T-Mobile deploys LTE for offshore workers in Gulf of Mexico

T-Mobile will provide LTE service to the Gulf of Mexico. Using 4G equipment deployed from the area’s oil rigs, this expansion will cover more than 60,000 square miles and provide service to offshore infrastructure, vessels and workers. It will also lay the groundwork for the eventual rollout of 5G in that region.

This extension is part of a partnership with RigNet. T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said that it will help bring to an end the lack of satisfactory connectivity that businesses and consumers in the region have had to accept.

“We’re putting an end to the pain that businesses and consumers in the Gulf have felt for years with limited connectivity – and in some cases, none at all,” Ray said in a prepared statement. He added that T-Mobile covers other places that no other wireless carriers cover – like the soldiers, families and civilians at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

The new LTE coverage uses RigNet’s 700 MHz spectrum and T-Mobile’s 600 MHz spectrum, and it is expected to provide a significantly improved experience for customers in the Gulf of Mexico who have been using RigNet’s current digital microwave infrastructure. T-Mobile will provide LTE coverage using 5G-ready equipment, with the goal of providing businesses and consumers with an eventual upgrade to 5G that’s as seamless as possible.

This development is part of T-Mobile’s ongoing attempts to expand its LTE network into places previously believed to be out of reach, such as rural areas and along stretches of interstate highways.

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T-Mobile executives have made bold claims that if the company is allowed to merge with Sprint, the “New T-Mobile” will make improvements to the combined company’s LTE network and to new 5G network build-outs that would bring much faster broadband options to rural communities.