According to T-Mobile’s CFO, Braxton Carter, the carrier is going to continue its low-band spectrum acquisitions in to next year. The Chief Financial Officer was speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference.
Currently, T-Mo owns 700MHz spectrum covering 185 million POPs in 24 of the top 30 U.S. markets. And that’s down to the major deal with Verizon earlier this year, and several other purchases from smaller companies across the U.S.. The most recent being a deal with Vulcan Wireless in the Seattle and Portland markets.
Several 700MHz sites are already online, and we know of two of them specifically, in Long Island and Houston, Texas. And none of this would be possible had T-Mo not made acquiring low-band spectrum its biggest focus this year. The only real downside to this now is that a number of markets are still hindered by Channel 51 interference. Some of the TV channel spectrum owners have agreed to move (around 6 markets covering 17 million POPs are in the clear) but many others won’t be until after the 600MHz spectrum auction.
At the moment, that’s not making a huge difference to user experience since very few of T-Mobile’s current handset portfolio support band 12 frequencies. But that’s about to change. As reported by Fierce Wireless:
Carter said that T-Mobile will release a “significant” number of Band 12-capable devices next year and “will be aggressive in rolling out low-band [spectrum] next year.”
Carter also commented on the iPhone’s impact on the market place, and looking ahead to next year stated that T-Mobile is unlikely to continue the level of growth that it’s seen in 2014. Still, we’re going to see T-Mo continue to innovate and use its momentum to have another healthy and competitive year.