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T-Mobile USA Upgrades Aimed at Boosting Reliability of LTE Service

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T Mobile USA has started rolling out an upgrade to its LTE network that is focused less on headline speed improvements than on overall quality of service enhancements.

The strategy will improve the stability of the network, but consumers tend to focus on headline numbers, not underlying performance quality and the investment may prove difficult to sell to consumers.

As with many networks, most of T-Mobile USA's network makes use of 22 MIMO -- which is two antennas at the tower connecting to two antennas in the phone.

T-Mobile plans to boost that to 4x2 MIMO which doubles the stream of data capacity sent to the handset. This should improve signal quality at the cell edges. It doesn't increase the download speed, but makes it more consistent as a user moves around a cell site coverage space.

However, in an age of increased file uploads from photos and videos, it also boosts the uplink speed by having more capacity at the base station to accept inbound data.

The upgrade recently started in Chicago, Dallas and San Antonio, and will be rolled out nationwide over time.

"We do see the benefits 42 MIMO offers and will be deploying this in many cities in 2014 as part of our Wideband LTE rollout," McDiarmid said in a statement to Gigaom. "All of T-Mobile's available devices currently support 42 MIMO and we'll ensure that new devices will as well."

It's understood that NSN may be the vendor supplying the upgrade.

On the web: Gigaom

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Tags: t-mobile usa  USA