T-Mobile had somber news for employees today announcing plans to close down 7 of its 24 call centers, eliminating 1,900 jobs nationwide with more job cuts likely to come. The consolidation of its call centers is expected to complete by the end of June and the cost savings is aimed at diverting more funds towards its $4 billion network upgrade to 4G LTE.
T-Mobile has confirmed that it will be discontinuing its Sidekick 4G Android smartphone. Perhaps one of the best mid-range handsets, the Sidekick 4G is popular among the value-minded who also appreciate an excellent QWERTY keyboard. It's not clear if T-Mobile is planning another device to replace it, but the carrier has emphasized that the Sidekick brand will continue.
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.
Verizon and several cable companies plans to pool spectrum for an huge push in LTE coverage have raised the ire of rivals, with T-Mobile USA, DIRECTV and others petitioning the FCC for full access to redacted evidence over concerns the move may be anti-competitive. In an open letter [pdf] submitted to the FCC, the ten groups take issue with Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner, Brighthouse and Cox asserting that access to full documentation isn't in the public interest. Without that access, they suggest, "interested parties would be unfairly deprived of the information they need to produce a complete portrait of the impact this transaction will have on the public interest" and thus unable to advise the FCC.
T-Mobile will be refreshing its popular line of myTouch Android smartphones and this time around the devices are set to be made by Huawei. As usual, the new lineup will include two versions of the device, one with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and one without. The duo are expected to arrive sometime in late Spring.
Last week T-Mobile finally announced its plants to upgrade its network to long-term evolution (LTE) speeds, now that the possibility of being acquired by AT&T is off the table for good. The LTE portions of T-Mobile network won't be online until next year at the earliest, but in the meantime the company had planned to upgrade all of its HSPA+ towers to a mind-boggling 84 megabits per second. Alas, that's no longer the case - due to the intense cost and preparations needed for the LTE network, T-Mobile's "4G" HSPA+ network won't get above 42MBps maximum.
A new study released by company called Validas claims that data throttling on wireless data plans does nothing to alleviate data congestion on the wireless network. AT&T and others have long claimed that throttling is done on the top users of bandwidth on its network to ensure bandwidth is available for everyone. However, after extracting data from 55,000 cell phone bills that belonged to AT&T and Verizon Wireless customers in 2011 the result show throttling isn't doing anything.
T-Mobile USA will have ten LTE devices up for sale by the end of 2013, the carrier's chief technical officer has revealed, with 4G service across 50 markets as well as for the iPhone. Speaking on T-Mobile's so-called "Challenger Strategy" conference call today, CTO Neville Ray described how the carrier would juggle its spectrum holdings to better server a new breed of high-speed hardware. Interestingly, the carrier also seems to be paving the way for 4G iPhone support.
T-Mobile USA isn't just planning an LTE network, it's "making amazing 4G services affordable" the carrier claims, as part of its "Challenger Strategy" to claw back subscribers from its rivals. Having blamed the lure of the iPhone 4S for stealing contract customers away in Q4 2011, T-Mobile USA now faces the perhaps tricky task of developing two networks it calls "4G" - HSPA+ and LTE - without leaving customers confused.
T-Mobile USA has confirmed its plans to launch an LTE network in 2013, though the carrier has faced slumping revenues in Q4 2011 as subscribers jump ship to the iPhone 4S available from its rivals. "Not carrying the iPhone led to a significant increase in contract deactivations in the fourth quarter of 2011" CEO and president Philipp Humm conceded today, before announcing a $1.4bn network modernization investment plan for this year and next as it begins to make use of the huge chunk of AWS spectrum AT&T is handing over as compensation after acquisition plans collapsed.