The FCC has approved the transfer of AWS spectrum from AT&T to T-Mobile, who celebrated the news this morning with the announcement. The spectrum to be transferred is part of the breakup agreement between the two carriers for their ill-fated merger attempt. T-Mobile plans to use the new AWS spectrum for building out its own LTE network in 2013.
T-Mobile is committed to blocking Verizon's proposed purchase of AWS spectrum from various cable companies. Verizon recently offered to sell all of its block A and B 700MHz spectrum in exchange for FCC approval of its AWS deal. However, T-Mobile USA CEO Philip Humm personally met with senior FCC officials last week to insist that the sale would not be enough to mitigate any negative effects that the AWS deal would create.
AT&T is launching its 4G LTE network in three new markets today, bringing its total count up to 35 markets. If you're living in Akron or Canton, Ohio or Lafayette, Indiana, you'll now get to enjoy new mobile internet speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G.
Verizon has announced that it will be adding 27 new markets and expanding in 44 markets on April 19, when it will cover more than two-thirds of the US population. Already in the lead of the LTE race, Verizon continues to expand its 4G LTE network at a breakneck pace and is aiming to reach more than 400 markets by the end of 2012, serving more than 260 million people in the US.
AT&T has been planning a 12-market expansion of its LTE network starting this month and today the company confirmed that the new markets will begin lighting up this Sunday, April 8. This new expansion will bring AT&T's coverage to about 40 markets. Although it's making good progress it still trails far behind Verizon, which has recently touted a 400-market target for year-end.
London's underground subway system, also known as the Tube, will be getting WiFi installed in time for the summer when thousands of visitors are expected in the city for the Olympics. This means that visitors can stay connected to the internet for communicating with friends, checking email, or reading up on the latest news while using the London Tube for getting around the city.
Verizon has announced that it will be rolling out 4G LTE to 7 new markets and expanding in 17 markets across the US tomorrow, March 15. This puts the network in 203 markets nationwide, further widening the gap between Verizon and rival AT&T, which in contrast has launched 4G LTE in only 28 markets. Verizon also plans to double its 4G LTE coverage to hit 400 markets by year-end.
T-Mobile's CTO Neville Ray announced today that the carrier has expanded its 4G HSPA+ network to eight additional cities, bringing its total coverage to 225 markets. The question-and-answer format of the announcement also touched on the carrier's HSPA+ 42Mbps network and possibility for an 84Mbps network as well as its plans to implement LTE.
Regional carrier C Spire, formerly known as Cellular South, has announced today plans to launch its 4G LTE network in September. The network will initially roll out to 20 Mississippi markets, where C Spire claims it will be one of the first to offer 4G LTE connectivity to customers in the region. The network will cover 2,700 square miles, 1.2 million people, and more than 360 cell sites.