T-Mobile Positioning To Purchase New Spectrum for LTE Network Push?

If reports are to be believed, T-Mobile, otherwise known as the greatest US wireless carrier in my opinion, is positioning itself to purchase some spectrum for an LTE network build out.  According to reports, T-Mo recently completed an eight-city spectrum interference study with the goal of convincing the federal government to auction off a huge portion of spectrum that T-Mobile might purchase and use to build an LTE network. If you want to see the full study click here. Quite interesting.

According to the report, T-Mo’s study centered on the 1755 – 1780 MHz band. Interestingly that is the block of spectrum T-Mobile is urging the FCC to pair with the AWS-3 block (2155-2580 MHz) and put up for auction. If the FCC did indeed pair AWS-3 with a suitable spectrum that the big magenta won via auction and purchased it, we could very well see a nationwide LTE network for T-Mo.

So,  LTE here we come? Well, maybe, hopefully.  Honestly, in my opinion there are too many variables. For instance, T-Mobile might not even win an auction if it were to be held. It is quite common for wireless carriers to purchase large blocks or spectrum and sit on it to gain competitive advantages. Also, AWS-3 would not be ready for prime-time for quite sometime.  Possibly years.

So, again, LTE here we come? Well, we will just have to wait and see. As always, stay tuned.

FierceWireless

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  • Bruce Banner

    Look at me, I’m a lame 16 year old kid that’s gonna say “1st”.

    • Bruce Banner

      I was being sarcastic with my comment. I was taking a shot at the dummies that still post “1st” in their comments.

  • David

    Sorry, no “first” comments will be accepted tonight. Please hang up and dial again.

    • Wilma Flintstone

      yet Bruce’s post remains. Haaa!!!

      • Davidohio

        David’s comment was a joke. But yeah, the whole “first” thing is so old and not funny anymore. Moreover, it is something i would expect from a 3rd grader. on topic. Any news about a network improvement is good and welcome news! T-mobile rules the air! Lol screw verizon. My sister has verizon and gets zero to one bar of signal in her house on verizon and i get five full bars with t.mobile. Rule the air my ass lol.

  • chevyBoy

    3rd!

    • ObsceneJesster

      Wrong!

  • 30014

    I’m loving the sarcasm, but people should stop with the whole “first” bullsh*t.

  • Wunako

    THIRD!! Haha no just playing but seriously, Can anyone explain wat exactly an LTE?

  • timmyjoe42

    What were the 8 cities? I don’t have Powerpoint on this machine to open the file?

  • android_beats_iphone

    Um jus wondering in the article about tmo closing in 2011 is it true because there just starting to get better and I’m definetly happy with tmo now

    • 2FR35H

      Not true don’t worry.

  • Jon

    This is great news! Looks like there will be a bright future for T-mobile US! Now that AT&T & Verizon are capping data plans and screwing their customers some of those angry people will be walking over to T-Mobile

    • alex32

      i wouldn’t be surprised if tmobile starts capping data plans soon….
      the iphone/att started the whole ordeal of “if you must have this iphone you have to have an internet package..” later all carriers jumped in that deal.
      now att and verizon are starting capping data plans..next up is sprint and tmobile..i dont think itll happen this year..but next year i have a bad feeling itll happen.

      • ItsMichaelNotMike

        T-Mobile may not if they don’t do anything stupid, like putting bandwidth sucking front facing cameras on handsets.

        Actually the way things will happen, IMHO, is in five years handsets will be all-in-one devices that can handle movie download and streaming and tethering at cable broadband speeds++ will be commonplace. One will be able to buy “warp speed” for additional charge.

        People will come home after a day at the office, connect the phone to a dock and the phone will provide the entire house with a connection to the outside world, including the Net, TV, movies and … phone calls.

        At that point cable TV and broadband will become obsolete and unnecessary. People will disconnect their cable TV and cable modem and rely on the superphone to provide that which the cable TV company provided.

