T-Mobile has lit up 600 MHz Extended Range LTE technology in more than 900 cities and towns across 32 states, offering T-Mobile LTE coverage into 120 places, and will deploy the same advanced coverage in Puerto Rico in the fall, executives announced.
By extending the service to Puerto Rico, it will provide more LTE coverage and capacity than before and will lay the foundation for 5G with 5G-ready equipment.
“After the devastating hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico last year, we saw an opportunity to rebuild the network better than new — to rebuild with 5G-ready gear,” said Neville Ray, chief technology officer for T-Mobile.
“We’re laying the foundation for the island to become a technology and innovation hub in the future while adding coverage and capacity with 600 MHz LTE this year,” he said.
T-Mobile’s Extended Range LTE signals travel twice as far from the tower and are four times better in buildings than mid-band LTE, providing increased coverage and capacity.
The provider has already deployed Extended Range LTE to more than 80 percent of Americans with 700 MHz (Band 12) and rapidly began deploying it with 600 MHz (Band 71) last year to expand coverage and capacity even further.
“T-Mobile’s strong commitment to Puerto Rico goes beyond hurricane recovery,” said Jorge Martel, vice president of T-Mobile Puerto Rico. “We will continue to invest in the island’s future and in our network to expand and enhance LTE coverage.”
In April 2017, T-Mobile made its largest network investment ever — nearly $8 billion —tripling its low-band spectrum holdings by purchasing 45 percent of the spectrum sold in the U.S. government’s 600 MHz auction — 31 MHz nationwide on average and 50 MHz in Puerto Rico.
These holdings cover 100 percent of the U.S., including Puerto Rico. Immediately after receiving the 1,525 licenses — less than a year ago — T-Mobile began its rapid 600 MHz Extended Range LTE rollout.
To accelerate the process of freeing up the spectrum for LTE, T-Mobile is working with broadcasters occupying 600 MHz spectrum to assist them in moving to new frequencies.
T-Mobile offers six 600 MHz-capable smartphones, with still more than a dozen more across all price points expected to launch this year.
Starting this month, the Un-carrier will also begin enabling carrier aggregation for 600 MHz Extended Range LTE and mid-band LTE, so customers with capable devices can access the capacity of both at the same time, increasing download speeds.