T-Mobile confirmed Thursday it successfully won 45 percent of the low-band 600 MHz spectrum auction conducted by the Federal Communications Commission, covering 100 percent of the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico.
T-Mobile walked away with 31 MHz nationwide on average, quadrupling the its low-band holdings, for a total of $7.99 billion, the company’s largest investment ever. T-Mobile is also sharing plans to put that spectrum to use later this year in parts of the country, defying industry expectations.
“These auction results are a win for everyone, especially consumers, and generated billlions for broadcasters and U.S. taxpayers,” said John Legere, president of T-Mobile.
“This spectrum sets us up to bring the Un-carrier — and REAL competition — to wireless customers everywhere, many of whom have never had real choices in wireless. If the duopoly thought things were rough before — well, just wait!,” he said.
T-Mobile now owns premium low-band spectrum that can cover every single American. And, most importantly, while the duopoly’s — AT&T and Verizon — existing low-band spectrum is already crowded and congested, T-Mobile’s new low-band spectrum will be clear and wide-open for customers, meaning a better, faster experience, the carrier said.
With this purchase, T-Mobile now has significantly more low-band spectrum per customer than any other major provider and nearly triple the low-band spectrum per customer than Verizon.
“T-Mobile now has the largest swath of unused low-band spectrum in the country,” added Legere. “Because T-Mobile customers will be able to speed on a brand-new, wide-open wireless freeway, while carrier customers have to crawl along on their clogged, congested low-band freeways.”
This additional low-band spectrum means the company will be able to expand its LTE network to compete in every corner of the country, strengthen existing LTE coverage and increase capacity to meet customers’ growing demand for mobile data. Low-band spectrum substantially improves in-building coverage and also travels greater distances than mid-band and high-band spectrum.
T-Mobile is also announcing they’ll put some of this new spectrum to use for both T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers this year, as a result of work started back in 2016.
Already Ericsson and Nokia have announced availability of 600 MHz equipment that T-Mobile will use in its network, and the Un-carrier has 600 MHz licenses covering over one million square miles where T-Mobile expects at least 10 MHz to be clear this year – meaning T-Mobile’s network team can start working to light it up for customers.
“T-Mobile’s network is already the fastest, most advanced in the country, and this will take it to a whole new level — and we’ll do it fast,” said Neville Ray, T-Mobile CTO.
“Our team has a history of deploying network technologies at record-breaking pace — including the fastest recorded LTE deployment in US history. We’re ready to break records again on 600 MHz,” he said.
In addition, Qualcomm is introducing chipsets supporting 600 MHz, and T-Mobile expects leading smartphone makers to begin delivering 600 MHz compatible phones as soon as this year, it announced.