T-Mobile USA is expanding has been coverage area and has started discussing its 3G rollout plans, according to an interview with a company executive published by the BetaNews Web site.
In particular, the company is expanding its GSM service in the 850 MHz portion of spectrum, which could expand its coverage area as much as 40 percent, Neville Ray, T-Mobile's vice president of engineering operations, told BetaNews. Much of that new coverage area would be in the U.S. heartland, Ray said. The company's coverage has been relatively weak in the central part of the company.
In the future, all T-Mobile plans will support both the 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands. Ray said the net result is that T-Mobile's coverage will eventually be almost the same as Cingular's.
Ray also told BetaNews of T-Mobile's 3G plans. T-Mobile has lagged behind the other three national carriers in terms of rolling out 3G service.
"We are very hopeful that by the end of 2006, and definitely in 2007, we'd be able to bring 3G services to the market," Ray said. "Some of this is auction dependent."
By that, he said he meant that T-Mobile will try to obtain the spectrum necessary to provide 3G service in an auction scheduled for next summer. That will be necessary because 3G won't use spectrum in the 850 MHz band.