T-Mobile Cities Receiving $1 Billion In AT&T Spectrum Revealed, Is Your City on The List?

With AT&T’s official transfer application now on the Federal Communications Website, we can finally discover which specific licenses T-Mobile will gain. Thanks to the folks at GigaOM who prepared this pretty pink map with a city by city breakdown of areas T-Mobile will gain new airwaves.

T-Mobile didn’t receive nationwide spectrum but it did receive valuable spectrum in some key cities. Furthermore, AT&T had to fork over all of its AWS holdings in Boston; San Francisco/Oakland; Washington, D.C.; Houston; Baltimore; Atlanta; San Diego; Seattle; Kansas City, Mo.; San Jose, Calif.; San Antonio; and Salt Lake City. In reality, AT&T only gave up AWS spectrum it had enough 700Mhz spectrum to fulfill the buildout of a LTE network. In markets like Chicago, AT&T wouldn’t part with any of its AWS licenses, even so it had other spectrum to fall back on.

In the end, T-Mobile made out well in some of the nations most important cities, allowing for holdings between 60 and 80 MHz of combined AWS, PCS airwaves in many of the markets included in the transaction. These holdings will allow T-Mobile to expand its HSPA+ network in some areas and add more 4G capacity in others.


Want the FCC breakdown city by city? Hit the links below and remember, this list isn’t complete:

FCC 1, FCC 2, FCC 3

Tags: , , , , , , ,

  • Tito!

    wooot! Salt Lake City! :)

    I hope this gets implemented quick!

    •  Yeah when I got up there to visit I’ll be a lot happier. I live in St. George, however. Hoping for something down here quick as well!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see Philadelphia on that list and if that’s the case then that’s yet another strike aganst T-Mobile.  AT&T is looking better and better.  Better phones and better service, in Philadelphia, equals time to move on.  smdh

    • Dennismorales12

      Agreed especially since I spend plenty of time on public transportation and in the subway where only att works

    • Tmobile

      you have like exellent coverage!!!!!!!!!

      • Phozfate

        you can’t get 4g in most of center city…. dude really center city? I also get no data in my home in the NE. I never hit above 8mb in any part of the city with my gsII. How can you call that excellent coverage?

        • Wow

          Um well I live in Omaha Nebraska where there no service in half the city so I think Philly sounds pretty dam good

    • Techhi

      I was with ATT Cingular for 10 years and just recently left for Monthly T-Mobile with GS2 and get good 4G  – 10 miles south of Philly in S.Jersey – I was getting EDGE in my area with ATT – Im now saving more then $30 a month and I get UNLIMITED DATA TEXT AND VOICE –

      • Anonymous

        This may come as a surprise to you but S Jersey is not Philly.  I live in the Germantown section of the city were service is pretty poor.  And another poster has said service in Center City isn’t all that great either.  And it just burns me when I see folks using thier AT&T phones on the subway.

  • Nothing in NJ either?

    • Antoinetrenton

      I live in Trenton new Jersey I had the t mobile g2 the first 4g phone in t mobile s line up the time In 2010 I had crazy 4g speeds in my city so you Wong new Jersey has t mobile 4g and 3g speeds

  • David Rosen

    Sorry not totally sure what I’m looking at here, but how does this affect Las Vegas (which should be the color of “MSAs” whatever that means…

    • Anonymous

      nothing, the grey areas are metropolitan areas (more populated). the white are rural areas (less populated).

      • David Rosen

        hahahha. wow. that’s my color blindness in effect right there. i didn’t see a difference between the gray and pink colors. i got problems.

  • sloanie

    Can’t complain about some more spectrum in Salt Lake City :D

    •  Exactly, but down here in St. George, Utah, we’ve got nothing lol. Stupid bases won’t get off the spectrum.

      • Slick

        I agree!  St. George needs something better than edge!

        • Sloanie

          St. George is that bad, huh? At the least we need that data roaming agreement to go into effect so we can use AT&T’s network.

