Remember when the World Cup was about to hit Rio de Janeiro, and the local telecom firms were frantically trying to get upgrades in place to the wireless signals to handle the influx of extra traffic that was set to arrive? Then how the same thing happened for the Olympic Games? Seems like when there's a major event about to happen, wireless upgrades aren't too far behind. The presidential inauguration set for this Friday is no different, as T-Mobile (News - Alert) brought out a set of LTE upgrades to DC just in time for the crowds set to hit the capital.
The new upgrades include some of the latest in LTE (News - Alert) technology like 4x4 MIMO, 256 QAM, and additional developments in spectrum in the region. Some new hardware was also added in, including three carrier aggregation systems to allow for 30+30 MHz of LTE coverage, multi-beam antennas, and improved backhaul at sites throughout the city.
Best of all, these are permanent upgrades—not just temporary for the event—so T-Mobile subscribers in DC will continue to enjoy the benefit of these upgrades long after the event has concluded. There are, however, some temporary upgrades coming in as well; a set of LTE cell sites on wheels called COWs will also be on hand to help dull the spike in traffic incoming.
The downside to these upgrades, though, is that most likely won't notice, or at least not to the extent hoped. Some of the upgrades, like 4x4 MIMO, are only supported on the S7 and S7 edge devices. That means that quite a few users won't see the full effects, but this is almost good for T-Mobile. Not only does it provide general upgrades for pretty much everyone—it's hard to see a T-Mobile user that won't at least kind of benefit—but it also provides an impetus to upgrade devices. Being able to promise an almost immediate shift in usability and connectivity with a new phone purchase could be a real selling point. It's kind of a shame that it took a major international event to bring these changes out—T-Mobile couldn't make the changes before now? And what about all those other T-Mobile customers who aren't having a presidential inauguration?—but the phrase “you gotta start somewhere” readily comes to mind.
Still, regardless of how far the benefits are felt, it's clear that T-Mobile is stepping up to provide a better experience in the face of a situation where traffic will be huge, at least for a while. Great move for T-Mobile, who will hopefully be able to make hay while this sun shines.
Edited by Alicia Young