T-Mobile wants to buy more 700MHz spectrum, raising $1 billion to do so

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Lately there’s been a big focus on the 600MHz auction, which T-Mobile will be participating in, but T-Mo is still working on acquiring some 700MHz airwaves, too.

T-Mobile announced today that it plans to offer $1 billion in senior notes that’ll be due in 2024 in a registered public offering. What does T-Mobile want with all that cash, you ask? T-Mo says that it plans to put that money toward acquiring 700MHz A-block spectrum and other spectrum deals.

T-Mobile has already snapped up quite a bit of 700MHz spectrum lately, spending more than $1 billion on licenses sprinkled throughout the US. Now it looks like T-Mo has plans to snatch up even more 700MHz airwaves. We don’t yet know where it’ll pick up more spectrum from, but the news that it’s working to get more cash to buy more 700MHz spectrum is exciting news for anyone that loves Extended Range LTE coverage.

Via: FierceWireless
Source: T-Mobile Investor

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  • pda96

    Isn’t the 600MHz spectrum auction going on today?

    • maximus1901

      No.

    • I’m still not convinced all the talk about 600Mhz wasn’t just to get better deals on all the 700Mhz they’ve been buying. This 700Mhz roll out is awesome because it can go live FAST!

  • dontsh00tmesanta

    To expand or to add bandwidth?

    • GeoFreak

      Likely both, but mostly to improve reliability. That’s T-Mobile’s main weakness, is calling. 5×5 Mhz of B12 LTE won’t do a whole lot for capacity, but for coverage/reliability, it should help tremendously.

      • dontsh00tmesanta

        b12 is plenty fast in the boonies but useless except for calls and sms in populated areas

        • Steve

          Unless there’s carrier aggregation, otherwise b12 sucks except for building penetration.

        • dontsh00tmesanta

          There was none

          No b2 or b4 in the area I was in

          Getting 22mbps

      • What’s “calling” anyway? ;)

      • Bradley Karas

        Band 12 wasn’t really meant for speed more to fill in the gaps in the less populated areas. They have wideband which is their bread and butter

  • Guest

    It needs to be deployed on EVERY cell tower in markets it’s already been deployed in

  • Cam Fas

    They have been doing tower work in Las Vegas I’m wondering when they will flick on band 12 out here. At least they are on a roll. It would be nice if we could have a map showing the areas where band 12 is carrier aggragated with 1700mhz and 1900mhz.

    • I don’t think they’ve done aggregation anywhere yet have they?

      • Steve

        Yes they have in some places.

      • JB45

        Cincinnati has it. Hamilton County it’s 2 over 12 and 12 over 2…depends where you are. Butler County it’s 4 and 12.

        • Steve

          We need a map for that, like OP says.

        • John Brown

          Hamilton County and Clermont County have great coverage now. But Brown, Adams, and Highland counties are awful. just moved to Georgetown, and the maps lie. Coverage is still unusable. I don’t have X or roaming, but I have a -120 dbm signal I can’t use. Meanwhile the map would have you swear they were the new Verizon

        • Are you saying it has Band 12 or that it has aggregation (both at once)?

        • JB45

          We have both. Right now I am in the county just north of downtown Cincinnati. My note 4 is on LTE Band IV with CA on Band 12.

        • I wonder how that actually works. Does it make it one big fat pipe or can it do voice on Band 12 and data on Band 4? Does it give preference to Band 4?

        • SirStephenH

          Big fat pipe.

          Carrier aggregation combines non-contiguous spectrum to increase bandwidth. Otherwise you can only use contiguous spectrum which is why “wideband” (15+15Mhz or more contiguous spectrum within a band) has been so important. Wideband is better but it’s hard to get a hold of contiguous spectrum and you can only use one band at a time without CA.

        • So it seems like aggregation with band 12 is a bad idea because it’d be better used for fringe coverage?

      • StevenM

        Oddly, Houston had it, but it’s been gone since the VoLTE outage a few weeks ago.

      • Bradley Karas

        In FL…statewide

        • Any source for that? Haven’t seen any coverage would like to learn more.

        • Bradley Karas

          Dial *#0011# from your Samsung phone…I think Samsung is the only phone capable right now. Had the iPhone 6s plus and the V10 and they weren’t capable. I have the S7 edge and it rocks it…had straight LTE coverage from Tampa to Miami thru a ton of rural areas

        • taxandspend

          How do you know the V10 isn’t capable? I read it is.

        • Bradley Karas

          It’s band 12 capable but did a side by side comparison between the Note 5 and V10 I was dropping calls and data signal left and right on the V10

        • taxandspend

          When you go into engineering mode, it certainly looks like it supports CA on 2 bands. And another article on here states that T-Mobile had something like 18 phones that support it.

        • Bradley Karas

          They support CA or they support band 4 and and 12?

        • taxandspend

          They support CA or they support band 4 and and 12?

          CA.