        • Anonymous

          Sure you can use AT&Ts data but i doubt you will like the price to pay

      • Anonymous

        Thats what you get for living in ST George ……BTW thats envy . Of course I’ve heard it has grown alot since I was there in 98 . Just loved it .

  • Anonymous

    Jackson, MS…. really! That’s great for the folks back home! 

  • Humpty4321

    Wow go figure nothing in South Fl -_-

    • Anonymous

      its not like south fl needs it. i almost always have 4/5 bars

      • jon

        Yeah, i agree. No need for FL. I live and travel this whole state. The coverage is great.

        • Bob

          JAX is getting some love!!

  • JQuest

    KCMO! What, what! *does happy dance*

  • Anonymous

    KC baby! So now what?

  • Anonymous

    YUPPPP!! SJC and ATL.

  • Tuliom Mesa

    What does MSA and RSA mean

    • Anonymous

      metropolitan statistical area/rural service area. MSAs are highly populated areas RSAs are low

  • Tmobile

    thank you jesus

  • BaltimoreNone____Hon!

    Baltimore… YES!!

  • CM Punk

    Anyone else notice that vast majority of this spectrum is going west of the Mississippi?

    • sino8r

      True but the west is where most cell companies lack good coverage especially the northwest. Looks like they got it were they needed it mostly.
      I do understand being east also but I live in a decent sized city and have been lucky. If I lived in a more rural area… I would have never went with tmobile in the first place. It would have been at&t or nextel…

  • Nj Gpn Emt

    Guess up here in North West NJ we will still be stuck on EDGE or no service still!

  • Anonymous


    • Enoel69

      Washington Dc and Baltimore metro area, Md, and Va surrounding area will get a boost from this spectrum. We will gladly take it…this will go to ease some of the detrimental effects of the buy out period.

  • Davenycept

    What does this chart mean and what doors the color breakdown mean?

  • Davenycept

    Oops I mean what does the chart mean and what does the light and dark blue mean and does it men anything for my current phone ?

  • JAX**

    I love how Albuquerque Metro and Rio Rancho are the only areas getting spectrum in New Mexico.

  • Mark

    Dang!  Still nothing in Maine (we don’t have 4G at all outside a small area around Portsmouth, NH).

  • Anonymous

    none of this matters if you are throttled on your 200mb unlimited plan :-(

    • Realcool2000

      Why dont you get a data plan more suitable to your data use and then you will have less chance of going over and having issues.

    • Anonymous

      Why on earth do you have a 200mb plan? I understand its cheap but its practically useless. I highly doubt T-mobile actually expects people to actually use the data when you are allotted only 200mb’s. The 200mb plan is just for those who don’t want data plan but want a data phone to use on wifi. At the minimum you should be running on a 2gb plan.  

  • 4g

    so what does this mean for me and my phone here in Kansas city? Can I get the note and use it on 3g?

    • Smercadel

      I have a note now and the device is so awesome, if u can hook up to wifi u will NEVER miss 3g & 4g service. My store is in a 2g market but it logs in as a hotspot and i never miss a beat!!u would not regret it…

      • Joseph

        I hope you read this reply, I am HIGHLY considering the note over the nexus & Im ordering this week. PLEASE email me with your experience running the note on edge. 75% of my day is in a wifi zone but, the time Im in the field I ront know if I could trust edge. Im in sales & the Note has some features that could be GREATLY usefull to me in giving estimates. Im just not sure how well my email & web page loading would be. Please email me at josephtongret@gmail.com as I have just a couple more questions for you regarding the device. If you have a donate button some where, I would be more than happy to give it a click. Thank you in advance.

  • Anonymous

    Awwww mannn more of that poor performing aws 1700 spectrum?? That spectrum lacks ability to go far and really penetrate buildings like 700hz or 850 MHz. This will help I’m sure but I thought it would have been sweeter and more beneficial in the long run. IMO this is just a band aid.

