Sunday April 16, 2017

T-Mobile Spends $8 Billion to Get Signal across the Entire Country

T-Mobile has just made a big effort to grow its network by acquiring more than 1,500 wireless licenses that span across the United States. These mostly cover the 600 MHz spectrum and cannot immediately be used: they are currently occupied by TV broadcasters, and there isn’t even a modem that officially supports the bands, as no 600 MHz network exists. But when things fall into place in a couple of years, T-Mobile should be able to boast a lot more about their coverage.

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آ…not all frequencies are equal. Lower-frequency signals travel much better over distance, and penetrate buildings much better. The older networks, particularly Verizon and AT&T, own much more low-band spectrum than the newer T-Mobile and Sprint, which is a huge part of why Verizon and AT&T’s cell signal has historically been better. It’s not just about which frequency you own, but how much of it you have. In this particular auction, the FCC was selling frequency in the 600MHz range (from 614-698MHz) cut up into bands. Each band has 5MHz of upload and 5MHz of download capacity, with seven total bands available.