T-Mobile makes big moves in service war


In a signal to the market that it’s serious about service, T-Mobile has rolled out enhanced 4G coverage throughout South Florida and nationwide.

T-Mobile’s Extended Range LTE, or 700 MHz low band spectrum, carries T-Mobile’s LTE signals both farther, including into rural areas, and deeper indoors. It is now live from Homestead to Port St. Lucie, the company announced Thursday.

Its extended signal, also known as Band 12, will reach twice as far and will work four times better inside buildings, said Wanny Manasse, Area Vice President for T-Mobile in the Southeast. The 700 MHz extends to T-Mobile customers in Miami, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Coral Springs, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hialeah, Hollywood, Homestead, Jupiter, Kendall, Key West, Lehigh Acres, Miami Gardens, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Port St Lucie, Sunrise, Wellington, West Palm Beach and Weston.

The company said is so confident customers will no longer be irritated by spotty 4G service that it also announced the industry’s first Lifetime Coverage Guarantee. “If you are not completely satisfied with our network coverage, we’ll unlock your device and set you free ... no charge, no hassles,” said Manasse.

T-Mobile also had news for Apple fans: For the first time, Apple’s latest iPhones, the 6s and 6s Plus, can now tap into T-Mobile’s full coverage experience because these iPhones come with T-Mobile Extended Range LTE support built in. “That means a completely new experience for iPhone users,” he said. “Customers have been asking for this.”

In the last nine months, T-Mobile has aggressively rolled out airwaves known as 700 MHz in 170 major metro areas including cities such as Washington D.C, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Denver. South Florida was the first area of the state to get it, and Manasse said roll-out in other parts of Florida will be later this year or early 2016. It’s all part of its rapid deployment of a nationwide LTE footprint that reaches over 290 million Americans, T-Mobile said.

Customers with compatible devices will notice an immediate improvement in service, Manasse said. More than 75 percent of new devices are compatible now, including Samsung’s Galaxy S6.

The news catapults T-Mobile closer to competitors AT&T and Verizon in download speeds and coverage, and closely follows its other industry-rocking initiatives such as eliminating service contracts and offering no-interest device financing, early upgrade programs and free international data.

In another announcement Thursday, T-Mobile Simple Choice customers visiting Haiti and the Bahamas will begin receiving data and texting at no extra cost, plus low flat-rate calls, said T-Mobile spokeswoman Monique McKenzie. Together with Haiti and the Bahamas, T-Mobile added 20 countries to Simple Global, bringing the total to 145.

Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg.