The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cleared T-Mobile US to use spectrum licensed to several broadcast companies to allow the operator to support increased demand for telehealth and homeworking services.
In a statement, the FCC said issuing the temporary licence for spectrum in the 600MHz band was part of the country’s response to the ongoing Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The move is designed to enable an increase in remote working, and access to virtual healthcare and learning resources as the population practice social distancing guidelines.
T-Mobile added it would also be used to aid efforts by the emergency services.
The spectrum being used is already licensed to a range of companies primarily in the broadcast sector, with their permission. These include Dish Network and Comcast.
T-Mobile said the spectrum would be deployed “within days” of the announcement (14 March) and would be available to support customers for 60 days.
Alongside boosting allocation for its own base, T-Mobile announced expanded roaming access for customers of proposed future partner Sprint across selected locations over the same period.
The move is the latest response to the Covid-19 outbreak from the regulator. Last week, all of the country’s operators signed an FCC-originated pledge to waive late fees, open Wi-Fi hotspots and maintain services to consumers or small businesses experiencing financial difficulties related to the ongoing public health crisis.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back