T-Mobile closes deal for 700MHz spectrum, reiterates commitment to LTE rollout

T-Mobile
By Andrew Martonik on 30 Apr 2014 05:43 pm EDT
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T-Mobile has finally closed a deal to acquire highly-valuable 700MHz spectrum from Verizon, enabling the next wave of network upgrades for the carrier. In the wireless world not all spectrum is created equal, with lower frequencies being more desirable because they travel further distances and better penetrate buildings. Both of these attributes are badly needed on T-Mobile's network as it traditionally operates on much higher frequencies between 1700 and 2100MHz, and T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray has a good idea of what they will do with it.

Thew newly-acquired spectrum holdings will improve T-Mobile's LTE coverage in nine of the top 10 and 21 of the top 30 metro areas in the country, simply building on what's already available. These markets include notable cities like New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Washington D.C. and Detroit. It will also help T-Mobile expand the 10+10MHz networks it currently deploys in many markets to higher 15+15 or even 20+20MHz for even faster LTE speeds.

Further, the 700MHz spectrum will help push T-Mobile towards its goal of moving all EDGE coverage around the country straight to LTE. As of March T-Mobile claimed it could have half of its 2G coverage converted to LTE by the end of the year, and now the combination of 700 and 1900MHz spectrum can push that even further. At this point having complete nationwide coverage — both in the city and in rural areas — should be the goal, and T-Mobile seems to be taking that initiative seriously.

Ray says that customers will start seeing the benefits of the 700MHz acquisition by the end of the year — darn fast, but not unexpected when compared to T-Mobile's other recent network improvements.

Source: T-Mobile

Reader comments

T-Mobile closes deal for 700MHz spectrum, reiterates commitment to LTE rollout

69 Comments

So, what will it take for TM to be positive toward BB?

As a BB user, I have a grandfathered, three phone, no contract plan with TM.
I am personally happy with the service that they give me at the price.

In the future I will replace my devices by purchasing from Shop BB, which are now lower cost than the price I paid TM for the same models.

Wow, that's the most constructive comment I've ever seen! Obviously t-mobile doesn't have good coverage in your area doesn't mean they suck. Unless...you just enjoy paying 3 times more for a similar service.

Posted via CB10

I'm with him T-mobile is garbage. You get service nowhere and their CEO treats BlackBerry users like trash. Thank god I have grandfathered unlimited on verizon. they also at least carry all BlackBerry devices.

Posted by Antoniius via my sexy white Q10.

I have t-mobile. And yes the customer service is extremely terrible. Especially towards BlackBerry users.

But the coverage is amazing and I often have better coverage and speed than my co-workers who have verizon.

But really, it varies from place to place. In Colorado it was quite opposite, where verizon had better coverage and t-mobile was always spotty but they had better customer service over there (beside the fact hey had no idea what they were talking about).

Interesting I have the exact opposite experience, perhaps it depends on the market of the fact that I have a business account. The customer service, pricing and multi-national coverage is what keeps me.

Yes they mistreated BBRY, not doubt. Shame on them, but my coverage is great where I need it to be. Currently my company doesn't do business in rural areas or low coverage areas...but when we did there was Wifi Calling!

Blackberry keeps Johnson National LLC moving
JohnsonNational.com

Three times? Where are you getting that?

Their base plan is $50 for 1GB, right? Well, so is AT&T's (on Next.) i believe Verizon has a loyalty plan that's similar as well, granted new customers probably can't get in on it.

OK I stand corrected on the pricing. Two months ago when I was migrating from prepaid, verizon cost over 260$ for just four lines. Looks like they have matched at&ts pricing scheme. And At&t will begin to look ridiculous once you add in insurance and financing just to make up when t-mobile offers

Sure I understand the bad reps on how t-mobile dealt with bb, but you can't deny it's the only company offer the best bang for the buck.

1. The cheapest of the four is the first and still the only company to offer HD voice
2. The only company that allows wifi calling. Very useful when traveling abroad.
3. The only company with a dedicated BlackBerry tech support team just to help BlackBerry customers. And they know what they are doing too! verizon and at&t thought I was joking when I inquired about such department.
4. Only company to offer free 4g tablet Internet.

The list goes on...

Posted via CB10

3. The only company with a dedicated BlackBerry tech support team just to help BlackBerry customers. And they know what they are doing too! ....

How long will this last.. given the BB- TM relationship..

Legacy BB devices needed this type of support. It is one of the reasons that BBRY has the relationship it does with MANY providers, NOT just T-mobile. BBRY took for granted that providers would just go along for the crash, burn and rebuilding. It was a silly miscalculation. It was BBRY that failed to properly value providers and treat them respectfully. Or have we forgotten the Verizon/ Storm situation, or the way BBRY handles OS testing (Apple and others historically tested the bejeezers out of an OS before passing it on to carriers. RIM, now BBRY did the bare minimum and relied on carriers to do a more in-depth testing. Constantly pushing them buggy releases.) You reap what you sow in life and in business.

