T-Mobile has its share of issues, but there’s no denying it has some of the best data coverage in the country — and its about to get much better.
The company is getting ready to boost its maximum theoretical internet speeds top become the faster carrier in the US by a wide margin. The network will soon supports theoretical speeds up to 400 mbps – nearly half the speed of Google Fiber.
There’s a two-pronged approach to the upgrade. First is incorporating 4×4 MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology, which will supposedly double the speeed from the current 7-40 Mbps customers tend to experience with T-Mobile (about the same as Verizon with LTE-A).
This upgrade is available now in 319 cities, although it’s a moot point because only the S7 and S7 Edge will be able to use the tech via a software update “later this month.” The Note 7 is curiously omitted – perhaps because of the unprecedented recall – but T-Mobile says more phones can take advantage of the tech ‘soon.’
In October, the company will roll out 256 QAM support to the S7 and S7 Edge (and again, more phones later), which increases the amount of bits per transmission. T-Mobile says this will lead to theoretical maximum speeds of 400 Mbps.
Of course, those are theoretical numbers that depends highly on network conditions, but an impressive figure nonetheless.
In continued T-Mobile braggadocio, the company says it now covers 99.7 percent of the people Verizon does, virtually eliminating the latter’s advantage. It’s not clear whether it means just for high speed data or overall, but it’s an impressive figure compared with where the company was a few years ago.
Update: We contacted T-Mobile to ask what kind of real-world speeds you could get after the upgrade The company says “customers can expect to see real world peak speeds of 190 Mbps.” Far off from 400 Mbps, but also over four times current peak speeds, and faster than most home broadband connections. Here’s to hoping that remains true.