        In five years, when all this becomes the norm, carriers will provide competitive pricing on talk and data. Plans won’t be that much because there will be plenty of spectrum to go around (it won’t be like today’s situation with clogged pipes).

        Carriers will also have to be competitive because it won’t be that difficult for even mom and pop shops to provide all-in-one connections, that will work on any handset, for less than what the carrier charges.

        At that point proprietary handsets will also become obsolete. In fact, the government may even outlaw carriers selling locked handsets, much as they have in Europe today.

        Carriers will then be forced to offer wider ranges of services for the lowest price otherwise the carrier will go out of business.

        That’s where I see things going, starting in five years and in ten years the current carrier business model will have vanished.

      • alex32

        true, you make really good points. I havent thought of it that way. I wish people were as smart as you, some of the comments I read here on other blog posts are a tad ridiculous..its good to finally hear one hell of a good comment

  • Jon

    The Eight cities were Seattle, California Bay, Boston, Colorado Springs, Chicago, Houston Texas, Washington D.C, and Miami

    • Reder

      Maybe that’s why they’ve been slow to get Chicago on HSPA+. Let’s just skip that step and go straight to LTE.

  • NiiDiddy

    YAY, Tmobile…keep on keeping on. Get better and better…!

  • Gary

    I wouldn’t get too happy about LTE.I seem to recolect an article I saw where the main deal breaker for Sprint and TMO to merge was the difference in networks. I don’t know about you, but if the merge happenrs, and we are now called Sprint, I’m gone!

    • Jon

      Sprint & T-mobile would be terrible it actually would be three companies in one don’t forget Nextel is a part of Sprint. A messy combination that would be more headache than anything else.

      • J-Hop2o6

        nope.. Sprint said once T-Mobile is LTE.. then Sprint will consider merging WITH T-Mobile.. it’ll be easy to convert WiMax to LTE (so they say).

      • Whatev

        @J-Hop2o6 Provided DT is willing to sell, otherwise it could be DT buying Sprint and Sprint becoming a T-Mobile brand.

      • J-Hop2o6

        correct Whatev.. i left the DT part out cuhz it might confuse a few folks.. thats why i only said Sprint will merge with T-Mo.. meaning T-Mobile will swallow Sprint up, and they’ll still keep the T-Mo name.. but yea, its DT’s money that will make it happen.

  • kendrix_myrealname

    I’d rather Sprint than AT&T. Verizon wont be so bad but I don’t care much for their pricing though. But if T-Mo gets the same spectrum “Rule the Air” gets, then they will be a true winner.

  • Wunako

    i think some one said that if its true then Sprint will be merging into TMobile so Tmobile would still be the main one or whatever

  • Scott

    Let me preface this by saying I have been a Tmo customer since 1995. I can’t believe anyone is excited about this news, when Magenta can’t even get their 3G network working consistently. I have been having an ongoing problem with Tmo, both in NY and South Florida, and with multiple phones, where the handset can’t even keep a 3G signal WHILE STANDING STILL. Keeps fluctuating between 3G and EDGE. If they throw LTE into the mix before they can even get their current network running properly, it is doing their existing base a disservice, since not everyone is going to rush out and buy an LTE phone. Truth be told, Tmo sucks, and the only reason I stick around is due to UMA, which I feel is the greatest feature known to man due to my excessive foreign travel. Capped data plans? who cares…most people don’t use that much data anywya. LTE? Who cares, if you can’t use the feature reliably. 3G? Same argument. And, lets not forget the miserably crappy phone lineup. If UMA goes away, I’m through….

