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T-Mobile CTO: On the Road to Low-Band

Dan Jones
1/8/2014

LAS VEGAS -- CES 2014 -- T-Mobile is ready to start deploying infrastructure to support its buyout of low-band spectrum from Verizon Wireless as soon as possible, Neville Ray, the operator's CTO, told us.

After T-Mobile US Inc. 's characteristically rambunctious press conference here Wednesday, Ray said he could start deploying 700Mhz A-Band network infrastructure "right now" in cities such as Dallas, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, and parts of Washington, DC. The deployment is slated to start in the fourth quarter after the spectrum transaction's completion, which is expected in the first half of this year. (See: T-Mobile Spends $2.4B on Verizon Spectrum .)

During the press conference, Ray called the low-band spectrum a new "weapon" that would enable T-Mobile to add better indoor service and improve rural coverage across the US. The CTO hopes to get a good start on beginning the deployment in 2014. "We are going to go and frighten the crap out of AT&T and Verizon Wireless."

The concern with the 700MHz A-Band spectrum is interference with the channel 51 broadcast TV spectrum. T-Mobile has already said the acquisition will give the carrier low-band spectrum covering 150 million people in major markets like New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington, and Detroit, and that more than half of the population covered will be outside channel 51's range. (See: T-Mobile: Channel-51 Interference a Non-Issue.)

The latest word from Ray gives some indication of where T-Mobile should be able to commence its low-band deployment.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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DanJones
DanJones
1/9/2014 | 4:55:18 PM
Re: timing
He is saying that Philly, Miami etc will be among the first to get service when they can deploy 700Mhz. T-Mobile has said on the record that the deal is expected to close around the middle of the year and 700MHz service should commence in Q4. Presumably the spectrum in those areas doesn't suffer from any interference issues with Channel 51.

Just look at this as a handy bit of info on which T-Mobile cities are likely to get low-band service first.
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas
1/9/2014 | 1:13:50 PM
timing
I think I'm a little confused on the roadmap Ray is laying out -- so it could do it right now, but of course has to wait for the deal to close. If it closes mid year, why is it not starting until the end of the year? Maybe he's just giving them some wiggle room, but I'm sure their anxious to put the spectrum to use.
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