1. I think more people would take better nationwide coverage over HD voice, which, btw is coming to other carriers this year. So AT&T and Verizon, by the end of the year will have better networks AND HD voice.
2. Sprint allows WiFi calling too.
3. I'm sure all carriers have "dedicated BlackBerry support." FWIW, my experience with TMO's "support" team was ridiculous. They told me to wipe everything including my microSD card for a problem that clearly did not require it.
4. That's because they don't have much network congestion right now, and are trying to court customers. Same reasons why they have unlimited internet.

The price that you pay for T-Mobile , even if it is cheaper, does not help if you are unable to get coverage when you need it, as I found out.

I have a T-Mobile US account that I use every time I am in the States.

On my last trip, I was driving through a rural area in upstate New York and using my maps app to find an address.

Suddenly I lost my T-Mobile coverage. Luckily I had my Rogers(Canadian) SIM card with me. So I exchanged SIM cards, activated a US roaming package on my Canadian account and was on my way with LTE coverage.

Posted via CB10 from my spectacular Z10

700Mhz. That could seriously improve T-Mobile's cellular coverage in the US. There may be a viable 3rd horse in the US market race after all... in 5-10 years.

Posted via CB10

I for one like T-Mobile, just don't like that I had to buy a Z30 direct...but at least I'm not married to them or their monthly fee for a phone :)

I'm with you. This is good news. I've been debating about switching to another carrier, but with everything they're doing, not including their little spat with BlackBerry, they're making the choice to move much more difficult.

In my area they have great coverage and speed and their prices seem competitive. My total bill is about $230. That's for 4 lines with unlimited everything and 3GB of mobile hotspot for all 4 lines. Well, I just downgraded one of the lines to the free 1GB package to save $20 a month since we use WIFI extensively at home and I just bought a couple of repeaters to cover the house better. It's actually about $210 now. That alone will pay for itself in about 3 months.

I'm curious as to what others are paying for the same stuff I get.

Nifty Foods! C003262E5

I don't have everything you have but the way my t-mobile account is set up, I have 5 lines, I pay 70 for my phone with unlimited data which includes 5 GB for hotspot, 30 bucks for my second line with 500MB of data, if I want to bump that line to 2.5 GB it's an extra 10 a month, and I pay 10 bucks for 3 other lines with 500MB. So it comes to after taxes about 150 a month.

Posted via CB10

Really? Is that "better"in the way they keep discouraging real device choice for their customers?

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

Awesome. T-Mobile is the best for your money in the U.S. IMO as long as you are in a major metro area.

Posted via CB10

So this is T-Mobile USA specifically, not the other T-Mobiles around the world. I wish CrackBerry would remember to make the distinction.

Posted via CB10 on Z30 STA100-2 /10.2.1.2141 on O2 UK - Activated on BES10.2.1

Understand how there in general could be a tad bit of confusion, but when they bought the spectrum from Verizon and it'll help them expand coverage in U.S. cities...

That's in the article, not the headline.

The US based subsidiary company is called T-Mobile US, Inc.

Posted via CB10 on Z30 STA100-2 /10.2.1.2141 on O2 UK - Activated on BES10.2.1

Why are YOU posting here when you don't care about T-Mobile... The article never mentioned anything about BB.

Uh, this is CrackBerry? Not "Carriers who have declared war on BlackBerry News and Rumours". Again, why post that here?

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

Why are you reporting this junk. We Don't want to hear about T Mobile spectrum. Where is the 700 MHZ for Canada? All in the hands of the big three and regional providers that have no interest in expanding or offering real competition. If the government really wanted to have competition, it should have leased the air waves to carriers. The government would allocate spectrum by number of users and ration it. The rural build out would have happened when it made financial sense. Not because they forced it onto the providers.

Posted via CB10

pretty sure mostly every carrier in Canada has it since they all go off bell or rogers towers which they both have it.

U.S. is a bit slow when it comes to new tech, but it is much cheaper in the U.S. so it balances out.

Robbers Bhellus have all the god spectrum when it does nothing to help Canada or Canadians. It just means bigger dividend for shareholders. Even the return on those stocks is not enough to get my money back for all the pain they offer us

Posted via CB10

Hopefully that boosts coverage in Seattle too. It's already pretty fast but it could always be faster. Hopefully T-Mobile realizes BlackBerry is here to stay and get back in action with them. Start selling BlackBerry Z30's and some promotion!

As a Canadian I find it strange that the major mobile carriers in the US and elsewhere don't have coast to coast 4G/LTE coverage. Though Canadian cellular rates may be higher we have coast to coast 4G with our three major carriers.

Tim Smith from my Z10 on Rogers

we have the highest cellphone/internet charges in the world haha

Were paying for quality though, americans love their quanitity :P

In the US's defense, your population centers are located in a horizontal line from east to west. The US contains a lot more land with low population density that still requires high speed coverage.

