T-Mobile’s recently acquired AWS-3 spectrum shown on map

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 20.34.23

One of our readers, who has evidently been quite busy, got in touch with a map put together after the AWS-3 spectrum auction results were announced. It’s not the most complicated map, but at each point where T-Mobile bid successfully for the spectrum, there’s a dropped pin. You can see the map above, or get a full look at the interactive Google map at this link.

As a big picture, it looks good. T-Mobile bid almost $1.8 billion on spectrum which will help them expand and grow its 1700/2100 frequency LTE network all across the U.S. The most highly concentrated areas are in the South/South Eastern markets, with a few more in the Mid-West, and barely any at all in the Western markets (Oregon/Washington/California).

Granted, it’s nowhere near the huge $18.2 billion and $10.4 billion spent by AT&T and Verizon, respectively. And while that may seem a little discouraging, it’s worth remembering that T-Mobile has plenty of mid to high range frequency airwaves already. It’s why it’s been able to roll out its wideband LTE network over the past 12 months.

With this spectrum purchased, we should see T-Mobile’s attention turn back to acquiring more 700MHz spectrum so that it can continue its low-band LTE rollout. And therein lies T-Mo’s continuing challenge. Without starting to make more money, investing in more spectrum is always going to be a tough ask for our magenta carrier.

Source: Google Maps

Thanks, Hector!

Tags: , , , ,

  • UP Homeboy

    It’s official, T-mobile doesn’t think that the Michigan upper peninsula exists.

    • derp hurr-durr

      We all know no-one lives there anyway. ;-)

      • Amro

        I live in WYOMING

        • Jay Holm

          I just Googled the population, the entire state has less than 1m population.

        • Amro

          I live in Jackson Hole, it’s about 8 thousands, but AT&T and Verizon cover it with LTE since late 2012, T-Mobile still behind 2G in town and HSPA+ by the airport.

        • TIL: People actually live in the “fly over states” ;-)

        • an0nim0

          “People” is a relative term.

    • Deadeye37

      At least Michigan got some. Talk to people in Nebraska or Wyoming.

    • Scott

      If you check the FCC spectrum dashboard, you’ll find existing T-mobile licenses for AWS-1 in the UP.

      • Roger Sales

        and a lot of PCS, too.

      • Nunyur_Biznezz

        Yet they don’t provide any service there. Same as where I live. have spectrum refuse to deploy it. Screw T-Mobile.

    • Roger Sales

      They have a lot of existing spectrum in Michigan. metroPCS used to operate there too.

  • sushimane

    It’s crazy to see tmobile only spending 1.8 billion and get 151 licensed spectrum awhile verizon spent 10.4 billion for 175 licensed I know they got most of the good spots of spectrum but still that’s 8.2 billion dollars different. Mind blowed but I’m gonna cross my fingers for more 700mhz.

    • The difference is in the POPs methinks. Some licenses are more expensive than others, even though the areas are similar.

      • sushimane

        So the more expensive the license is the better it is?

        • I think that the larger the population in the same area, the larger the number of potential customers, ergo of potential revenue, thus the higher bids.

          Look at these examples: band J in Samoa netted measly $90,000, while the same band in Puerto Rico netted a healthy $168,000,000. The difference, there are 55,000 people in Samoa and 3,500,000 people in Puerto Rico. The same could be said about $2,700,000 for band J in Bismark, ND with 750,000 people and $500,000,000 for the same band in Miami, FL with 5,500,000 people.

        • sushimane

          thanks

    • Wil

      Don’t forget that TMo already has plenty of spectrum from the AWS-1 auction.

    • kev2684

      they already own 30-40mhz of AWS-1 spectrum on metro areas both AT&T and VZW bid on. capacity wise they already have it. what they need is the 600mhz auction.

  • John Johnson

    Wyoming might as well not exist for how much love they get from the carriers.

