T-Mobile to Launch 4G LTE Service in 2013

T-Mobile's been having a rough time lately. First it failed to get an iPhone device, leaving it as the only major wireless carrier to offer one. And then the whole AT&T acquisition fell to pieces, which would have negated the iPhone's absence from T-Mobile, since AT&T already carries it. Customers aren't sticking around, either. T-Mobile recently announced that it lost 526,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with 23,000 customer losses in the same quarter one year prior, partially the result of "intense competitive pressure from the launch of the iPhone 4S by three nationwide competitors." What's a wireless carrier in this position to do?

How about rolling out 4G LTE service? T-Mobile said it plans to do exactly that as part of a $4 billion investment it will use to modernize its network and ramp up its 4G efforts.

"We want to be known for delivering the best value in wireless because of the advanced technology we deliver at an affordable price," said Philipp Humm CEO and President of T-Mobile USA. "Over the next two years, we’re prioritizing and investing in initiatives designed to get T-Mobile back to growth in the years ahead — beginning with the transformation of our network."

T-Mobile's ambitious investment is, in part, courtesy of a $3 billion break-up fee from AT&T, of which Ma Bell had to pay in cash and spectrum licenses after the acquisition attempt crumbled. The break-up fee gives T-Mobile the money it needs to build out its network to compete with the big boys (Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint).

T-Mobile said it expects to reach broad deployment of LTE, with service in the vast majority of the top 50 markets and 20MHz service in 75 percent of the top 25 markets, within the next two years.