T-Mobile expects to have 600MHz-compatible phones to go with spectrum deployment in 2017


Hot on the heels of the news that T-Mobile could start deploying 600MHz spectrum in 2017, some more hot 600MHz news has come out.

During a J.P. Morgan conference today, CFO Braxton Carter said that T-Mobile will have phones that support 600MHz airwaves ready when it begins to deploy that spectrum. Carter explained that T-Mobile has previously shown that it can work with device makers both on infrastructure and handsets in an effort to “drive the ecosystem really quickly.” Carter added that both infrastructure vendors and device makers are working on plans to take advantage of the 600MHz spectrum that’s going up for auction.

Carter’s statements don’t come as a huge surprise since T-Mobile would want to offer 600MHz-compatible hardware so that it’s customers can use its shiny new spectrum, but it’s still good to hear that T-Mo is focused on getting users on the 600MHz airwaves. And while we’re still at least more than a year out from seeing that 600MHz spectrum deployed, at least now you know that your next smartphone could be one that supports 600MHz coverage.

Carter also touched on the rollout of the 600MHz spectrum that it plans to acquire from the upcoming auction. He pointed to T-Mobile’s previous acquisition of 700MHz spectrum from Verizon and how T-Mo worked with broadcasters to clear those airwaves in one year and quickly deploy it. “We executed an extremely efficient rollup of that 700MHz spectrum,” the CFO said. He went on to acknowledge that while work will need to take place to repack this spectrum, he feels that T-Mo can act quickly to deploy 600MHz spectrum in rural areas, echoing Peter Ewens’ statements from last week.

Via: FierceWireless
Source: J.P. Morgan

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  • Jay Holm

    Hmm, I wonder if the Galaxy S8 will have support for 600mhz (quad-band Carrier Aggregation?).

    • steveb944

      If all the stars align, it seems likely.

    • besweeet

      This could be my iPhone 6+ replacement if that is the case.

  • bisayan

    Will it support the upcoming flagship phone’s this year such as galaxy note6, iphone 7’s??? What band is 600mhz?

    • (J²)

      Doubt it. If this is supported in phones released at the end of the year it will most likely be by coincidence. There’s simply not enough time left.

      Apple has already shown and officially stated it will not include new hardware until it can be thoroughly tested and for good reason too! As many of us know, the iPhone’s battery barely suffices now… Any hasty inclusion of hardware can make the iPhone almost unusable which will lead to possibly another class action lawsuits, poor sales and loss of revenue.

      • terryo

        My iPhone 7 will do me fine until Apple catches up.

    • steveb944

      Nope. I would expect the S8 tho, remember Apple is normally slower to adopt the new bands.

      Unknown for now as it needs to be set up.

    • Jay Holm

      CrApple is always behind, they were behind when it came to 700mhz support, and will be behind in 600mhz support.

      • Bryant

        To clarify, I think you mean T-Mobile 700 Mhz support… They supported Verzion and AT&T 700 Mhz normally. Tmo did deploy theirs faster than V and T.
        The 600 mhz would be on even ground and CrApple would support all, since the iPhone supports almost all LTE bands now.

    • master94

      Samsung was the first to partner with Tmobile on trials so maybe for them but for other company flagships it will probably be a little longer. Apple especially is known to wait.

  • Johny M

    I’m very surprised by T-Mobile in a good way. Last week I drove from Georgia to Michigan and streamed YouTube red the whole way. There might have been less than 15 minutes where the service went on E.
    Last year it was less than 6 hours on I 75 that I could get reception.
    I don’t know how much better the 600mhz spectrum can make it for me but I’m excited.

    • It’s been pretty amazing seeing my data work in more and more places. Last year headed up to NH for our annual summer vacation, I was just amazed how much LTE they had deployed in one year. Most of the major populated areas had LTE, and I rarely lost it along the highways. Only place that went down to 2G was around Lincoln and up to Franconia. I’ll check it again in five weeks!

    • Dylan Wentworth

      That I have to see to believe.
      When you go through northern Tennessee and southern Kentucky on 75 was a big dead spot just last summer. Even verliezon drops out in the mountains.

      • GiveMeABreak

        It’s true…Just drove up I-75 from Florida to Ohio last week and I only dropped to E in Northern TN for about 5 min or less and popped back to LTE. Albeit Band 2.

        • Nick Hammerschmidt

          I am happy you experience this great LTE service with T-Mobile. I drive in rural areas of Ohio and I dropped less calls with Sprint.

        • GiveMeABreak

          I will say, that In rural parts of Ohio, I experience Coverage issues….B12 never connected where the coverage map said there was coverage…So yes, their map is a bit over stated, but the trip there was OK.

    • master94

      600 mhz should be much better at penetrating buildings so expect better service indoors mostly.