    So glad I don’t live there…

    • Amro

      Lucky you lol…. it’s time to move

    • KingCobra

      It’s okay. Not many other people live there either.

  • besweeet

    Is this considered band 4 or something like band 10?

    • ChristianMcC

      Exactly what I’m wondering, new phone needed or am I good with my N5?!?

      • Dimitre Guenov

        Yes, you will. Devices for AWS-3 don’t exist because the band hadn’t been standardized. Carriers need that before they can request it to be put into devices by the manufacturers.

      • Roger Sales

        Fine for now, there aren’t any phones that will be able to use this spectrum currently. You should only (maybe) want a new device if band 12 is widely rolled in and around your area for better indoor coverage. I doubt this is the case. It’ll be a year before we see anything certified band 10 or whatever the J block will fall under

    • Hector Arteaga

      Don’t believe it has been assigned yet.

      • Roger Sales

        How does spectrum for LTE get assigned, exactly?

        • Dimitre Guenov

          It goes through the 3GPP (look them up!) standards body. Submitted for standardization.

    • Wil

      B10 includes B4 + G, H, I blocks. A new band is needed to include A1, B1, and J blocks that aren’t in B10.

  • siphyn

    1700aws is band 4. There should be no need to upgrade.

    • Chad Vincent

      This is spectrum that was previously unavailable, and isn’t included in the current Band 4 definition. (EDIT: Part of it is defined as Band 10, the new band will be 10 + 4 + previously unallocated block(s).)

      There is a new Band about to be finalized that will be Band 4 + the new spectrum. (Like Band 12 is Band 17 + 700A.)

      • Joe

        Why is it never a good time to upgrade. I have to upgrade tho cuz I cant even get LTE right now LOL i’m still using a samsung gs2 and my dad the gs3. We will most likely be buying the sony xperia z3 as our next phones when it drop’s to $500. I think the tech world is working against our wallets.

        • Jay Holm

          I’m waiting for the S6.

        • Joe

          Ya i’m waiting for the next flagship phones to come out so that the xperia z3 drops in price and then I will buy it. And I don’t like samsung phones but the S6 is looking very promising this year, they just need to fix shitwiz.

        • Romdude

          Why don’t you get JUMP? Too bad you didn’t get it when it allowed you to upgrade every six months.

      • Roger Sales

        I don’t understand the existence of Band 10 since it only encompasses part of these new licenses and its not present anywhere else in the world seemingly. Why don’t they just amend it to include G-J block?

        • Chad Vincent

          “Why don’t they just amend it to include G-J block?”

          Because then any existing Band 10 equipment wouldn’t really be Band 10 anymore.

        • Roger Sales

          I don’t know of any band 10 equipment in existence since there are apparently no deployments. It would be easy to reclassify something that does not exist yet, no?

        • Chad Vincent

          Just because there are no deployments doesn’t mean equipment (radios, base stations, etc) with Band 10 on the spec sheet doesn’t exist… And once a standard is finalized, it’s better to assume someone has used it than end up with ambiguity.

  • Hector Arteaga

    If anyone finds an error on it, let me know, I can change it. Thanks tmonews.com for putting it up.

  • tomarone

    is there a unit? (what is a bid, some area I assume) Hawaii did OK.

    • Romdude

      Yes we did. I hope they expand wideband LTE to other areas, not just downtown.

  • Cameron

    Does anyone know why my comments are being removed? Maybe they’re being caught in the spam filter since they contain a link (a link to a (better) map on reddit, not spam).

    • Hector Arteaga

      Yea, it takes a while for them to approve new posts with links. I’m waiting for them to approve a link to a map I found over on TMO ROCKS that’s better than mine. Was gonna start building another one, but no point if there’s some good ones out there now.

      • Cameron

        Yeah, the reddit post I was trying to link to linked to tmo rocks.

    • Kidney_Thief

      PRO TIP: www [dot] google [dot] com will get through the filter and, magically, your comments will appear.

