T-Mobile is interested in run some 3.5GHz tests.
T-Mobile recently submitted an application for special temporary authority with the FCC, requesting permission to operate in the 3.5GHz band. T-Mo says that it wants to operate in the 3550-3700MHz band “to understand the propagation characteristics and gain a better understanding of new innovative services this band can offer.”
In its application, T-Mobile explains that it’ll be working with equipment from Ericsson and Nokia. The tests will be conducted using four different types of prototype equipment in indoor and outdoor settings. They’ll be conducted in Las Vegas, Nev.; Dallas, Texas; and Richardson, Texas.
This is actually the second time this year that T-Mobile has applied for permission to run 3.5GHz tests. It asked the FCC for permission back in April, but that request was later dismissed by the FCC because the areas that T-Mo wanted to test in (Bellevue, Wash. and Bothell, Wash.) “are within the exclusion zone and Navy cannot approve it.”
It’s no surprise that T-Mobile has interest in operating in the 3.5GHz band and testing equipment for it. Earlier this year, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray urged the FCC to make the 3.5GHz band more favorable for deploying 5G services, and today Ray tweeted that “3.5GHz will be a critical global component of 5G.” The FCC currently has rules in place for the 3.5GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum, including sharing it with the military incumbents that currently use the band.
Now we wait and see if this time T-Mobile’s request to test in the 3.5GHz band will be approved.