Wednesday, May 3, 2017

T-Mobile US Plans 5G roll-out using 600 MHz Spectrum

T-Mobile US, serving nearly 73 million customers, the U.S. mobile business of Deutsche Telekom, detailed its plans to roll out a nationwide 5G network, in conjunction with expanding and enhancing its LTE coverage, using a portion of its $8 billion portfolio of low-band 600 MHz spectrum acquired in the recent FCC auction.

Under the program, T-Mobile US, the un-carrier, will leverage multiple spectrum bands to deliver nationwide mobile 5G coverage. In addition to its national deployment, T-Mobile 5G will enable high bandwidth and throughput in urban areas employing a combination of mid-band and millimetre-wave spectrum.

T-Mobile's 600 MHz 5G network is designed to enable enhanced radio efficiency, support for greater numbers of connected devices, lower latency and improved device battery life. T-Mobile expects to be able to quickly deploy 5G using its low-band 600 MHz spectrum across its existing macro network, noting that other carriers plan to use millimetre-wave spectrum that will require very large numbers of small cells to provide extensive coverage.

Beyond vastly improved speeds for mobile devices, T-Mobile expects to see a whole new class of innovative mobile applications and solutions emerge, built for broad 5G coverage.

T-Mobile stated that, working with device and infrastructure partners, it will support the 3GPP's certification for 5G in the 600 MHz band. Subsequently, as 5G standards are defined, chipsets developed and equipment becomes available, T-Mobile will aim to quickly deploy 5G nationwide leveraging unused spectrum. The 5G rollout is expected to begin in 2019, with a target of offering national coverage in 2020.

  • T-Mobile US announced earlier in April that it had purchased 45% of all low-band spectrum auctioned, covering all of the U.S. and Puerto Rico. T-Mobile acquired 31 MHz of spectrum nationwide on average, quadrupling its low-band holdings, for a total of $7.99 billion. With the purchase, T-Mobile claims to hold more low-band spectrum per customer than any other major provider, and nearly 3x the low-band spectrum per customer held by Verizon.