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T-Mobile could employ 600MHz spectrum from FCC auction as early as next year

Posted: , posted by Alan F.

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T-Mobile could employ 600MHz spectrum from FCC auction as early as next year
T-Mobile plans on spending as much as $8 billion during the FCC's auction of 600MHz spectrum. This low-frequency spectrum will travel farther and penetrate buildings better than higher frequency airwaves. The nation's third largest carrier will use the spectrum it wins to expand its Extended Range LTE service, and to increase the capacity of its airwaves using carrier aggregation.

T-Mobile says that it will start using  so-called incentive auction spectrum by the end of next year. The spectrum is originating from television broadcasters who will no longer broadcast on those frequencies. Instead of waiting for the spectrum to be repackaged and auctioned, some of the broadcasters will sell the spectrum in advance. This is the incentive spectrum that T-Mobile hopes to be using in 2017. 

Once the incentive sales are over, the spectrum is packaged for mobile operators to bid on while the television broadcasters are moved elsewhere, That process could take 39 weeks according to the FCC. Still, T-Mobile hopes to employ some of the spectrum it wins even before the repacking plan is complete. The carrier would first look at using this spectrum in rural areas where moving over traffic to new airwaves will be easier to accomplish.

"We believe we'll be able to get the start of deployment and usage at the end 2017. Obviously the repacking debate is still in play. I think personally the dynamic will change once the auction is over, because you will have winners in the reverse auction -- that means broadcasters who want to get paid -- and then you'll have everyone else. And right now I think it's easy for all the broadcasters to stand together and talk about how difficult repacking is, but once the auction's over there's a bunch of people who want to get paid. And they don't get paid until the stuff gets repacked."- Peter Ewens, executive vice president of corporate strategy, T-Mobile

T-Mobile's CFO Braxton Carter notes that 80% of T-Mobile data travels on a 4G LTE pipeline. It seems like it was just yesterday when the carrier launched its 3G service. Carter also pointed out that 52% of T-Mobile's voice calls are VoLTE calls that are run over the carrier's LTE network.

While T-Mobile has been planning this for years, other U.S. carriers like AT&T and Verizon will also be bidding. Sprint is sitting this auction out. Other telecom firms like Comcast and Dish Network might also looking to  pick up some spectrum in the hopes of becoming a player in the industry.

source: FierceWireless

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posted on 22 May 2016, 16:34

2. Rocky1978 (Posts: 38; Member since: 09 Jul 2014)


When is this auction?!?!?! That's all I keep hearing about yet it never states WHEN this auction is. Last year, we kept hearing that it was this past March. Well, March came and went and NOOOOO auction.

posted on 25 May 2016, 03:25

3. JumpinJackROMFlash (Posts: 462; Member since: 10 Dec 2014)


Why? Do you want to bid for it?

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