T-Mobile acquires Montana 700MHz spectrum from Charter


T-Mobile’s Extended Range LTE is already in several Montana towns, like Kalispell and Missoula, and soon it’ll be available in even more.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference this week, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray revealed that T-Mo has reached an agreement to acquire 700MHz A-Block spectrum from Charter in eastern Montana. Ray says that the spectrum acquired by T-Mobile covers almost 600,000 POPs and about 120,000 square miles.

Neville Ray also said that T-Mobile currently has 215 million POPs covered in low band spectrum and 269 million licensed POPs to build into. Looking ahead, Ray said that T-Mo will continue to expand its 700MHz coverage over the next 12 months. “A bunch of that footprint expansion will occur in 2017, some more in ’16 for sure,” Ray explained.

T-Mobile is in the midst of a 600MHz spectrum auction, but it’s still focused on its growing its 700MHz coverage, too. This acquisition of 700MHz airwaves in Montana is a big addition to T-Mobile’s spectrum portfolio, and T-Mo has said that it’s looking to add cities like Billings and Great Falls to its coverage, so customers in those cities have something to look forward to. Now we just have to wait for T-Mobile to actually deploy this coverage.

Source: Goldman Sachs Communacopia

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  • Dan

    Anyone know how many cell towers t-mobile has?

    • Jon

      They’ve had more than any other carrier for a good while now. No idea what the total is these days though

      • Ghostinashell

        They have 100,000 cell towers.

        • Jay Holm

          Is the above guys statement true? More than any other carrier?

        • slybacon

          Maybe not the exact number of towers, but T-Mobile has the densest network. T-Mobile didn’t have low band spectrum until a couple years ago. They had to build coverage with more towers to cover the same amount of area as 700 mhz now covers.

        • Jay Holm

          It will be interesting when 600 is combined with 700 and all other LTE frequencies for Carrier aggregation!!!

        • Van

          It is my understanding the only phone that is Band 600 ready is the LV V20.

      • Jason Caprio

        Riddle me this. If T-Mobile has more towers than any other carrier, than why is their coverage a joke compared to AT&T and Verizon?

        Lets assume your statement is true. T-Mobile must have all their towers all grouped together in metro areas and anywhere rural we all roam on AT&T lol

        • maximus1901

          yes in metro areas. they explicitly state ad nauseum “we have the densest network”

        • Jon

          Do you understand physics? Specifically, how different spectrum has different propagation properties?

    • Daniel

      A couple years back it was 50,000.

  • Jay J. Blanco

    Great now start deploying the 700mhz that’s already been closed since last month

    • Dan

      Like in Chicago?

      • Bradley Karas

        For some reason the Chicago deal hasn’t closed yet

    • Raiterio Patterson

      Like in NC/SC

      • Jay J. Blanco

        Yes we need it

  • Romdude

    The squeaky wheel gets the oil.

  • Alex Zapata

    I don’t care so much about POPs, it’s the square mileage that counts.

  • Glenn Gore

    T-Mobile desperately needs low-band in the middle of the country, currently being held but not used by US Cellular in a good bit of the area. Having to rely solely on Bands 2 & 4 in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin leaves T-Mobile with polka-dot coverage instead of blanket coverage. The Kansas City DMA is the only place they have low-band, an island in a sea of less-useful high-band.

  • Jimmy James

    Where is the MIMO update for the Galaxy 7 they promised?

    • Jay Holm

      I believe that isn’t until sometime in October.

      • Jimmy James

        Well, TmoNews has an article stating this month.

  • draws

    who lives in Montana

    • Zacamandapio

      Dennis Quaid, Huey Lewis, David Letterman, Tom Brokaw,

      • maximus1901

        and they can afford verizon

  • Chrstuyi76

    Did TMO get Charter 700 B block too? Or just the A block?

    • Dakota_Offspring

      From FierceWireless:

      Charter owns the Billings and Rapid City Economic Area 700 MHz A Block licenses and the Montana 5 – Mineral CMA Area 700 MHz B Block license. “The Montana 5 B block license overlaps counties that T-Mobile already controls the 700MHz A-block spectrum,” he noted

  • Nunnayobidness

    With this new deal, T-mobile is finally able get some low band into a bit of the northern portion of Wyoming. (According to Spectrum Gateway map.)