    • spectrum is a limited resource, beggars can’t be choosers.

    • Anonymous

      Poor performing? I have gotten reception in an elevator and underground here in San Antonio. I think it penetrates buildings good enough and even on high floors I get 4G signal.

      • Anonymous

        Look it up. It really doesn’t perform as well. Very inefficient in comparison to the frequencies i mentioned above. Factors of capacity and power needed to broadcast come in to play. I was hoping this would be a huge helping hand for t-mobile. This just helps them enhance the disadvantage they have now :-(

        This should have fought for 700 MHz for LTE

        • There is a huge trade-off when using 700MHz. Capacity and performance per MHz is much lower than with AWS. 

          High band spectrum (above 1GHz) is able to support more customers, higher speeds, and more bandwidth per MHz. But, you lose building penetration and the wider coverage per cell. Low band spectrum (below 1GHz) is able to penetrate buildings and spread out further coverage-wise without building out as many cells. 

          The best network has a mix of both, with cell density and capacity hookup for high band, and a mixture of low band cells included for overlay and building penetration. Managed properly, such a network would be fantastic.

        • Anonymous

          Yeah but I was referring more to t-mobiles position in the matter. I don’t disagree with you i just think tmobile needed something else to really get going with LTE

        • Gsm1900

          That would make ZERO sense. T-Mobile owns more AWS spectrum than any other company in the US. Why would we want some random 700mhz spectrum? So we can jack the prices of all of our devices by forcing phone OEMs to cover the 700 band too?

        • Anonymous

          I don’t think it covers as much as 700 MHz that vzw and AT&T have. Just more incompatible and odd devices for tmobiles future. They need more.

          Plus if they could atleast tool out LTE in atleast major markets they’d be fine and in better shape. That’s why that makes sense. What makes zero sense is how heavily they invested in 1700/ 2100.

      • Good Enough2

        Yes, I agree. T-Mobile’s engineers are not idiots. They put towers in many high traffic locations and this does result in usable coverage in many, but not all, buildings. Last night I was deep inside a thick multi-floor concrete building and was amazed to be pulling a usable 3G connection on my Nokia N900. Granted, this phone does have a good AWS antenna, especially if you don’t cover it with your hand (small device). But I think many of the newer phones also have better antennas than previous models. So even though it’s a trade-off (not having access to lower frequency spectrum/lower priced service/less congested provider/better voice quality), I’ve seen T-Mobile USA get better in regards to coverage, capacity, and devices over the last 3 years in my market. I’m staying.

    • Anonymous

      Poor performing? I have gotten reception in an elevator and underground here in San Antonio. I think it penetrates buildings good enough and even on high floors I get 4G signal.

  • Ok so basically AT&T is planning to use AWS spectrum in some markets. This is off topic but I think this means that Apple will soon HAVE to support AWS bands because also Verizon is getting their hands on AWS from the cable companies. Bigger possibility for T-Mobile to get the iPhone now.

    • Anonymous

      As great as that is im more interested in the notion of Verizon adopting AWS… T-mobile could do some roaming agreements in that regard getting t-mobile extra coverage till they can build out their own again and all over. If Verizon starts using AWS and gets devices with it then that would be great as a lot of good devices go to verizon and one could probablysimply unlock a device for use on our network if i understand correctly.

      • Anonymous

        For LTE maybe, When we have LTE. But verizon is a CDMA tech for 3G and we are UMTS WCDMA. Not compatible. so not so much.  except for the galaxy nexus. but you can do that now. 

    • Suankk

      It is EASY breezy to add the AWS bands to an IPHONE!  People don’t understand the ifs and whys.  Many of the small makers make AWS band phones! they make phone with BOTH ATT and Tmobile bands at the same time (blackberrry!)   It’s not hard!