      • Cameron

        In that case, http://www reddit com/r/tmobile/comments/2u9yg1/map_of_tmobile_aws3_auction_purchases_bottom_of/

      • Romdude

        What’s the point of posting that at the risk of you getting banned? Send the info to Cam, if it’s useful, he’ll post it.

        • Kidney_Thief

          I’m not about to wait for a guy that only updates this site maybe once a day to potentially post information that I can easily convey in a comment in under 30 seconds.

          That’s like telling somebody it’s easier to grow potatoes in your backyard instead of going to the store and buying them.

    • thepanttherlady

      As long as you continue trying to promote another site, the posts will be removed.

      • Hector Arteaga

        Oops sorry as well.

      • Cameron

        It’s reddit, and it’s a map relevant to the topic..

  • Hector Arteaga

    T-Mobile did a lot better than people think on their purchases. Especially when you consider the money that was spent.

  • digiblur

    I was hoping it was an actual map of the BEA and CMA areas colored. Maybe I can throw a real one together for the folks that is easier to read if people would want it.

    • Hector Arteaga

      Please do! Someone has posted a link actually showing regions down below.

    • Kidney_Thief

      You’re loking for this: http://tmo [dot] rocks/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/image001-1.png

      • digiblur

        bad link

        • Kidney_Thief

          Replace the [dot] with a dot.

        • Hector Arteaga

          LOL.

        • digiblur

          Yes, but a PITA. But to answer back, no I was looking for CMA and BEA map per block. Thought about making some. Yours appears to be a county/parish map.

        • Hector Arteaga

          If you can please make it, I would appreciate it :-)

        • digiblur

          Need to see if there is a decent data source with a row per BEA/CMA. Fcc data is usually a pain.

        • Hector Arteaga

          If you build it let me know. I can link to it from my map.

        • Kidney_Thief

          I don’t make the rules, dude, I just follow ’em. You can’t post links.
          And, yes, it shows both CMAs and BEAs, I promise.

        • digiblur

          Must have missed that version.

        • Jay Holm

          This website is weird when it comes to posting links.

  • Scott

    Emmett, MI is wrong. It should be for Emmet County (Petoskey) in northern lower peninsula. Market is CMA-474.

    • Hector Arteaga

      Thank you. Done.

  • CalicoKJ

    This Idaho gal is happy to see spectrum acquisitions…now please get some band 12. :)

    • Tanner

      Ya, Idaho for alot of love. To bad they skipped Poki though.

  • Kidney_Thief

    I’ve posted countless numbers of links in this comments section to help people find the information they were looking for, and never gotten a single one of them deleted, but today it’s a problem.

    • Fabian Cortez

      Your links are awaiting approval by the moderator.

      It’s done in an effort to prevent spam.

      • Kidney_Thief

        I posted a link without dots and it was deleted. This isn’t my first rodeo.

        • Hector Arteaga

          I put a link to the other map on my pin drop map, (the one they are using for the story) hope that helps.

  • Roger Sales

    Honestly, its a lot of spectrum they managed to grab for 1.8 billion. AT&T spent almost 3 bil on one license just for NYC in comparison – so T-Mobile played it smart and just bought spectrum thats value was not inflated. they definitely came away with more mhz per million spent than anyone else I’d think.

    • Hector Arteaga

      Precisely. T-Mobile played their (limited) cards perfectly.

  • meach13

    Come on the 205 needs to band 12 :)

    • meach13

      Some

  • Brian Perez

    And yet nothing upstate new york ugh as a nyc resident that travels upstate this us discouraging

    • RiskyBidThis

      Albany has 35MHz and Syracuse has 30MHz, where do you think they need more, Oneonta?

      • Mike

        What about Buffalo and Rochester? The 2nd and 3rd most populous NY cities respectively

        • Hector Arteaga

          They own plenty of spectrum in both. Over 30Mhz.