    • swehes

      The nice thing about LTE is that it is cheaper to deploy than regular 3G as technology has a further reach and so fewer towers is needed. This allow the carrier to deploy LTE in a bigger area and will reach more people quicker than what 3G did. LTE is also more efficient with the data handling as there are individual routers at each station so there is no “central” hub for all data to go through, which makes deploying LTE a lot more desirable than continuing with older technologies. Than in a two year period they will push for people to get handsets that can handle LTE, and they will be much happier because their systems will not be as bogged down. Any way. That is what I would have planned if I were them. (wouldn’t mind working for T-mobile. :))

  • Chris

    does this mean sprint t-mo merge? haha

  • TMOprophet

    WEll all i want is windows phone 7 now…. with lte :) imagine that eh.

  • APlayerfromtheHimalya

    Hmm..maybe I misinterpreted this post. This is the 2nd half of the spectrum that tmobile has 1/3 of. Could it be for additional pairing or could it be to use it on the other half of the 1700mhz band. That’s the only thing I really see. The study only focused on the 1755 and greater spectrum, no mention of the other bit of the spectrum. Could it be for high speed data transmission, One could only guess..could it be for bonding for addtional speed…could be too( if possible)….

    Verizon + iPhone + January = Still not leaving tmobile and my n900…

  • http://magicbluesmoke.org longcat

    I wonder if this frequency will rather be used for Dual-Carrier HSPA+ than LTE.

  • David

    I have to agree with Scott to some level. I have been a VoiceStream then Tmobile customer for years and don’t plan on switching anytime soon. I have primarily been using Blackberry devices however I am now using the Vibrant. I have never been a data customer either….just cell service. Love the new phone, love the customer service and love the cell phone reception in the areas that I mainly use my phone. Areas outside Chicago can sometimes be sketchy at best but because I don’t travel, this is not a problem for me. However, now that I am a data subscriber I question the whole HSPA and LTE stories I have been reading about. My data coverage is 90% Edge and 10% 3G while I am at home. I do not live in rural Illinois, I live 30 miles west of the third largest metropolitan city in the United States….Chicago! Cust Service says I should be receiving 3G and they put in a trouble ticket for me but that has gone unanswered at this writing. This happens on both my wife’s Vibrant and mine so I don’t believe this is a handset issue…it is the network. They forced me to sign up for data service when I purchased the phone. As a result I use WiFi and that seems to work well for my purposes. But why force me to pay for data services if they cannot provide 3G? Using Edge is like using dial up…I don’t have patience for it. Let’s focus on the current network to ensure all paying customers receive comparable service to the other carriers. I know ATT has a bad rap but I use an ATT phone issued to me for work and that doesn’t seem to have the same data issues as Tmobile when compared side to side. Is it a ‘you get what you pay for’ type of argument? I know my Tmobile bill is much cheaper than I could get anywhere else. Like I said, love the phone and cust service as well as the cell phone reception but I think they have room for improvement when it comes to their data coverage. This post is not meant to be just another person complaining because on the whole I love being a Tmobile cust. Rather I am trying to make a valid point regarding the data service offered and promised versus the reality of what I am experiencing.

    • TmobileDontRepeatHistory

      I agree. This is why we should rise this as an issue rather than act like nothing is wrong. Silence will do nothing but give them the feeling the problem doesn’t exist. I have the SAME issue. Indoors, I tend to have Edge 95% of the time. If I get 3G, it’s near a window and it’s usually one or two bars. Not everyone may be experiencing this. I do and I see you do as well.

      T-mobile needs to push LTE by partnering with LightSquared or something with similar technology. Let me tell you this. I hope it doesn’t pass. The FCC set down the LTE bands already around 700MHz. Also 1755 – 1780 MHz, band will have the same issue as before, not very good building penetration. That’s their only chance of keeping up with the rest and moving forward in improving their network. In today’s data driven world, that’s not going to cut it. LTE is very important and is a requirement for your immediate FUTURE! HSPA+ is good, but it’s a very (and I mean VERY) short term solution. Faster doesn’t mean a good quality data connection. The 3G coverage as is, isn’t great. So most won’t even notice the difference. Video conferencing is going to be a big thing. T-mobile needs to get on-board that data consumption is going to increase at a rapid pace and it will be important to be able to provide the same services as your competitors. People will notice. They should have plans to roll out a GOOD LTE solution by the end of 2011 or near it to have any chance of competing at the level of Verizon and AT&T. Always playing catchup gets tiring as a customer. I gave up waiting for Android UMA support to try to have some kind of coverage in my house, just give me LTE by next year and we can call it even =P. I really don’t want UMA if it stalls or slows down the progression on LTE. Count the number of times I mentioned LTE, i’m sure it’s alot! It’s just that important.

