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.