T-Mobile USA said today that it has extended its faster wireless network to an additional 56 markets as it looks to keep pace in the speed game even with the looming takeover by AT&T.
The network, which T-Mobile last year rebranded as 4G, covers 152 markets and reaches 170 million people, which the company said exceeded its previous goal of covering 150 million people by the middle of the year.
There has been a lot of jostling for bragging rights to the fastest and largest network. Verizon Wireless next week will be able tocovered with 4G LTE, which is generally accepted as the fastest of the next-generation networks. T-Mobile, thanks in part to a change in its marketing strategy, can lay claim to the largest 4G network. AT&T, which followed suit in January, continues to lay claim to the fastest nationwide network.
Those claims are important as consumers begin to take data speeds into consideration when choosing a carrier. The priority is less about making a phone call and more about whether a large email can download quickly or whether a video can stream smoothly.
T-Mobile said consumers will be able to get an average download speed of 10 megabits per second. But customers that have older devices will still benefit from lower network congestion and better consistent coverage as newer devices move to the new network.
The expansion covers cities such as Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, Ind., Boston and Baltimore.
T-Mobile has been striving to maintain the perception that it is business as usual for the carrier. That's despite a deal for AT&T to scoop up T-Mobile, which is currently going through the approval process.