  • gg55592

    I appreciate that they’re working to make a biger and better network. But it is a little frustrating with the constant changes to the network that even phones that have not been released yet are in essence already obsolete. Presumably any phone still to be released in 2016, including the next Nexus phones, will not support 600 Mhz, since it will not have even been rolled out yet. Never was planned obsolesence worse than with cell phones.

    • Bryant

      I wouldn’t say obsolete… Your phone you buy this year will still work on the T-Mobile network for many many years. Latest and greatest doesn’t mean everything else is obsolete. LTE bands 2, 4, and 12 will be in use for a long time.

      • Jay Holm

        Yep, tri-band carrier aggregation is just beginning to be deployed….pretty soon 80-150mbps speeds during the day will be commonplace.

    • Dylan Wentworth

      I understand your frustration but this isn’t planned obsolescence.
      The availability of spectrum is limited and they have to take what they can get.
      I don’t believe for a second this is a ploy to sell more phones.
      I don’t think the manufacturers ever imagined that 600mhz would be used since nowhere else in the world is it used to my knowledge. It was a result of the digital television mandate and I’m not so sure it’s going to be so easy or cheap to produce such wide/multi. banded devices.

      And it’s not like you don’t know two years in advance what’s coming. That’s a whole generation or two of devices til the rollout

      • VN

        It’s more like accidental obsolescense. First will be the 600mhz phones then the high frequency phones.

        But there’s also the silente obsolescence of phones without Carrier Aggregation, we can call that ‘planned ignorance obsolescence’.

        • Jay Holm

          I read a year ago that the FCC also wants to free up and auction off 400mhz for mobile broadband use, I don’t think a date was made mention of though. Keep in mind, 5 years from now we’re all going to have multigigabit wireless broadband….it’s going to take a lot of airwaves and a lot carrier aggregation of the bands to achieve that.

        • VN

          If they deploy 5G starting in the highest frequency and leave the low frequencies (700 and 600mhz) with 4G as a backup, many of us are not going to need a “lot of CA” or high end phones.

          Apart from having signal inside few big buildings where I didn’t had signal before, B12 was horrible for me and still is, slow. If B12 acted like a backup, I’d be happy.

          They shoud set the network properly for the future so CA doesn’t become a necessity. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but I’m a bit worried about the SARs with those phones connecting to multiple bands.

  • Matt

    T-Mobile is going to totally own Verizon!

    • Jay Holm

      Uhh…that will take at least 5yrs or so for that to happen! T-Mobile is still 25+ million customers away from being a serious threat to Vzn.

  • Walt

    Will 600mhz spectrum be deployed in areas that already have 700mhz? i’m pretty sure t-mobile is going to bid for nationwide 600mhz and not just bid on cities that would fill in the gaps that don’t currently have 700mhz

    • SirStephenH

      Their plan is to buy 600MHz spectrum covering areas that aren’t already covered by B12 then buy spectrum where their B12 is overloaded. Unfortunately they do not appear to be going after a nationwide license.

  • VN

    For those that have B12 and at least one of the othet current bands where they are, Carrier Aggregation and densification are more important than 600mhz.

  • michael caley

    The 700 spectrum band 12 sucks, just another way to get you to buy a phone for 2 years.

    • marque2

      You just have to be aware of the reality when you buy a new phone. I got rid of my Nexus 4 because it was getting creaky, and I suspected I would get better reception with that newfangled LTEE. With the Nexus 5x I can get reception 3/5 bars using Band 4 in places where I got zero Bars with the Nexus 4. It was definitely worth the upgrade. Yes the 5x gets band 12 as well – but my area doesn’t have it yet. But the point is, I am getting much better service with the new phone. If you don’t need better service and are happy with the old phone – keep it.

  • kev2684

    This just made my desire for the Note 6 disappear just like that lol. S8 Edge will be my S7 Edge successor I guess

  • Richard Darrington

    People don’t get caught up in the details. We’ll all have a new phone or two by the time you see this actually effect us. For those upset you should be glad t mobile is continuing to make moves to make the network better in the future. I’ve been with them just over 2 yrs and I’m amazed by the growth and speed it’s deployed at. Whenever I’ve traveled I’ve had nothing but great experiences.

    • Glen Baerett

      Well, T-Mobile has issued a statement that it prefers to use 600MHz band for LTE. Verizon/AT&T have been discussing deploying 5G services; so phones likely won’t be compatible.

      • master94

        You cant use 600mhz for 5G. It just wont be efficient. For 5G higher bands make more sense. Also it will be years before 5G becomes a thing. There is no reason why oems cant install modems that work on all carriers.

        • VN

          So much agree. 700 and 600mhz shouls always be one technology behind so they can act more like a backup.

  • francob911 .

    Im pretty sure that the Note 6 will support 600Mhz .. From the History .. Note 2 was one of the 1st phones to support LTE on T-Mobile .. Note 4 was one of the first to support band 12 and it should follow with the Note 6 , If not i might as well go with the V11

    • Jimbo

      No it wont. The nexus brand will be the first phone to support it. You’ll see ;)