T-Mobile launches 600MHz LTE in Scarborough, Maine

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After launching its first 600MHz LTE sites in Cheyenne earlier this month, T-Mobile today flipped the 600MHz in another city.

T-Mobile’s 600MHz LTE coverage is now live in Scarborough, Maine. T-Mo today also reaffirmed its plans to launch 600MHz coverage in several other parts of the U.S. in 2017, including:

  • Wyoming
  • Northeast and Southwest Oregon
  • West Texas
  • Southwest Kansas
  • The Oklahoma panhandle
  • Western North Dakota
  • Additional areas of Maine
  • Coastal North Carolina
  • Central Pennsylvania
  • Central Virginia
  • Eastern Washington

To access this 600MHz LTE coverage, you’ll need a phone that supports it, and T-Mobile today confirmed that the LG V30 is the first such device. The LG V30 will launch at T-Mobile this fall.

Finally, T-Mobile today gave a teaser for its 5G plans. T-Mo says that it’s using new Ericsson radio equipment that supports both LTE and 5G. When the time comes to launch 5G to the public, T-Mobile touts that it’ll be able to upgrade this equipment via a software update, “effectively turning on 5G on 600MHz with the flip of a switch.”

T-Mobile previously announced that it plans to use some of its 600MHz spectrum to build a nationwide 5G network. T-Mo aims to begin deploying 5G coverage in 2019.

Source: T-Mobile

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  • Jay Trainer

    It’s good that they are getting things started with this. I haven’t heard of any phones (other than the one mentioned in the article by LG) that will support the “new” 600 MHz. Does anyone know of any? How about the new iPhone that is coming out? I haven’t heard of any rumors what frequencies that will support.

    • Patrick McLaughlin

      The V30 is the only device so far to support it.. Usually Apple is about a year behind on supporting new LTE Bands. I suspect that the new iPhone may support Band 66 but, im not quite sure yet.

      • Jay Trainer

        What exactly is Band 66? Is that part of the 600MHz portfolio?

        • SKStark

          Perhaps not a technically complete answer, but Band 66 is essentially an expansion of Band 4 that allows for higher bandwidth among other things, enabling gigabit LTE for example as seen on the current Snapdragon X16 modem. Whatever the case, Band 66 is not 600MHz. That, I believe, is Band 71.

        • Magenta Man

          Band 66 is LTE-U Band 71 is 600mhz

        • Patrick McLaughlin

          band 66 is not lte-u. band 66 is part of band 4 1700 mhz

        • SirStephenH

          You got it backwards band 4 is part of band 66.

        • Trevnerdio

          No, he’s got it right. Band 66 is an extension of 4. It utilizes AWS-3 spectrum, whereas AWS-1 is what B4 uses.

        • Patrick McLaughlin

          band 66 is an extension of 1700 mhz

        • Jay Trainer

          I don’t know anything regarding this frequency. Does that help with coverage? Does it increase bandwidth?

        • Patrick McLaughlin

          yes

        • Jay Trainer

          Is it in the iPhone 7?

        • Patrick McLaughlin

          No

        • Patrick McLaughlin

          im not sure if it widely deployed yet though

    • MadMartigan

      No phones yet – V30 will be the first.

      After that, anything with the 835/836 SoC produced after this point, so long as they bundle the necessary antenna, should work just fine with it.

      I know nothing of iPhones – I have not kept upon their SoC, but I would assume unless they’ve already produced them, it should be possible.

      • slybacon

        Apple would need to buy the X16 Modems from qualcomm and install the necessary antenna for 600 mhz to work. Rumor has it they are mostly going with Intel modems this year. They won’t use the 835/836 SoC, instead they use their own A Series SoC (A11 for next iPhone).

        • MadMartigan

          …and they (either Intel or Apple) cannot build the frequency/antenna into the new SoC?

          (Honestly don’t know how far along they are in these processes)

        • slybacon

          I’m not sure how antenna design/incorporation works. Apple just announced their iPhone event for Sept 12. Their design was probably finalized a few months ago.

    • SirStephenH

      T-Mobile’s been claiming for a while now that it will have at least two phones out before the end of the year which support band 71, supposedly one from Samsung (unknown) and the other from LG (V30).

      Apple’s always been a year or two behind with adding new bands.

  • saimin

    Any chance that this year’s Google Pixel phones will support this band?

    • John Doe

      Most likely considering that the Pixel 2 XL is based on the V30 and the V30 has it also the Pixel 2 XL is rumored to have the Snapdragon 836 which is newer that the one in the V30 meaning it will be slightly faster in terms of clock speed and networking.

  • Des

    We are releasing 600!!! But you cant use it!!! ROFL

    • saimin

      If they sold the phones first, internet trolls would whine about that, too. I think rolling the phones and the network out in the same year is great.

      • Des

        except there are no phones and the network has been out since May?

        • CAL_08

          You don’t seem to under stand how marking works. Just knowing that it coming and what it will offer is pretty substantial. Many people will wait to upgrade to a compatible device and many will potentially jump over to T-mobile knowing their coverage will be better in their areas.

          You don’t just develop an entire new network without building up it’s strengths for selling it. Why is it wrong to you that T-mobile has been testing it before making it available for use?

        • slybacon

          The network has been out since Aug 2017.

  • Matt

    I will wait to upgrade my phone until one on the budget end comes available. Besides, I don’t think any 600mhz licenses were purchased for the northern and western suburbs of Philadelphia.

    • Acdc1a

      The 600 licenses are nationwide including Philadelphia suburbs.

