If you're a T-Mobile customer, your 4G LTE speeds are about to get a lot faster. Today, the Uncarrier announced (opens in new tab) plans to add new technologies to its network that will double internet speeds for its users.
T-Mobile is already implementing one technology across its network called 4x4 MIMO, which is popular in wireless routers. Basically, 4x4 MIMO allows a wireless signal to have up to four independent streams which are combined for increased reliability and speed. The tech is already available on T-Mobile's network in 319 US cities.
But T-Mobile isn't stopping there. The carrier is also introducing a new technology called 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) for downloads and 64 QAM for uploads. Without getting too technical, QAM allows more data to be sent per transmission, increasing overall speeds.
The fastest LTE network, for now
Because of this tech, T-Mobile is laying claim to the title of the fastest mobile network in the US as of August 2016, beating rivals Verizon and AT&T.
Its claims are corroborated by OpenSignal and Ookla, companies that specialize in mobile coverage and performance insights. According to OpenSignal, T-Mobile just inched ahead of Verizon in their LTE speed tests, but still falls behind Verizon when it comes to 4G availability.
T-Mobile says the combination of MIMO and QAM will result in download speeds of up to 400 Mbps, 100 Mbps more than Verizon's claims. Note that these are theoretical speeds and actual speeds will be quite a bit lower.
If you have a Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge, expect to see a software update in October that will unlock the increased speeds. T-Mobile says the update will come to more phones but didn't specify which ones or when.