Tuesday, 26 September 2017

T-Mo US launches LTE at 600 MHz

By Mary Lennighan, Total Telecom
Wednesday 16 August 17

U.S. mobile operator switches on sites in Wyoming and promises more to come.

T-Mobile US on Wednesday announced that it has begun lighting up an LTE network using the 600-MHz spectrum it acquired at auction earlier this year. In a typically hyperbole-filled statement, the U.S. mobile operator revealed it has switched on LTE sites in Cheyenne…

T-Mobile US on Wednesday announced that it has begun lighting up an LTE network using the 600-MHz spectrum it acquired at auction earlier this year.

In a typically hyperbole-filled statement, the U.S. mobile operator revealed it has switched on LTE sites in Cheyenne, Wyoming, just two months after it received its 600-MHz spectrum licences from the FCC.

And it intends to maintain a rapid rate of rollout.

"Starting in rural America and other markets where the spectrum is clear of broadcasting today, T-Mobile plans to deploy the new super-spectrum at record-shattering pace, compressing what would normally be a two-year process from auction to consumer availability into a short six months," it said.

T-Mobile acquired nationwide 600-MHz spectrum in the recent so-called incentive auction, that saw airwaves previously used for broadcasting re-allocated to mobile operators. The telco said it acquired 45% of the spectrum sold, for a sizeable US7.99 billion.

The contest, which concluded in February, raised $19.63 billion in total.

T-Mobile did not state how many sites it expects to activate this year, but said coverage will include locations in Wyoming, Northwest Oregon, West Texas, Southwest Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle, Western North Dakota, Maine, Coastal North Carolina, Central Pennsylvania, Central Virginia and Eastern Washington. The telco aims to extend LTE coverage to 321 million people by the end of the year from 315 million at present using its 600-MHz frequencies and via other network upgrades.

The telco said it worked with various vendors on the project, including Nokia.

"We knew this spectrum would be key for covering wide areas, providing bandwidth in hard-to-reach places, augmenting capacity and improving data speeds," the Finnish vendor's CEO Rajeev Suri said, in a statement.

Samsung and LG will launch phones capable of using the 600-MHz spectrum later this year, T-Mobile said.

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