Network update: LTE goes live in Gardner, MA plus a map of T-Mobile’s 700MHz spectrum
Some interesting tidbits of information to share with you this morning. I’ve collected a couple of really interesting updates regarding T-Mobile’s network expansion and improvement. First off, is a really handy map which shows the markets where T-Mo already owns 700MHz spectrum, and the areas in which it has agreed to buy. Tip of the hat to one of our readers, Edward for pointing it out to me.
700MHz Spectrum Map
The pink areas show where T-Mobile already owns the spectrum. The yellow/brown areas are the areas in which it has applications to purchase the airwaves from third parties. For those interested, there’s a Google Site blog post being updated every time T-Mobile applies to purchase band 12 spectrum. The most recent purchase application was made in Rochester, NY-PA, Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN and Grand Forks, ND-MN areas on September 19th.
As for those red circles surrounding antenna icons, those are the areas where T-Mobile needs to deal with the TV Channel 51 interference. The FCC and the owners of those airwaves are working to move them to a different band/frequency. As well as the blog post, there’s also an interactive map where you can see which spectrum is live in which locations, and which carriers own it.
As for devices compatible, T-Mobile’s not announced anything officially. And you can understand why. The network is still in its very early stages, and it would still like to sell lots of its non-compatible phones to customers. So far, the Samsung Galaxy Avant and ZTE ZMAX are the two compatible devices on sale. Upcoming devices include the Sony Xperia Z3 and Galaxy Note 4. Tablets include the Galaxy Tab 4 and Galaxy Tab S 10.5.
There’s some confusion over the new Moto X. One model – number XT1092 – is compatible with all of T-Mobile’s bands, including band 12, 700MHz A-block. But the model Motorola’s currently selling unlocked with a T-Mo SIM isn’t that model. And it’s not band 12 compatible. We’ll keep an eye on any changes, but perhaps T-Mobile is planning to sell a version through its own channels at some point. Who knows?
LTE in Gardner, MA
We get sent network upgrade information fairly often here, and those recent shows some splashes of LTE going live in Gardner, MA for the first time. And as you’d expect from early-stage LTE, speed tests have been inconsistent, to say the least. And to clarify, this is not 700MHz.I’ve changed the headline to be a little clearer.
“It seems to be wildly inconsistent, with download speeds ranging from barely measurable up to about 13 Mbs, but I take it that that is not unusual behavior when they are first lighting up LTE. Upload speeds still average under 1 Mbs, but the upload test always starts with a spike of over 20 Mbs before settling back down.”
Good news for those of you living in the area, I’m sure. At least, when it’s up and running consistently, it’ll be fantastic.
Cincinnati – LTE speeds
Not long ago, we posted a short article to let you know about developments in Cincinnati too. The network there is still in its early days, but speeds are improving in the West side of the city. Downtown Cincinnati should be fully lit-up by November – or so we’ve heard – so it’ll be good to keep an eye on any new locations if you live near that area.
Thanks to everyone, as always, who sends this information in. If you see any new developments, particularly if you manage to get on a new 700MHz site, email your news to email@example.com.