          There are currently 18 devices on T-Mobile’s roster that support carrier aggregation, including Apple’s new iPhone 6s and Samsung’s Galaxy S6.

          https://www.tmonews.com/2015/12/t-mobile-reviews-lte-highlights-of-2015-looks-ahead-to-new-network-technologies/

        • Arr you talking about Band 12 or carrier aggregation? iPhone 6S supports both and Ican’t find any sources saying carrier aggregation is live anywhere. I’m not even sure WHY they’d want to do that, Band 12 is for fringe coverage anyway right? Why would they want people with Band 4 converge using up Band 12 too?

        • Bradley Karas

          I promise it’s live in Tampa

        • Weird no one has mentioned it. Send Alex some screen shots I’m sure he’ll cover it and credit you!

        • Bradley Karas

          I have a screen shot…wish I could share but I just tweeted Alex so go take a look

        • thepanttherlady

          Paste the link here and I’ll approve it when I see it come through.

        • Bradley Karas
        • Bradley Karas

          Just posted…see link below

        • John Wentworth

          Carrier aggregation is live on a few sites I’ve seen in NJ too.
          I’ve seen it on my Note 5

        • John Wentworth
  • Philip

    Does that mean if you buy the stocks you will be in for the fun ride too?

  • Matt

    This is good news. Glad to see John Legere and TMo committed to network buildout.

  • John

    Can there be congestion on Band 12? I noticed when I’m on that band and it’s typically in a crowded area the speed is slow sometimes as slow as dial up..

    • Jason B

      Of course. It’s actually more sensitive to congestion because it’s only a 10MHz band (5MHz FDD). Though because of buffer zones and other dynamic frequency management on towers (particularly in ch. 51 co-existence areas), you don’t really get the full 10MHz of bandwidth. Uplink is usually limited, which affects everything.

      In my area, band 12 is around 5Mbps down / 3Mbps up, while band 4 is roughly 10x that on average (peak 90Mbps down/25Mbps up uncongested). Band 12 is very limited in my area, and aggregation is not enabled … yet.

    • Clippers FANactic

      Band 12 has been live in my area for over 2 months and it BLOWS! Can’t even get 1mbps. I’m so angry… My area was already awesome, with fast and strong Band 4. Now all my LG V10 wants to do is default to Band 12. I have to manually put my phone into WCDMA to get usable data. Zip: 93551 I’m so furious…

    • SirStephenH

      Speeds for 5+5Mhz of band 12 (what’s being deployed by T-Mobile) tend to top out at around 10Mbps down with most people getting around 5Mbps down so yes, it’s congestable.

      There might be other issues such as they haven’t optimized it yet (problem with recently deployed spectrum or spectrum still being deployed), they haven’t finished deployment so many people are on the one or few towers that have it deployed (fixed by further deployment), or the tower density is too low (not an easy or likely fix. Towers are expensive and generally take two years to build including permitting, etc).

  • Troy

    Anyone know how to buy senior notes? I assume they are like bonds?

  • mallard1967

    Still hoping T-Mobile finally rolls out in my rural area freedom ny 14065 so me a lots of Verizon and AT&T customers can say so long and hello T-Mobile here we come

  • Mike Palomba

    T-Mobile says they have band 12 in Staten Island but I have only seen it once or twice and it quickly changes to no signal. I hope they get more here.

    • John Wentworth

      Same thing going on in central NJ, deployment is very slow, our region has been clear since last July and theirs only 1 tower in Middlesex county, 1 tower in Monmouth and 1 in Ocean and that’s it so far. And I actively look for new towers when driving around all time, I don’t just rely on the map

      • Mike Palomba

        I’m worried that the towers are deployed and that they just don’t have that many in the area.

        • John Wentworth

          I see, it depends if your losing signal inside buildings and stuff like then it’s probably just that Band 4 doesn’t reach inside and needs Band 12 to be deployed to reach inside. That’s my normal situation in NJ. I have coverage almost everywhere if I just step outside, but bigger buildings can be a problem from time to time.

          If you have areas where your outside and still have no coverage that may be an issue of not enough towers and coverage gaps.

      • SirStephenH

        That’s the same way it started here in Kitsap County, WA. There was a tower here and there for a long while, then it started popping up everywhere. They seem to start near the freeways, then move out from there. They’re still rolling it out here but service has improved greatly. It takes time.

  • Steven

    Mobile, AL Please!!! The Alabama Gulf Coast, especially the Mobile side, is weak. Theodore, Fowl River, Grand Bay, Bayou La Batre. Please get that spectrum from C-Spire!

  • Steven

    Oh, speaking of current Band 12 Markets. Any word on the NOLA and Shreveport, LA launch. Spectrum gateway says Q2-Q4 for NOLA, but anything more specific? Shreveport shows nothing on there.

  • George

    Hope they get Chicago going. Even though I get nice coverage in most areas on where I go, but there’s always a problem when I go into a big cement building.

  • Zach Mauch

    please let this be to buy it up from US Cellular.

  • SirStephenH

    Of course they’re going to buy more B12. 600Mhz is at least 4-6 years from being widely deployable/usable. Does anyone think they’re going to be sitting on their hands during this time?

  • Nathan Ashby

    Signal Check Pro picked up some band 12 in Utah! You’ll have to scroll down to find it.
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rmp23kfUHkgip3j9uKwBNVCc-RzQWeKSYU4tAzNlUBw/edit?usp=sharing