T-Mobile to pay Verizon $2.37 billion to boost LTE coverage

Today T-Mobile announced their plans to pay Verizon nearly $2.37 billion dollars in order to acquire licenses for space on the 700MHz spectrum, a move which the company says will significantly improve its LTE coverage.

According to T-Mobile, which laid out its announcement in a recent press release, the deal will provide better coverage in buildings and rural areas, and increase low band spectrum coverage to 158 million people in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington, D.C and Detroit. The move will be mostly rolled out as early as Q4 2014, and provide a marked improvement to T-Mobile's existing 4G LTE network, which they claim already covers 96% of Americans. T-Mobile President and CEO John Legere said in regards to the move:

"These transactions represent our biggest move yet in a series of initiatives that are rapidly expanding our already lightning fast network and improving its performance across the country. We will continue to find ways to advance our customers’ network experience just as our bold Un-carrier moves have shaken up the wireless industry to benefit consumers."

Though there's no word yet as to whether the deal will improve their spotty signal strength in rural areas, the move seems to fit with T-Mobile's recent actions in regards to customer satisfaction, including their recent offering of 200MB/month of free data for all tablet users, without a contract, or rumors that they would be footing the bill for early termination fees for anyone who decided to switch to the network. All of this represents the continuation of a long battle for mobile network supremacy amongst the Big 4 - Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile - and a potential power shift for the carrier.

Source: T-Mobile press release via BGRImage via T-Mobile

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Their LTE network blows Sprint out of the water 10-fold here in Los Angeles actually. I speak from using the Speedtest app and video streaming on iPhone 5, 5s and Galaxy SIII devices on both networks.

This will improve coverage to some degree, but not in the way most people are hoping for. This is mainly for urban areas where T-Mobile coverage is already very good. This will improve indoor coverage in those markets. A very welcome thing if you're in a major metro area.

This won't bring the rural coverage that people are hoping for, but that isn't as big a deal as people make it out to be.

T-Mobile's low price push can only be driven by the high concentration that you get in the urban markets. Push it to rural and they won't have the ability to keep a cost advantage over their competitors.

Their service around me is awesome, plus Wi-Fi calling is great! Insanely fast speeds (way beyond what I've had with anyone else), and ahead of schedule getting it. Definitely looking good if they can get the everywhere else in between cities a bit more covered. No data while driving (well, riding passenger) on the road is really annoying