The process seemed to take forever, but the results were as expected. According to a video just disseminated by T-Mobile CEO John Legere, the nation's third largest carrier ended up winning 45% of the 600MHz spectrum put up for auction by television broadcasters. If you've been reading our coverage of the FCC auction (which stretches back over two years), you know that these low-frequency airwaves travel farther and penetrate building better.
To be precise, T-Mobile won 31MHz of spectrum, covering the entire U.S. and Puerto Rico. The other day, we told you that T-Mobile was looking for a quick transition off these airwaves by the television broadcasters so that it can start using the new spectrum as soon as possible. The carrier confirmed today that it will have some of its new airwaves up and running by the end of this year. Besides T-Mobile, the MetroPCS pre-paid division of the company will also be taking advantage of the 600MHz frequency spectrum.
T-Mobile spent $7.99 billion for the spectrum which essentially quadruples its present low-frequency holdings. It also gives T-Mobile triple the low-band spectrum per customer than Verizon. Qualcomm will be turning out chips supporting the 600MHz band and compatible handsets will be available later this year.