T-Mobile US said it deployed the world’s first 600MHz spectrum site as it continues to beef up its LTE network, achieving the feat just two months after receiving the relevant licences.
The company, which invested $8 billion on the spectrum in a recent auction, is planning to use the licences to initially improve its LTE network, as well as expand its network in rural parts of the country.
It hopes the low-band spectrum will eventually lay the foundation for its 5G roll-out.
T-Mobile US said in a statement it had switched on its first 600MHz LTE network site – “the very first in the world” – in Cheyenne, capital city of the state of Wyoming, while also revealing details of its future rollout plans.
The company said it plans to deploy the spectrum at “record shattering pace – compressing what would normally be a two-year process from auction to consumer availability into a short six months”.
This year, the company plans to deploy 600MHz sites in locations including West Texas, Eastern Washington and Central Virginia, in a move which will increase its total LTE coverage from “315 million Americans today to 321 million by the year end”.
John Legere, the company’s CEO used the announcement to also boast about a recent report by wireless mapping company OpenSignal, which revealed T-Mobile had the fastest and most available network in the US, beating off competition from Verizon.
“We swept the competition in OpenSignal’s report on all counts. And that was before we started lighting up the world’s first 600MHz LTE network. Buckle up, carriers. Because the uncarrier’s 600MHz network just got real.”
T-Mobile added it had been coordinating closely with infrastructure providers, chipset makers and device manufacturers as part of its 600MHz efforts. Nokia and Qualcomm have both launched the technology, while LG and Samsung will launch phones later this year enabling customers to tap into the new spectrum.
The operator also worked closely with the FCC and broadcasters in the country to clear the spectrum in record time.
“To work with T-Mobile in lighting up the world’s first 600MHz LTE network is a monumentous achievement,” added Rajeev Suri, Nokia CEO.