      Please excuse spelling, grammar, and sentence structure.

      Thank You.

      • TmobileDontRepeatHistory

        Raise this as an issue! =/

    • Rilesman

      I had very similar problems with AT&T when I lived in Buffalo Grove and worked in Highland (Chicago) so I think it might be tower availability in the Chicago area. I did notice a degradation of phone call reception when T-MO switched to 3G where I currently live.

      Such a dance between frequency spectrum, hardware/software, and usage.

      I will be watching this activity with interest as I have stated before, without frequency expansion I believe T-Mo will disappear 5-10 years. One must have the frequency to provide the services.

      I also thought I would see an increase in fementocells (ms) that would increase coverage and reduce frequency saturation. Rural areas will always suffer as the cost/benefit ratio does not support users….but we all pay taxes to support such efforts.

      on a later comment…setting up wireless networks is not that easy equipment (radios) must match the frequency, compression algorithms, encryption, protocols, etc which is a very costly undertaking along with tower rentals/construction, backbone fiber, etc. But I digress……Just it takes effort and money along with time.

    • Rilesman

      I had very similar problems with AT&T when I lived in Buffalo Grove and worked in Highland (Chicago) so I think it might be tower availability in the Chicago area. I did notice a degradation of phone call reception coverage when T-MO switched to 3G where I currently live.

      Such a dance between frequency spectrum, hardware/software, and usage.

      I will be watching this activity with interest as I have stated before, without frequency expansion I believe T-Mo will disappear 5-10 years. One must have the frequency to provide the services.

      I also thought I would see an increase in fementocells (ms) that would increase coverage and reduce frequency saturation. Rural areas will always suffer as the cost/benefit ratio does not support users….but we all pay taxes to support such efforts.

      on a later comment and merger between Sprint and T-Mo…setting up wireless networks is not that easy equipment (radios) must match the frequency, compression algorithms, encryption, protocols, etc which is a very costly undertaking along with tower rentals/construction, backbone fiber, etc. But I digress……Just it takes effort and money along with time.

  • Mr MN

    I’d like to start by letting you know that it’s a great day to be a T-Mobile customer living in Minneapolis. I’m glad I got that unlimited data plan.
    All this talk about us getting LTE and merging with Sprint sounds great on paper, but will it really happen? I think it’s better to be in the 4th spot and keep your customers happy than be in the 1st or 2nd spot with unhappy customers (sneeze…Verizon…cough…AT&T). That way the chances of moving up to will increase. I’m happy with T-Mobile, which is why I recommended it to my family and now 8/10 of us are happy T-Mobile customers. I don’t recommend a merger with Sprint, but then again I’m not the CEO of DT, I’m just a business student. Whatever the decision is, I hope it is one that will keep the customers happy, especially with this DATACAP scare floating around.

    Gee, I wonder what kind of phones they had back in 1995.

  • http://www.youtube.com/thisguyjohn ThisGuyJohn

    I hope TMO is partying in the LTE dance once my contract with the Vibrant is up in 2012 :3

  • ViperMatrixWireless

    I am NOT for using this for LTE. Why you ask? because if you look at the MHz being used in this is very high which creates problems with signal travel. I am for it for expanding 3G. They need to buy Band XII & thats all for LTE.

    • J

      Good luck buying Band XII nationwide. You’re not going to find enough of this spectrum to build out a nationwide LTE network.