T-Mobile Enables its First 600MHz Network Sites in the United States
T-Mobile has struggled to compete with other wireless carriers in the United States when it comes to overall coverage. The service is typically great when you get signal, but their high frequency network has been known to struggle when you’re inside an office building, down in a basement/parking garage, or sometimes just in your own house. This is why the 600MHz spectrum auction held by the FCC earlier this year was so important for them to stay competitive.
The company did well too with around $8 billion spent to acquire 45% of the 600Mhz frequency spectrum that was up for auction. Wireless carriers have been known to take a long time roll out new spectrum support but T-Mobile has been aggressive as they know how important it is for them and their future customers. Sadly, with this being a new frequency it means that current smartphones do not have the capabilities to utilize it at this time.
But we learned that Qualcomm was making a hardware revision to the Snapdragon 835 SoC that would add support for the 600MHz frequency in their X16 modem. This is only half of the pie though as T-Mobile also has to install new antennas so they can beam service to their customers. This is what the company has announced today in Cheyenne, Wyoming with some Nokia equipment. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is the first step in a much bigger rollout that’s planned.
Along with this first 600MHz network site going live, T-Mobile has also announced additional locations which are planned for the future. This includes Wyoming, Northwest Oregon, West Texas, Southwest Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle, Western North Dakota, Maine, Coastal North Carolina, Central Pennsylvania, Central Virginia and Eastern Washington. We aren’t told exactly when these new network sites will go up, but we’re told it will increase T-Mobile’s LTE coverage from 315 million Americans today to 321 million by the end of the year.
Source: T-Mobile Newsroom