T-Mobile US used its Q4 2021 earnings call to explain it plans to deploy newly-acquired 3.45GHz spectrum in 2023, with capex increases this year primarily devoted to adding coverage and capacity in its existing spectrum bands.

President of technology Neville Ray (pictured) stated T-Mobile’s focus in 2022 is on expanding 5G coverage, with plans to complete integrating cell sites added through a merger with Sprint.

T-Mobile quantified a previously announced increase in capex for 2022, with a range of $13 billion to $13.5 billion for 2022 up at least 5.7 per cent over 2021.

Ray explained T-Mobile will deploy 3.45GHz and C-Band spectrum through a single radio, noting compatible handests are unlikely to be commercially available before 2023 and the operator has work to do to with the US Department of Defence, which uses the former spectrum band.

T-Mobile spent $2.9 billion to acquire 3.45GHz spectrum and stated 184 million people live in areas covered by its new mid-band licences.

Q4 performance
Net income slid 43.7 per cent year-on-year to $422 million, primarily due to higher operating expenses, with revenue up 2.2 per cent to $20.8 billion.

T-Mobile previously reported net post-paid phone additions of 844,000 along with 224,000 new fixed wireless access (FWA) users for the quarter. CEO Mike Sievert noted 40 per cent of FWA customers are “new to T-Mobile”.

Full year profit was down 1.3 per cent to $3 billion, with revenue up 17.1 per cent to $80.1 billion.