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T-Mobile to Bulk Up LTE Network with 4x2 MIMO

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Apr 25, 2014, 8:18 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

T-Mobile is prepared to strengthen its LTE 4G network by doubling the number of antennas on its base stations in select markets. T-Mobile's network currently uses a 2x2 MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) configuration. This means there are two antennas on the base station used in parallel to connect to two antennas on the cell phone. Switching to four antennas on the base station will help fill in the coverage gaps within a given cell, meaning phones in that particular cell will see better overall coverage and performance of the network on both the downlink and the uplink. "We do see the benefits 4×2 MIMO offers and will be deploying this in many cities in 2014 as part of our Wideband LTE rollout," said T-Mobile VP of Technology Mark McDiarmid in a statement provided to Gigaom. "All of T-Mobile's available devices currently support 4×2 MIMO and we'll ensure that new devices will as well. We believe this will be one of the first deployments by a top carrier network in the U.S." This means T-Mobile customers won't have to do anything in order to enjoy the benefits of this improved coverage. While speeds themselves won't improve, individual cell sites will be able to provide a more consistent connection to more devices. The first three markets to see these improvements will be Chicago, Dallas, and San Antonio. T-Mobile didn't say what other markets it is targeting.

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Apr 28, 2014, 4:38 PM

Why are they making headlines?

Sprint has the most spectrum - yet can't use it - like a man with SEVERE erectile dysfunction.

Verizon is just greedy and only does what it needs to do.

AT&T has actually made great strides and is starting to move on a significant basis. They're putting a lot of money into the network and are trying to beat Verizon.

I like T-mobile in the sense they push the other carriers to stride for more - but I want AT&T to win.
Sprint's spectrum bulk is mostly the 2.5 GHz variety, and not very valuable to anyone not living in an urban core or who doesn't have a 2.5 GHz capable handset.

Verizon is actually deploying AWS LTE in many markets to add capacity and speed.

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