Less than a year after unveiling the island’s first network capable of offering 4G speeds, T-Mobile announced Wednesday plans to expand the high-speed service in more than 40 municipalities that include the areas of Naranjito, Juana Díaz, Luquillo, Las Marías, Toa Alta, Florida, Lares, and Canóvanas.
Six central mountain towns as well as Vieques and Culebra are not part of the current expansion plans, but will be included in the future, said Jorge Martel, general manager of T-Mobile Puerto Rico.
The carrier will be adding 20 new cell sites to its network to expand its 4G footprint, Martel said, adding the bulk of the service upgrades should be completed by year’s end.
The network expansion is included in the $75 million T-Mobile said it would spend in infrastructure when it adopted the HSPA+ platform in October 2010. At the time, the carrier was able to offer transmission speeds of up to 21 megabits per second, a capacity it doubled in the summer.
“It was only five months ago that we announced that T-Mobile was doubling the speed of its HSPA+ network with capabilities of reaching theoretical speeds of 42mbps,” he said. “Now we are expanding our 4G footprint to make a full array of services available to more Puerto Ricans.”
While T-Mobile has received support from its stateside parent, Martel said local company engineers have been in charge of performing the network upgrades.
Coupled with unveiling its expansion plans, T-Mobile also announced the availability as of today of a flat rate $54.99 monthly family plan that includes unlimited voice, data, and text, and seven 4G new devices for this upcoming holiday season.
This plan was developed after identifying the telecom needs and behavior of the Puerto Rican consumer, as well as the economic adjustments island residents are making, said Lyanette Dávila, senior marketing manager of T-Mobile Puerto Rico.
The newcomers to its device lineup are the HTC Radar 4G, the Samsung Exhibit II 4G, the myTouch and the myTouch Q smartphones, the T-Mobile Springboard and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computers, and the Sonic 4G Router that is capable of connecting up to five devices to the wireless Internet.
“These devices join our ample variety of 4G devices and will allow our clients to enjoy T-Mobile’s fast speed and enjoy them in areas that previously did not have T-Mobile 4G coverage,” Dávila said.
Perhaps most surprisingly, T-Mobile announced it will be giving customers the Samsung Galaxy S smartphone free, when they sign up to a contract.