T-Mobile CTO sets goal of all-LTE switch on by 2020
US mobile operator T-Mobile has announced plans to ditch its 2G and 3G networks when the all-LTE infrastructure goes live in 2020.
This was the goal set out for T-Mobile by chief technology officer Neville Ray, speaking to journalists at an Ericsson press event at Mobile World Congress.
Ray told journalists that the US subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom wants to drive all of its
“When we move to 5G, I don’t want to have a 2G or 3G network behind me,” Ray said. “LTE is not dead yet. It is where we build the foundation.”
Ray admitted there were challenges to this, however, most notably around legacy voice technology and handsets. In order for T-Mobile to
VoLTE requires more modern handsets, meaning customers would need to abandon their older devices for newer models.
Ray added: “There is a big problem around legacy handsets. We all understand US handset refresh cycles, right? We’ve already got two million customers using VoLTE – we think that’s one of the highest numbers around – but we’d need more to go all LTE.”
A further challenge T-Mobile will face is LTE roaming. According to newly-released figures from Syniverse, a business services provider, just 42% of the world’s data roaming is done on 4G
Some US operators have already
The Americas do lead the way, according to the figures, accounting for four times as much global LTE roaming traffic than the rest of the world’s regions combined.
“By measuring global LTE roaming, we can see that the tipping point hasn’t occurred yet. In the harsh reality of competition today, providing LTE roaming can be a differentiator, and Syniverse is uniquely positioned to enable the truly global experience,” said Mary Clark, Syniverse CMO and chief of staff.
“Because of our unrivalled scale as a platform at the centre of mobile, Syniverse is the only company capable of delivering this insight to assess the global state of LTE, and our data shows that, despite early 5G momentum, 4G still has a long way to go.”
Ray said T-Mobile hasn’t
“When one of our rivals began to switch off 2G, some of those M2M connections that still use 2G SIMs came over to us. So we have found a good,