T-Mobile USA, the subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG (FRA:DTE) (PINK:DTEGY) (ETR:DTE) confirmed the launch of its 4G LTE network by the end of March.
T-Mobile USA is the last among the four largest telecommunications provider in the country to turn on its switch for the long-awaited 4G LTE network. The company said its network would cover 100 million customers this summer and an additional 200 million customers before the start of 2014.
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The 4G LTE networks of its competitors such as Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) covers 275 million consumers. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)’s and Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S)’s 4G LTE network are available in 155 markets and 67 markets, respectively.
According to T-Mobile USA, its first two 4G LTE devices are the Blackberry Z10, the flagship smartphone of Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)/Blackberry and the Samsung Galaxy Note II from Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930).
Laptop Mag tested the speed of T-Mobile USA 4G LTE using a Samsung Galaxy Note II and found out that its download speed was 58.8 Mbps and the upload speed was 25.4 Mbps. Take note that the numbers are not accurate because of the fact that there are no other users on the network during the testing. A representative from the telecommunications carrier emphasized that it has a network spectrum to spare, thus its phones would be better than the devices of its competitors.
A previous report from Information week cited that the LTE-only download speeds of AT&T was 18.8 Mbps, Verizon was 14 Mbps and Sprint’s was 9.0 Mbps based on the test conducted by Root Metrics on 725,000 data samples.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile USA’s proposed merger with MetroPCS Communications Inc (NYSE:PCS) was approved by the Department of Justice earlier this month. The transaction is still subject to other regulatory approvals including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as well as shareholders approval.
Paulson & Co, the hedge fund managed by John Paulson will vote against the merger citing that it is not in the best interest of shareholders and the combined company will incur too much debt with a very high interest.
According to the hedge fund manager, the proposed merger will create “disproportionate risks” for the shareholders and MetroPCS Communications Inc (NYSE:PCS) is more valuable as an independent company than combining with T-Mobile USA.