        • Bratty

          Most of upstate NY is LTE in the cities. Heck even lil shitty Cortland has LTE. Maybe move from the Amish villages to the Amish townships?

        • Chimphappyhour

          I’ve had no issues with coverage when I visited either city on business.

        • Mike

          The lack of low-band frequency really shows. Walk into a store and very often you won’t have signal.

      • Melissa

        Nothing in East Greenbush NY. I got these dumb boosters in my house that only do a small job…

  • bob90210

    Do you also go by the name “Google Maps”? That’s what tmonews has credited as the source.

    • Hector Arteaga

      Yeah, I see they didn’t give me credit :-( Don’t really care. You can go to the last article about the spectrum auction results and see I shared it before they posted it.

    • Hector Arteaga

      I just put my name on the map lol. It’s not that big a deal cause it was just a pin drop type thing.

  • Chad

    Woo-hoo north Carolina looks really good I’m covered in spectrum here… Yes

    • Joe

      Ya I am very exited abut it but tbh I would be much more exited about 700mhz cuz signal is not very consistent in the Carolina’s

  • itguy08

    Once again, Central PA (Harrisburg, Carlisle, etc) gets the shaft and 0 love from T-Mobile!

    • Kidney_Thief

      They have 20 MHz of AWS and 15 MHz of PCS in Carlisle.

      • itguy08

        Yeah – they do have a lot of PCS and AWS in most of PA thanks to the PCS1, Omnipoint, and Ariel acquisitions. Immix is probably next. But the network needs some serious work around here as well as a healthy dose of 700a.

        Plenty of areas of T-Mobile NO SERVICE where even Sprint/Shentel have perfect native service.

        • Hector Arteaga

          We have no 700 MHz here in Memphis and coverage/signal is excellent.

        • itguy08

          I wish I could say the same for here. They need to get towers cause it can be quite bad. They are dead last in this market by Root Metrics and it’s true.

        • eAbyss

          This auction wasn’t for band 12 (700MHz)…

        • itguy08

          I realize that. The point is T-Mobile is letting PA rot. They are #4 in the majority of the markets in this state – behind Sprint!

  • Mike Palomba

    Is the picture in the article just what T-Mobile Won or All of the bidders?

    • Kidney_Thief

      What T-Mobile won.

  • ridahoan

    Looks great for those of us with T-Mobile here in Idaho, though apparently we now live in the ‘Mid-West.’ Probably no one else bidded.

    • xealo

      Yeah saw that too. Look’s good for us. Pretty coverage throughout.

  • Jay J. Blanco

    Wow t-mobile bought spectrum in Montana, North & South Dakota. looks like they are planning to expand coverage in future or get a spectrum/ roaming agreement together

  • TheJ_Man97

    Does anyone know when this spectrum could be put to use?
    My city only has 5Mhz LTE and is in desperate need of more spectrum. and it seems tmobile won a bid for my city, so with that being said can anyone tell me around when this spectrum will be put to use and more importantly if phones today such as the Note4 iPhone 6/Plus can use them? Thanks in advance

    • RiskyBidThis

      Unknown, but probably 1-2 years to answer your first question. For your second question the answer is unfortunately no.

    • Nunyur_Biznezz

      While the downlink if free to use the uplink is currently being used by federal agencies. Before carriers can use the frequencies they have to come up with a coordination agreement with the federal agencies. These agencies have 9 months after the auction before they even have to respond to a request. Then of course they have to actually then form some sort of coordination plan. So I’d say at least 18 months to 2 years.

  • dontsh00tmesanta

    Band 12 for 559

  • gmo8492

    I see this and all I can think of is that the next auction is going to be a bloodbath. Props to T-mobile for spending their money wisely.