Posted via CB10

We also have a larger land mass to cover with less than 1/10th the population to subsidize the cost. That's one reason we pay more.

...we are all connected...

I've looked at American plans and they aren't that great.
I pay $50/mo for unlimited na calling, texting, free Canada roaming, and 6gb of data. Doesn't seem that outrageous.
I did pick up on the 2g though. Are people still on 2g? Is that even a thing still?

Posted via CB10

I like the news about carriers, such as this. All BlackBerry users are customers of some wireless service provider some where. At any given time, the right moves by a carrier could cause a number of us to switch or change our minds about switching before it's too late. Granted, T-Mobile and BlackBerry aren't on the same page, but there are still more than enough BlackBerry owners on their network to justify reporting such news. Good article.

No, I'm not a T-Mobile customer. #TeamVerizon

Posted via CB10

This sounds great to me. I don't care if my companies don't always get along. I can buy my phones from BlackBerry and enjoy great coverage at a low cost from TMO.

Posted via CB10

T-Mobile will hopefully go out of business or get eaten up by both Verizon and AT&T.

That is how Arrogant they are as a company. In BlackBerry's time in need, they go and back stab them and it's users.

Posted via CB10

This belongs in a more "general tech forum". Sure some people on T-Mobile still have BlackBerry devices, but with the relationship with new devices severed, writers are wasting their time on unnecessary news.

Posted with my BlackBerry Q10 on VZW from Philly

While it is nice Tmob will convert EDGE to LTE, this does me no good where Tmob roams. That is the roaming partners will still be EDGE. The big problem with EDGE is the hard distance limit. This means in some situations where you might be able to "see", you still can't use the tower. With UMTS and I believe LTE, there is no hard distance limit.

For those not familiar with the EDGE distance limit, you can't use EDGE at a distance greater than 35km. No big deal in town, a big deal if you hike or go off road in the boonies.

Posted via CB10

Lol at all these people still mad at Tmobile. Great for them though. Just bring LTE to Cincinnati and I'll be happy :)

Posted via CB10

T-Mobile is a dead horse in the eyes of Blackberry supporters. We need more articles that support Blackberry.

Posted via CB10

I love how some people feel the need to bash T-Mobile and call them a horrible provider, especially when these same people have chosen to stick with a manufacturer that has a maybe 2% market share. As many people have already stated, if the coverage works for you then that's great. If it doesn't then you should be with a carrier that does. Being able to travel around the world and have free data roaming as well as using wifi calling is a huge benefit. BBM voice is great but I like the ability to call any number back in the US and not have to pay any crazy voice roaming charges. Keep in mind that it was BlackBerry that did not renew T-Mobile's reseller agreement so you can't go blaming T-Mobile for that.

Question: will existing T-Mobile branded phones such as the Z10 (STL100-3) be capable of utilizing the newly acquired frequency?

Z10STL100-3/10.2.1.2947 CB10

Originally I thought that Verizon was the only carrier with a heavy bias with their Apple contract, but after T-Mobile's distasteful attempt to draw people away from their Blackberry's makes me less of a fan of T-mobile than I ever was. Carriers are supposed to be a fair playground for device manufacturer. Since we know now that is not the case, I think Blackberry should partner, or develop a sim service with their smartphone offerings on their official site.

Posted via CB10

T-Mobile has always treated me great as customer with 3 BlackBerry lines. Even had a chat with them about bringing Wifi calling to Z30.

So much less expensive than the other carriers and the speed is fantastic.

BlackBerry users in this site seem to forget who through the hissy fit and who terminated the relationship. But God forbid anyone say anything negative about the harbinger of BlackBerry death, Mr. Chen.

Z30 / STA100-5 / 10.2.1.2234 / T-Mobile USA

I left tmobile for sprint 3 weeks ago and am super happy I did. Their coverage sucks and so does their LTE, and their 4g and 3g are about as fast as 2g. Of course, it could just be Houston. I heard a lot of bad stuff about sprint but I haven't had any problems, and way better coverage and speed.

Posted via CB10

Tmobile LTE is fine. It is about 25mbps down and 12mbps up.

However, tmob UMTS terrible.

Posted via CB10

T mobile is great. I just switched from AT&T. They don't throttle your data plan like AT&T. They allow tethering and so much more.

Posted via CB10

I use TM and gave them an earful when they dropped BlackBerry. A representative called back and apologized for the CEO's lack of leadership and management skills.

Sounds like he make be out soon!

Posted via CB10

If you live in the city, T-Mobile is awesome. Don't pay more somewhere else because your butthurt about your blackberry. Soon, none of the carriers are gonna sell you a blackberry. And let's remember,...it was blackberry that pitched a crybaby fit. Not T-Mobile.
Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

This is of course a one Canadians perception but T-Mobile reminds of the iPhone of carriers.

There not any better and in some cases inferior to many other devices, but for some reason people love them still!

Posted via CB10