      Apple plays hardball though.  Sprint had to put up two years worth of money to pay APPLE upfront to have the Iphone.  Tmobile is not willing to upfront two years of cash to have the phone!  You also pay them a per phone sale amount or something.  Apple REALLY rapes the companies on the deal.  BUT they do sell the phones and make money@Conan_Kudo:disqus
      Oddly, Tmobile Germany HAS the Iphone.  I think Tmobile needs to sell to Dishnetwork or Comcast both of who are VERY interested in the company and will easily give Apple to upfront cash for phones.
      The german’s never like to play 4th company in a 4 man race.  They are number one in Europe in everything and hate being number 4 here.  That hated owning Chrysler because it was a VERY 3rd (last place) american manufacturer and wanted out after about 10 years (they lost a ton on money on selling Chrysler too).

      If they can’t be number one or two, DT (tmobile world)–they don’t want to play the game.

      Dishnetwork said they just wanted a cell phone company.  They openly said it.

  • Espiridion Orea

    Great now my phone could get better signal in Houston, Texas. Yeah Buddy!!!!

    • J-Hop2o6

      This doesn’t mean better signal (thats tower thing). This just means Houston has more breathing room to be beefed up (increased) in speed and capacity.

  • Guest

    And again, one of the largest military bases on the east coast, still stuck in EDGE with no relief in sight. Well, at least TMO as a whole should benefit somewhat.

    • Military bases make it hard to deploy radio tech that use AWS. The military previously occupied the band, so it’s really a matter of dealing with the Department of Defense to get it cleared. Unfortunately, that is a very slow process.

  • Littlesis1774

    I can’t tell but does Detroit get some AT&T spectrum?

  • Anonymous

    YES, Truckee, Ca!!! 3G will be nice over edge :p

  • bman325i

    Carson, California got some 3G

  • Wilma Flintstone

    ATLANTA GA!!! Woohoo!!! Alriigghhhttt. Now hopefully my connection won’t fluxuate as much. :D

  • randyohsofly

    Woooot I see Boston!!!

    • Suankk

      Boston and Atlanta are the only real big winners on east coast.  University of Florida Students also due well in Gainesville.
      This is ALL awesome FREE bonus spectrum that already integrates with Tmobile.  It’s a minor software upgrade for their routers to utilize the “space” that was left by AT&T.  AT&T never actually used it though.  It was all the tmobile bands.  ATT bought it to “hurt” tmobile a few years back because Tmo wanted it then.  ATT  just horded specturm they couldn’t even use.

  • Sebastian

    Will this benefit Long Beach, CA?

    • Suankk

      All of california pretty much gets a 10mhz density bump.  It’s could for everyone in
      California!  It was already pretty well  covered by AT&T but this increase density a great deal!

  • henryyy

    YES i see San Jose CA on the list!! :D

  • Soloaffiliated

    Im Just Glad The Bay Area Got A Bunch. OAKLAND… #Leggo

  • BigMixxx

    another 10 mhz to southern Nevada….When is this coming…

    has anyone taken a look at the non developed areas! 

    Most of those are east of the mississippi…The developed areas are west of the mississippi.  ATT has been sitting on good spectrum and just not using it at all…

    give it, it’s 10 mhz here and 5 mhz there, It’s a LOT of spectrum.  You would think it was DT plan all along to get this space….

    This, plus a roaming agreement, I wonder what the future holds for T mobile….

    • Suankk

      You should see what Verizon sits on.  Half the spectrum they own is spectrum that is really of no use to them.  Verizon is the biggest spectrum horlder out there.

