T-Mobile preps LTE light up before end of month, teases March 26 event

Liberty and 4G LTE for all
Liberty and 4G LTE for all

Last week may have heralded the unveiling of Samsung's Galaxy S4, but so far the week of March 18 seems to be all about T-Mobile.

In what Product Management Director Randy Meyerson (as reported by The Verge) called "a Christmas morning moment," the company announced it's prepared to light up its 4G LTE network by the end of the month.

T-Mo has its sights set on unleashing the hyper-speed spectrum to 200 million customers before 2013 runs its course. In fact, the plan is to get 100 million covered by mid-year, making today's announcement the first step in a many-month roll out.

Through a process of building antennas, machines and all the accoutrements needed to get LTE up and running, the company said the new network capacity will benefit all customers, whether or not they have LTE capable devices.

Recruiting devices

As part of the LTE announcement, T-Mobile also revealed it's switching on latent LTE support in Galaxy Note 2s it covers via an over-the-air update rolling out today.

So far that's the only LTE-capable device on the carrier, although T-Mo plans on releasing the BlackBerry Z10 by the end of the month. We also expect to see the Galaxy S4, the iPhone 5 and even a Galaxy S3 replete with LTE sometime down the road.

T-Mobile's LTE dreams are finally starting to materialize, and who would have thunk it would have been partially due to a failed merger with AT&T?

"The breakup gave us a bunch of spectrum, which was advantageous," Tom Ellefson, engineering vice president, said of the undone deal.

"We didn't have a path to where we're going without that."

Partnerships with Verizon and MetroPCS are also helping move LTE along.

It's going down next Tuesday

LTE finally landing on T-Mobile is a ground shaking announcement in and of itself, but the carrier decided to one up its news and invite the media to an "exclusive event" March 26.

"We're still a wireless company," the invite to the New York event read. "We're just not going to act like one anymore."

Carrier got a brand new 'tude? Sure sounds like it.

It's hard to glean exactly what T-Mobile has planned for attendees, and it has enough irons in the fire to keep us guessing.

Among the topics it could touch on are the aforementioned LTE roll out, news related to its "uncarrier" transformation and move away from subsidized contracts, MetroPCS merger insights, and an announcement related to the iPhone.

The "uncarrier" rebranding seems especially likely, particularly after this image was published on Twitter by @evleaks.

T-Mobile info

Pretty telling of what T-Mobile has in store, we say (Credit: @evleaks)

As you can see, the leak, which looks like a piece of marketing material meant for consumer eyes, talks up T-Mobile's lack of annual service contracts, anytime upgrades, unlimited talk, text and web and a plan to offer high-end smartphones for a mere $99.99 down.

Of course, this could be either a fake or just part of the story, so tune into TechRadar next Tuesday for the latest from America's No. 4 carrier.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.