  • Bradley Karas

    Good purchase in FL…cape coral and Ft Myers desperately needed it coverage was very spotty

    • maximus1901

      This doesn’t help with coverage. TMO already has nationwide AWS spectrum. More is not gonna yield better coverage

      • TMOTECH

        Although you are correct that it won’t expand the coverage directly, indirectly it will improve it. The more spectrum available the less interference and the cells have to power control less so the cells don’t shrink as much during busy hours.

        • Bradley Karas

          Thank you wasn’t sure how to explain…won’t expand coverage only more towers will accomplish this which I would assume T mobile has plans of doing

  • archon

    I know i have said this before — but still no love for Iowa…

    • monkeybutts

      Thank iWireless

      • archon

        doesnt t-mobile own them??

        • maximus1901

          No

        • Kidney_Thief

          They’re partial owners. They’ve been partnered since before the Voicestream days. Effectively, IWireless operates T-Mobile’s network in Iowa, which is why it’s considered native coverage when T-Mobile users roam on IWireless’s network. At the same time, because IWireless only operates and HSPA+ network, all LTE compatible IWireless phones will roam on T-Mobile’s network.

  • gpt2010

    Has TMO looked into Artemis pCell technology yet? I heard about it a few months ago, but nothing since. It seems like it would help any carrier who uses it with network congestion in major metropolitan areas. The technology seemed interesting on how it worked.

    • TMOTECH

      Not viable yet. Very expensive to deploy.

  • AxelCloris

    Go go Cincinnati and Austin! Glad to see this. There are quite a few areas around my home in Cinci that need better coverage. I get absolutely nothing at my parent’s house in the northern Cincinnati suburbs and full LTE at my office which is only about 3 miles away from them.

    • David Coleman

      Cincinnati needs AWS in the worst way and I hope they bought nearly all that’s available! It’s pretty sad we are having LTE in the city on the PCS Band which only a few handsets support!

      • Justin Smith

        A lot of handsets support PCS… All phones from 2013-present(other then the htc one m8) have 1900

  • Loganopolis Jammyjamjamjam Bop

    educate the savage here: does aws-3 mean more indoor penetration?

    • Oms

      No. This spectrum is better at carrying more data but not so good at penetrating through buildings. For better indoor coverage, companies need more spectrum that’s lower than the 1000MHZ range, such as the 700Mhz that T-Mobile is rolling out in many markets.

      • Loganopolis Jammyjamjamjam Bop

        so basically just faster overall data? i live in downtown columbia sc and i see one is there. also any idea of a timeframe to when this is up and running? like a year probably?

        • Hector Arteaga

          I have a tmo tower right next to work and get excellent indoor coverage! :-)

          Probably a year or two, I’m guessing. Judging by how quickly tmo gets things done, I’d think a year.

        • maximus1901

          No. No no no no. The uplink portion of the paired has to be cleared of gov users. 3-4 years from what I’ve read

        • Hector Arteaga

          Haven’t read that yet. Does that still leave us with the downlink?

        • Jay J. Blanco

          The best bet for better bandwith is if tmobile gets rid of aws hspa In columbia.
          Right now tmobile has 5mhz aws hspa
          5mhz pcs hspa
          and 5mhz aws lte
          with 5mhz of edge.
          i cant wait till aws hspa is refarmed columbia will get better speeds for LTE

        • Chris

          They’ve been ahead of schedule for Metro integration. So if they go in the same pace, I would say a year after FCC released those bands for use. hehe.

      • It depends. The 700-999 MHz bands are better at indoor penetration are are ideal for reception in rural areas. Some people report having better indoor penetration with the 1900 MHz and the AWS (1700/2100), which are bands 2, 4, and 10 respectively. Band 10 is a companion of Band 4.

      • jeremyvbk

        The spectrum does not carry data better. If you have 10x1mhz of band 4, and 10x10mhz of band 12, they both run the same. This is a misinterpretation You spit out. Highwr frequency spectrum requires more site density, meaning less people per sector/site.

