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T-Mobile Turns On First 600MHz 4G Sites

Dan Jones
8/16/2017
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T-Mobile has turned on its first 600MHz 4G LTE sites, two months after the operator got the licenses to operate the low-band spectrum it won at auction earlier this year.

The new deployment in Wyoming was announced in a typically boisterous tweet from T-Mobile US Inc. CTO Neville Ray:

Ray says that the operator worked with Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), as well as analog TV broadcasters, who were vacating the spectrum after the auction."We executed a 2-year process in just 6 months," the CTO boasted in another tweet.

T-Mobile spent nearly $8 billion to win 600MHz spectrum nationwide in April this year. The low-band spectrum is important for T-Mobile, which has mostly deployed on mid-band spectrum previously. The lower band has a longer range and better in-building penetration. (See T-Mobile, Dish & Comcast Big Winners in $19.8B 600MHz Auction.)

Ray expects Samsung to deliver 4G LTE devices that support 600MHz this "winter." The operator expects to launch 600MHz in parts of Kansas, Maine, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and other states later this year.

The 600MHz sites, however, won't just be important for 4G but also the operator's 5G push, which is expected to start in 2019. T-Mobile says it expects to deploy a nationwide 5G network and will begin deployment using the 600MHz band. (See T-Mobile on 5G: Starting With 600MHz, Looking at mmWave Future.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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kq4ym
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kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/28/2017 | 2:13:25 PM
Re: This seems to be T-Mobile's big push for mobile rural coverage
It does look like they are certainly in the "doing" mode what with the announcement "We executed a 2-year process in just 6 months." And with the advantage of greater distances and plans for quick implementation to other states, it looks good for the company amid it's competitors.
mendyk
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mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/21/2017 | 3:35:48 PM
Re: This seems to be T-Mobile's big push for mobile rural coverage
We're neck deep in an age in which what you say is more important than what you actually do. T-Mobile is well ahead of its competitors in understanding that.
VDozier
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VDozier,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/20/2017 | 3:07:16 AM
Re: This seems to be T-Mobile's big push for mobile rural coverage
This is still several years out.  Wyoming is one of the few states in the US where you can scan the entire FM Radio Dial and not be able to get radio.  So setting up a carrier in the 600MHz band doesn't require much work.  In the rest of the world, T-Mobile will need to wait for spectrum clearing, new TV transmitters, to go online, gain sign-off approvals from the the broadcasters that are going off-air, along with government.

I recently travelled through Wyoming and there's a stretch of highway, about 200 miles in length, where spools of fiber conduit are in median like it was abandoned; and every 1/2 to one mile.  So if I had to read the tea leaves, it looks like Nevile Ray will have to get a shovel and start digging a trench in order for the press releases to be worthwhile.  Adding to this, there are a set of similarly-looking tower structures that don't yet have antennas on them.  Many are also lacking electrical power to the newer structures as well.

 

So while this PR marketing release from Neville Ray looks pretty neat, it is very pre-emptive; and actually seems more like recieving a check made out for a $1M, but TMobile only has a few bucks in the account.   The account looks great until the check is returned for insufficient funds...!

Either way, my new Sprint rateplan worked great in that area because Sprint roams on Verizon and Union Wireless; and I don't need to wait for manufacturers to make (and certify) a phone for that spectrum, or buy a new phone either.  But it does show that T-Mobile wasn't able to negotiate a favorable rate on a roaming agreement like Sprint was able to do.  Fast as F***, my a**.  Sprint and Verizon had that area covered years ago.   See:  https://www.unionwireless.com/WirelessCoverage.aspx

 

 
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
8/16/2017 | 4:46:17 PM
This seems to be T-Mobile's big push for mobile rural coverage
This seems to be T-Mobile's big push for mobile rural coverage. Check those locations for deployment out in the embedded gif.
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