T-Mobile, Leap Wireless Announce Spectrum Swap In Several US Markets

T-Mobile and Leap Wireless have announced a plan to exchange spectrum in several markets around the US to improve coverage for both carriers. The spectrum swap also includes Leap receiving spectrum in Phoenix, Houston, Galveston, and Bryan College Station. T-Mobile will receive spectrum in various markets throughout Alabama, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin. T-Mobile and Leap will also exchange spectrum with Cook Inlet, a joint venture T-Mobile has a non-controlling majority stake within the markets of Philadelphia, Wilmington, Atlantic City and other markets in Texas and New Mexico.

“These transactions will enhance our spectrum depth in these markets and provide us longer term flexibility to offer a larger LTE channel,” said Leap CEO Doug Hutcheson. “In addition the transactions will allow us to re-align spectrum in key markets into contiguous channels thereby optimizing our delivery of wireless services.”


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    This is Good news for some markets that are only a single carrier on 3G/4G. This will allow T-Mobile to deploy dual carrier HSPA+42 in markets where we only have HSPA+ 21 available.It also makes it possible to move forward in those same markets with planning for LTE.  Great move. 

    • NoLongerPimpStrong

      Would you by chance know what Kansas City has? 21 or 42? The highest I’ve hit is about 11.

      • Jarrod

        What phone do you have? that right there could answer you question unless they don’t have it deployed in your part of the city or they have really bad backhaul. If you have a HSPA+ 21/42 device they probably only have HSPA+ 21 in your city.

        • NoLongerPimpStrong

          I have the GS2.

      • TMOTECH

        I don’t think so But I cannot be completely sure. I am not informed about the happenings in every market. Wish I could be more informative. i have enough trouble keeping up with what is going on in my own market. :-)

      • It’s 21 because they only have 10 MHz of AWS here.

    • dan

      do you know when they will activate the 1900 on hspa? so that iphone can get 3g/4g in houston?

      • TMOTECH

        No Idea. Before the end of the year is all I can be sure of… Sorry. 

  • watbetchh

    T-Mobile desperately needed for this to happen. 

  • Very good move for both companies, I’m glad they’re starting to think smarter with the spectrum they already have.

  • Whooo Hoo! Alabama!

  • dkbnyc

    Loving Big Pinky!

  • Guest

    Will this in any way adversely effect those in 
    Phoenix, Houston, Galveston, and Bryan College Station?

    • Of course not…this is a spectrum swap to increase coverage, not reduce it.

      • WiWavelength

        David, the spectrum T-Mobile gains from the Leap transaction will not likely be used to increase coverage footprint.  Rather, the inter- and intra-market swaps will provide T-Mobile additional and/or contiguous spectrum that will allow it to increase deployed bandwidth, such as upgrade HSPA+ 21 to DC-HSPA+ 42 and/or overlay LTE in markets (e.g. St. Louis, Birmingham) where T-Mobile currently has insufficient spectrum to do so.


    • jonathan3579

      T-Mobile had told me they were adding new sites near my area in Houston. Coincidence?

      • Jarrod

        From my understanding is that T-Mobile traded spectrum from Houston to get it in other places cause they have something like 40MHZ of AWS. They are probably adding new towers to increase coverage and capacity since Houston can be really dense during the day.

  • Wilma Flintstone

    Good for the people living in those States.

  • NoLongerPimpStrong

    KCMO?? Or bum f@#$ nowhere MO?

    • Doesn’t look like it. Leap only has spectrum around St. Louis. Fortunately, T-Mobile is getting 10 MHz from AT&T.

      • Ghhfs

        Yo Pimp, if you look at what T-Mobile got from the failed T-Mobile merger, it specifically highlights KC as one of the markets we would be receiving spectrum, that should help KC get +42mbps or LTE, I too live in Olathe KS, so i would benefit from a KC market rollout. so once the we receive that from AT&T I would think KC would be one of the first markets to get +42mbps or position us for LTE?

        • That will give KC enough for HSPA+ 42 on AWS but not enough for LTE at the same time. The good thing here is that they have 40 Mhz of PCS spectrum. Therefore refarming should allow them plenty of space for both.

  • Better coverage in the Germantown section of Philadelphia would be most welcome.  Here’s hoping that happens.

    • Taron19119

      Yeah in germantown we dont get good 4g it go from 2g to 4g all the time

    • Phozfate

       i get bad service in all of philly. Sprint was better too bad I’m in a contract

  • JMccovery

    I wish there were details of the frequencies included in this swap, because I think Leap/Cricket here in South Alabama use Sprint’s network.

    • ChadBroChillz

      It is AWS(21000/1700). they are not swapping PCS, which is what Sprint uses.

      • Luis Medina

         are they getting 1900 bands or 1700

      • JMccovery

         If that is so, I hope it will allow T-Mobile to increase 3G/4G coverage in Baldwin County. It is a pathetic situation that there is no 3G in the Foley-Gulf Shores-Orange Beach area.

        • Jarrod

          They have a nation wide AWS license so they could build it if they wanted to.

  • redman12

    March & April, TMobile is heading on the right direction. I like the new strategy, keep it up!

  • David

    Great. I live in Los Angeles and have no plans to travel to any of these cities.
    Except maybe Atlantic City, but that won’t happen until after I graduate…another five years or so.

  • WiWavelength
  • Austinclock

    Is there anywhere that says the cities this will affect for tmobile, specially in Missouri?

  • rv800x

    The preview of this article makes “LEAP” look like “I FAP.” 

  • Guest

    any idea about Wisconsin part? don’t see it in those

    • WiWavelength

      The largely rural market that I have labeled “Minneapolis-St. Paul exurbs” includes parts of Wisconsin.




  • eKm

    South Central PA needs some 4g or even 3g coverage..2g in this day and age is unbearable on a cellular device.

    • amen.  I live in a 2g area with GREAT signal, but no 3g.  I love me some Tmo, but they need to step it up around here.

      • eKm

         lets just say ive been waiting for 3g since the g1 came out..so id say roughly 4 years and tmobile has yet to provide me with some 3g goodness.

  • Dgintama1

    I wish i could fund tmo so they can play around with HSPA+ technology while they start building LTE.