      • Antoinetrenton

        No t mobile as a lot of towers I read article on it dt has I lot of towers they just don’t have the money to build out lte like Verizon and att and sprint did or doing its all about money but the 10mhz and 20mhz should help t mobile grow as a company t mobile need to join up with dish network and share towers so to mobile and dish network can have lte and hspa +

  • Minioninnc

    LOL! Yay!!! They are bringing EDGE to my area! Oh wait, thats what I have had since I have been with T-Mo.


    no improvement for me, trying out a cheapo verizon phone for a few months ’til my contracts mature,

    • Or, you could even go with Page Plus which uses Verizon’s towers.  Starting tomorrow, for 55.00 you get Unlimited Talk and Text with 1GB of Data at 3G which you can use on a smart phone

      • Bpear96

        Or get a verizon or sprint phone flashed over to the verizon side of straight talk http://www.flashmydroid.com/ unlimited everything $45 amonth, the phone CAN have a bad esn so you can find them pretty cheap (sprint galaxy s ii bad esn >$300), i personnaly am running my international Galaxy S ii on straight talks, at&t side http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1720881-How-To-Straight-Talk-And-Android!-Everything-you-need-to-know(so-please-stop-asking)

        straight talk is secretly one of the best MVNO’s out there :D, also btw currently all the android phones natively sold by straight talk run on SPRINTS network, but they are getting the lg g2x soon, that will run on tmobiles network for the same $45 no work arounds needed. So yes straight talk has a sprint side (currents androids), AT&T side (nokia smartphones, the sims in the nokia smartphones sold by straight talk can be used in any att compatible phone), verizon side (some of the dumb phones on straight talk and if getting a cdma phone flashed) tmobile only side (coming soon with g2x) tmobile/at&t/other small gsm carriers (most dumb phones sold by ST run like this, on most of the GSM networks in the USA combined)

  • Jclopez

    Beast! DFW area!

  • if this helps the network here in Dallas i’ll be pretty happy but i don’t expect any network improvement anytime soon .. but i’d love for this to be true and lead to an improvement in Dallas.

    • Anonymous

      Heh, if you wondering why AT&T parted with all their AWS spectrum in Dallas, I know why.

      I’m on AT&T now, and I was shocked when I saw the speeds of AT&T HSPA+ compared to T-Mobile HSPA+ in Dallas, it was amazing. Now that AT&T has LTE (32MHz) in Dallas, I have no problems with speeds. :)

  • TMoFan

    Not too much in the Northeast … bummer. At least they got Boston, and looks like it will help out a lot in the west coast. This bs “merger” hurt T-Mobile badly last year. This will start to help T-Mobile out and buy it some time to come up with a comprehensive game plan.

  • Looks like AZ is going to have a sizeable improvement.  I will wait and see before I go back to T-Mobile.  I lost out on 70.00 because after the new year, all of the sudden I could not recieve even a GSM signal in my house.  Before that, I could at least get EDGE.  What good is a service that doesn’t serve?  T-Mobile’s Monthly 4G customer service was useless. 

    • Anonymous

      as I like to say, Executive Customer Service is your best friend

      • Which they will not do for a Monthly 4G customer.  I have fine credit, I just avoid signing contracts for just the reasons I state above.  It allows me to leave if service starts to go downhill.

    • :)

       If you experienced problems ‘all of the sudden’, maybe you should have done a little creative troubleshooting and had your SIM card checked.

  • j.t.

    F this…when will the roaming agreement start, eo we can order phones from Europe, & start unlocking AT&T phones? I want all the choices the at&t customers get, just not their bill! Lol…I love tmo, & they have been great to me, but being a phone junkie I want to be able to use ANY device at high speeds! There are alote of GREAT gsm phones qe could be taking advantage of. I cant wait! Has anyone heard any dates that tis agreement may begin?

    • Steven Hutchison

      You will only get roaming in places where there is NO tmobile coverage.

  • Anonymous

    Las Vegas is on there it looks like. Maybe I can use my phone in my house instead of being dependent on bug ridden WiFi Calling! (actually to be fair, since 2.3.4 WiFi calling has been working great!)

    Doesn’t matter either way though, I think when my contract is up later this year I’ll get an iPhone 5. Because I’m a sellout. Yerp.

    • Anonymous

      I live in Vegas too lol

    • :)

       iPhones specs are crap, you are selling out for a lesser quality product. SO much for individuality, Join the bandwagon …. bahhhhhhhhhhhh.