    • SirStephenH

      T-Mobile bought licenses covering the entire US. Heck they even have licenses covering the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Dark enV

    I just want 700mHz to get launched out here in upstate SC already. Coverage has gotten horrible.

    • 700hmz is already live in upstate since last year and it’s great you just need a capable device. I tracked 700hmz all the way through greenville

      • Dark enV

        You sure about that? I’m using an iPhone 7 Plus and coverage hasn’t improved and data speeds have been abismal. I’m in the Spartanburg area of the upstate.

        • Mikey

          IPhone 7+ on T-Mobile network?

        • Yes and low band is for better coverage not speed even though they usually fo carrier aggregation since your near Charolette

  • They are moving too fast faster then the manufacturers can get devices out but great job

  • Glen Baerett

    Either way, I learned quite a lot from the LTE launch in Cheyenne on Reddit.

    Consensus was built when T-Mobile PR Wonks posted images of the antennas on a roof, and people said there’s no way they’d stay on a roof for a long time being held down with cinder blocks due to wind. There were even doubts a design like that would be approved.

    It’s good PR, but T-Mobile doesn’t seem to have good control over what its marketing department wants to do. Maybe the people in marketing need to take a 3-to-5 year long cruise or a vacation while the work gets done

  • Sharti24

    What t-mobile should do is this, Build a new entire network solely on 600mhz and blanket cover the US. Install new towers exactly where Att and Verizon towers are currently located in rural areas. Don’t deploy 600mhz on towers that currently have 700mhz on them. Build new towers around current towers to fill in your dead spots around the cities.

    Imagine a network thats faster and covers more people and land area than verizon. If that happens then people will switch (if tmobile doesnt raise their prices) tmobiles reputation of being a “ghetto” carrier might scare off some on the verizon/att loyalists but thats ok. Tmobile has work to do and if they can fully deploy 600mhz by 2022 and shut down hspa SOON i see them becoming #1 in five years

    • Joe

      They don’t need to put 600 mhz on new towers in places they already have coverage since it anyway travels farther than 1900 mhz and even a bit more than 700 mhz. If they would put 600 mhz on new towers it would cost them a fortune to upkeep all there towers. In places they do not have much or any coverage they obviously must obtain new towers.

      • Sharti24

        “Cost them a fortune”? You dont see verizon complaining about how building towers will “cost them a fortune”.

        They bought the new spectrum to deploy it in rural areas, WY, MT, ME. Theyre not going to buy spectrum and not use it. They’d be smart to add their equipment to existing att/verizon towers and split the rent.

        • Joe

          Hmm someone did not completely understand my initial comment. Let me repeat. In places they do NOT have ANY coverage (rural) or places they KINDA have coverage they must put there equipment on new towers where Verizon and ATT have there equipment as well. But in city’s and suburbs where they have coverage but with some hols there is NO need to add towers. Btw there is no splitting rent since each new company pays whatever it is for 1 rack of space on a tower.

        • Sharti24

          100% confused by your entire reply. Why not Blanket coverage 600mhz everywhere rural (and cites where they have minimal coverage to fill in gaps)? Full bars everywhere in cities and coverage in rural areas to match verizon. If they dont want to do that install 600mhz on ALL towers that dont have 700mhz currently on them (they couldnt install 700mhz on every tower already because it would cause too much interference because their network is spaced for 1900/2100mhz).

          So if there is a tower that has only Verizon equipment on it and it costs verizon $1000 a month in rent how much would it cost tmobile to install their equipment on it? I’d hope $500

        • Joe

          OMG I am saying there is no need to ADD towers. As in they just need to put 600 mhz on existing towers in the cities. Obviously they need to get nationwide 600 mhz.

        • SirStephenH

          No, you don’t see them complaining because they were practically given B12 by the federal government which they built their network around. This allowed for sparser tower placement and lower overall cost and is also the main reason their network is suffering from capacity issues. T-Mobile had no lowband until recently and was forced to place towers closer together to cover the same area, this resulted in much greater capacity but also higher costs.
          I have the feeling you don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • Durandal_1707

          Given by the federal government? T-Mobile didn’t even participate in the 700 MHz government auction. They bought it all after the fact, mostly from the spectrum squatters.

        • SirStephenH

          “”Cost them a fortune”? You dont see verizon complaining about how building towers will “cost them a fortune”.”

          Where’d you get T-Mobile from that?

  • SirStephenH

    SMH. They’ll have to deploy band 71 everywhere, including cities, because of coverage and capacity.

    There is near zero reason for them to be building new towers right now. Nearly their entire network overlaps with Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc and because of this they’ll get very little gains by adding towers. Bigger gains will be made by deploying B71 on existing towers, many of which don’t even have B12. This will also help with capacity issues and holes in the existing lowband network. Besides, building new towers is an expensive and time consuming process with many sites taking years to develop.

  • noh1bvisas

    so all this hand-wringing about the note 8 not supporting the band is pointless – unless you live or travel in these rural areas.

    • Sharti24

      Bingo. But if you want to future proof your phone for the next 3 years its a disappointment for you

      • noh1bvisas

        yeah, if you keep a phone that long (i don’t). the article also said they would be using the 600mkz for 5g in 2019, so who knows what hardwre you need for that.

  • draws

    who the heck lives in any of those areas

    • Andrew Addison

      You just may never know. I wouldn’t say that part.

    • Mark Bickford

      In Scarborough? Roger Goodell, for starters. Maybe they’re trying to get the NFL sponsorship to go along with MLB.

    • big curt

      I do