    • Bravadu

      AWS-3 is a spectrum band which by itself doesn’t tell you anything, but the MHz is from 1695 to 2180 which tells you it is quite high.
      Higher bands are shorter ranged and less penetrating (ie through walls) but can carry much more data without getting congested.
      Lower bands, like 600-700 MHz have longer ranges (so you can cover a greater area with less cellular towers) and are more penetrating (so you can talk in your basement) but easily get congested (like at sporting events)

    • chrsstph9

      Depends on structure and when carrier deploys LTE and the power levels are optimal in the tower.

  • Discouraging to see that T-Mob was outbid in Orangeburg, Savannah and Walterboro. Winning bids in those areas would have helped the Lowcountry regions of Georgia and South Carolina immensely!

  • Mark

    None at all in New England, I see. :(

    • Hector Arteaga

      Looks like there’s plenty of spectrum there.

  • SVU BOlieve in AJ’s EMMAlution

    I wish they’d get any type of service in Alexandria, LA. I’d hate to get lost using my phone GPS going through Alexandria headed to wrestlemania next year. Even Bay St Louis, MS got LTE, and they were stuck with Edge just last September.

  • BillBurnett

    Interesting acquisition in Clallam County, WA: before this, the only GSM service out that way was AT&T. Kinda’ disappointing for T-Mobile not to have their entire home-state covered.

    • Mike

      Remember, ATT was once McCaw Cellular out of Bellevue. They owned the entire state – bought it on the cheap (no competition) when they started in the cell business back in the early 1980s. When Tmobile/Western Wireless/Voicestream came around in the mid 1990s, there wasn’t a lot left to acquire without competition. But truly shame on them for not investing more heavily in the state prior to now.

      • BillBurnett

        That’s a good history lesson. Presently, however, Verizon (CDMA) coverage is actually rather superior on the entire Olympic Peninsula than is the GSM footprint.

        • Mike

          And Verizon is former Pacific Northwest Bell old network. You can drive up to some of the old towers and still see the name on there. PNB became Qwest that became CenturyLink. Sold it to GTE years ago to become Airtouch and then Verizon. Yes, they have a good network because Ma Bell companies had big pockets to build the networks.

          I do have to say, lately the Tmo network seems to be improving over there. I was in Quilcene few weeks and found myself with LTE when once it was horrible 2G just a few months back.

  • Jefferson Josue Morales

    Seems like Nebraska got the most coverage =D

    • NorCalOffspring

      AT&T and Sprint barely offer coverage in Nebraska to. Verizon owns Nebraska

  • Rick Rudge

    Actually, the parts of the West coast are areas that needed more T-Mobile support anyway; Washington’s Olympic peninsula, Salem, Oregon, Redding, California, and Bakerspatch. I’m not disappointed with T-Mobile’s purchases at all.

  • Raiterio Patterson

    North Carolina, T-Mobile bought spectrum in:
    Winston-Salem
    Hickory
    Morganton
    Raleigh
    Durham
    Chapel Hill
    Fayetteville
    And some place outside of Wadesboro? Not bad T-Mobile not bad at all. I’m guessing AWS-3 is faster data speeds because of those cities are densely populated

  • El.

    Looks like not much of rural New Mexico will get LTE, unless it has a greater mile radius than what is shown. Being that I’m an hour away from Las Cruces.
    Anybody know.?

    • Hector Arteaga

      Looks like T-Mo bought Spectrum that covers almost the entire state. Sorry my map doesn’t show that. Hint: find the links in the map.

    • Hector Arteaga

      BTW. T-Mobile’s spectrum, pre-auction, is enough to cover the entire state with LTE (obviously if it made economic sense). According to T-Mo, if you get Edge there, you should get LTE by mid year. We will see.

  • Laststop311

    Wow how much luckier can I get first I get 700mhz spectrum in cleveland ohio now we even get more aws 3 spectrum. Man t-mobile is gonna kick some serious butt in cleveland oiho