This blog is by Robert Balconi at Nokia Networks.
T-Mobile is breaking the rules. Its Un-carrier campaign continues to redefine how an operator relates to its customers. No more contracts, no more data limit plans and no more roaming charges – these are just some of the ways the American operator is disrupting the industry.
We recently had the chance to sit down with Dave Mayo, SVP Technology at T-Mobile, to learn more about the latest developments in the Un-carrier campaign and how Nokia Networks is helping realize the operator’s vision.
Dave Mayo says:
“The campaign is all about solving customer pain points. We want to be famous for changing wireless for the better. We are really happy with the way it’s going – and we’re not done yet!”
The results speak for themselves. The operator added 1.8 million net users in the first quarter this year, its eighth successive quarter of adding more than a million users. Its brash approach has seen it break company records for post-paid churn at only 1.3% as well as achieve the fastest average 4G LTE download speeds in the US.
Continuing, he says:
“The network is fundamental to the Un-carrier approach. Had we not developed a data-strong network, we could not have developed and rolled out Un-carrier. It would have been hard to solve customer pain points without the fastest LTE network in the country. Nokia has done a phenomenal job for us, both in helping us roll out the network modernization program and deploying LTE. We are looking forward to rolling out more of the network with Nokia Networks this year as we strive to achieve our target of LTE coverage for 300 million people.”
But it’s not only in terms of its approach to serving customers that T-Mobile is taking a bold step. The company is also moving into new territory by pioneering unlicensed LTE spectrum by using LTE to aggregate unlicensed and licensed bands. The licensed bands would provide reliable connectivity and mobility, while unlicensed bands deliver more capacity and higher data rates for more thrilling end-user services. Called License Assisted Access (LAA), the initial focus is on using the 5 GHz unlicensed band. The technology, however, is suitable for any unlicensed frequency. T- Mobile is working with Nokia Networks to accelerate LAA deployment by developing a pre-standard solution.
Mark McDiarmid, Vice President of Radio Network Engineering, T-Mobile explains:
“We want to stay at the forefront. T-Mobile has successfully deployed Wi-Fi based services for many years, and as such, we have expert knowledge of using unlicensed spectrum. We see LAA as an evolution of that focus. Nokia Networks is traditionally a pioneer in radio technologies and we are working closely with the company to further develop LAA solutions. We have had tremendous success with Nokia Networks in LTE and before that with GSM and 3G, so we are continuing the relationship. The company takes a highly pragmatic approach that is very welcome.”
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