure how the free Bobsled VoIP service figures into the company's plans, the company announced it has already broken through one million users. According to its stats, 95 percent are not T-Mobile wireless customers and 80 percent of calls originate from outside the country, however 90 percent of text messages sent are domestic. All the numbers and locations are in the press releases after the break, if you want to hunt down some high speed data action for yourself.

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T-Mobile USA Selects Infrastructure Vendors to Support $4 Billion 4G Network Evolution Plan
Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks on Board for Network Modernization and LTE Deployment; America's Largest 4G Network Continues to Expand to New Markets

NEW ORLEANS, May 07, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Today, T-Mobile USA, Inc. announced multi-year agreements with Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks to support T-Mobile's $4 billion 4G network evolution plan, including network modernization and deployment of long term evolution (LTE) service in 2013(1).

As part of the agreements, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks will provide and install state of the art, Release 10 capable equipment at 37,000 cell sites across T-Mobile's 4G network, increasing signal quality and enhancing performance beginning in 2012. T-Mobile also expects to be the first carrier in North America to broadly deploy antenna integrated radios, enabling accelerated deployment and reduced site loading.

Last week, T-Mobile secured the AWS spectrum licenses from AT&T which were agreed to as part of the breakup of the proposed merger between the two companies. This new spectrum, in addition to the refarming effort, enables the launch of LTE in AWS spectrum and up to 20 MHz of LTE in 75% of the top 25 markets.

"We're making great progress on our four billion dollar 4G network transformation," said Neville Ray, chief technology officer, T-Mobile USA. "With these partners on board and the AT&T AWS spectrum secured, we're on track to enhance our 4G experience this year and deliver nationwide LTE in 2013."

The company's timing for LTE allows T-Mobile to take advantage of the latest and most advanced LTE technology infrastructure, improving the overall capacity and performance of its 4G network, while optimizing the company's spectrum resources. T-Mobile will also apply deep LTE technology experience gained from its parent, Deutsche Telekom, a recognized global leader in LTE development and standardization.

As part of the company's network modernization effort, T-Mobile also plans to launch 4G HSPA+ service in the 1900 MHz band in a large number of markets by the end of the year. Network modernization trials have shown up to a 33 percent increase in HSPA+ data speeds as well as improved in-building coverage. Rolling out 4G HSPA+ services in the 1900 MHz band will also provide customers with the ability to use a broader range of devices, including the iPhone, on T-Mobile's 4G network.

T-Mobile also announced that its nationwide HSPA+ network has expanded to deliver a competitive 4G experience to well over 220 million people in 229 markets. In addition to an expanding 4G footprint, the 4G experience T-Mobile provides is pervasive among its customer base.

"In contrast to our competitors, nearly half of T-Mobile's postpaid smartphone customers are using a 4G device," said Ray. "Not only are we delivering a fast 4G experience to a higher percentage of our customers, we're also making it more affordable to step up to 4G. Whether you're purchasing one of our latest 4G superphones -- or bringing your own device, you can get better value with T-Mobile."

Beginning today, customers in Little Rock, Ark.; Hattiesburg, Miss.; Springfield, Mo. and Madison, Wis. can experience the fast speeds available on America's Largest 4G Network. Customers in Fayetteville and Little Rock, Ark.; Lake Charles, La. and Springfield, Mo. can experience the faster speeds offered by our HSPA+ 42 network with devices such as the recently launched HTC One(TM) S. Current customers are experiencing average speeds approaching 8 Mbps with peaks up to 22 Mbps using T-Mobile's HTC One S.

(1) LTE launch assumes successful refarming of spectrum. Need remains for additional spectrum for broader/deeper LTE deployment.

Bobsled(R) by T-Mobile(R) Surpasses 1 Million Users
Popular Service Gives Users Access to Free Calling and Messaging Across Devices, Countries, Social Networks and Mobile Carriers

NEW ORLEANS, May 07, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- T-Mobile(R) USA, Inc. today announced it has surpassed 1 million users of Bobsled(R) by T-Mobile, marking a key milestone in the growth of its universal IP communication service.

Launched in April 2011, Bobsled Calling has enabled users to make free phone calls over almost any data connection from their mobile and Wi-Fi-enabled devices including Android-powered smartphones and tablets as well as iOS devices. With the introduction of the Bobsled Messaging application earlier this year, consumers also have easy access to an all-in-one, cloud-based service that allows them to send and receive individual and group messages with friends and family using any supported platform.

"T-Mobile is committed to expanding innovative communication experiences beyond our own wireless customer base to include people across all networks, devices, countries and carriers," said Brad Duea, senior vice president, T-Mobile USA. "The popularity and continued growth of the Bobsled service is testament to consumers' desire for simple ways to stay connected with friends and family."

As the Bobsled service continues to evolve and grow, trends indicate that the service is being used frequently and on a worldwide scale:

-- Since April 2011, more than 10 million calls have been made on the Bobsled Calling application.

-- Of the millions of Bobsled calls made to phone numbers, 80 percent originate from outside the U.S.

-- Of the more than 1 million Bobsled Calling users, 95 percent are not T-Mobile wireless subscribers, showing that the company's strategy of universal communication is resonating with both T-Mobile customers and noncustomers alike.

-- Although Bobsled Calling has seen significant international usage, Bobsled Messaging users are predominately U.S. based, with 90 percent of messages sent domestically.

Availability

Bobsled Messaging is now available for download free of charge on all Android-powered smartphones and tablets through the Google Play Store on Android and can be accessed through any browser-enabled device. The Bobsled Calling application is available for download through the Google Play Store on Android and the iTunes App Store. For more information on Bobsled by T-Mobile, please visit www.bobsled.com .

Bobsled Messaging is powered by HDmessaging Inc. Using HDmessaging's cloud-based contact and message storage and synchronization technologies, Bobsled customers can access their contact list and messages across almost all their connected devices.

Bobsled Calling is powered by Vivox Inc. Leveraging Vivox's VoiceEverywhere technology, T-Mobile and Vivox are ushering in a new era of voice communications -- online, on the go, virtually wherever and however users want to converse.