  • yme

    In atlanta my 4g phone gets 2mbps at best; unimpressive

    • Yeah, that is pretty weak.

    • Anonymous

      You my friend are getting some of that tasty spectrum according to that map .

    • Wow I get 4~8 down depending on what part of town I’m on in Atlanta.

    • Anonymous

      It might just be your area. In Atlanta also, and  I’ve never gotten speeds that low if  my phone was on H/4G. On my Mytouch and my friends g2, I usually got speeds around 4-5mbps, with speeds reaching as high as 8-9mbps during off peak hours. 

  • GJHarris95

    what about new york, are they gonna be getting any of the new spectrum???

  • Ghulamsameer

    Sorry to be a little ignorant here, but does this mean I can get 3G on my iPhone in Atlanta?

    • Sidekicker89


      • Ghulamsameer

        Will my edge improve in speed?

        • Anonymous

          I use an unlocked iphone 4s with TMO Edge and it’s faster than I expected.  I mainly use web on wifi.

        • Ghulamsameer

          Yeah, people have seen faster speeds on the 4S primarily because of the hardware and antennas and such, but I’m hoping I can get a little more speed on my 3GS. I misinterpreted this as Tmobile getting iPhone-compatible 3G spectrum, and I was severely disappointed. :(

        • J-Hop2o6

          You gotta wait for Tmo to start pushing HSPA+ over PCS/1900 heavily. They are curretly testing HSPA+ over 1900 in a few cities. This means the iPhone will work on Tmo’s HSPA+ network, and this has been confirmed by Tmo iPhone users.

        • Anonymous

          That’s what I read too. TMobile employees told me that some iphone owners get 3g in Seattle area. I think it would just pockets of this type of coverage ,but if this spectrum is increasing, it’s all good.

    • Anonymous

      the only way you may get 3G, emphasis on may, is if Tmobile moves part of it’s HSPA+ 84Mbps network to 1900mhz. Then you maybe will get 3G speeds. But that’s ways off, they’re still testing, and even after launch it may not be in all areas. So wait and see

  • Anonymous

    Hi, I am the author of the map cited in the article.  If anyone would like further info about the AT&T-T-Mobile AWS 2100+1700 MHz spectrum transaction, I am digging through more data and posting additional insights into the deal from my Twitter feed.  @WiWavelength:twitter 

  • Minioninnc

    For all the ones that are still stuck on EDGE, think they would give us ring dings and a glass of milk as a parting gift? If this is all you get for 1B in spectrum, their lottery sucks.

  • Chris

    What does the mean for people in Jackson MS.I ran a speed test on Samsung Vibrant and all I get is 0.17 
    Mbps :-( 

    • jon

      It means nothing right now. The fcc has not even approved the transfer from at&t to tmobile. And even after they do, it will take tmobile time to implement the new spectrum…

  • Cellularcrazy09

    Hey David…what is MSA and RSA mean?

    • MSA’s are areas of larger populations, typically urban areas with populations upwards of 50 or 100k people. RSA is a more rural area.

      • Anonymous

        This map it’s hard to tell what’s what. For example it looks like the tip of NV which would be Las Vegas where I am is getting some addtional?? Is that the case . Also is there a full list of the cities avail?? Thanks..

  • Jc2238

    so, wait….does this include the roaming agreement? I can’t imagine this was all that Tmobile would have negotiated

  • Jc2238

    and when is roaming supposed to start?

  • tmojoe” YO’ DAVID!”


    Has there been any word on if & when the roaming agreement will begin? Also will this infact make it possible for us to use the unlocked 1900mhz phones from Europe, as well as at&t phones? Or would this only be available when t-mobile signals are not available? I’ve heard all sorts of gossip & speculation on this, but if you could clarify fact from rumor, and or what you believe to be true, I would much apprecciate it. Thanks for the great articles, I love em’, keep em’ comin’!

  • MattL

    So i WON’T be able to get 3G on my iPhone in Chicago?