T-Mobile asks FCC for license to run more experiments in the 2.5GHz band


A recent FCC application shows that T-Mobile is interested in experimenting with the 2.5GHz band.

T-Mobile filed an application with the FCC this week asking for an experimental license to test equipment in the 2500-2670MHz band. “The experimental authorization will allow T-Mobile to understand the propagation characteristics and gain a better understanding of the new, innovative services that this band can offer,” T-Mo explains.

T-Mobile has actually been experimenting in the 2.5GHz band for a few months now, but that Special Temporary Authority is set to come to an end on October 2. With that STA ending in less than a month, T-Mo is applying for this experimental license to continue its tests.

Under its current STA, T-Mobile has been conducting experiments from five fixed locations in Washington and Utah using both indoor and outdoor locations. The tests included 10 mobile devices situated around each location and prototype equipment from several manufacturers. Based on the results of those experiments, T-Mo wants to continue and expand on those efforts.

The spectrum that T-Mobile is seeking permission to test in is known as the Educational Broadband Services (EBS) spectrum. Back in July, the FCC voted to change some rules related to these airwaves, including dropping the educational use requirement.

Sprint has a lot of 2.5GHz that T-Mobile could utilize for 5G if the proposed merger of the two carriers goes through. If it doesn’t, though, T-Mo would probably like still like to use some 2.5GHz to help build out its 5G network, which explains why T-Mobile is interested in continuing its testing of the 2.5GHz band.

Via: FierceWireless
Source: FCC

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  • slybacon

    Utah? That’s interesting.

    • SirStephenH

      Not really. It’s just a lot of open land that T-Mobile can play in without interfering with other things.

      • slybacon

        That’s even more interesting. Haha. Have you been to Utah? Outside of Utah’s populated areas, it’s mostly mountains and canyons. I wouldn’t say “open land without interference.” They could have more easily gone to eastern Washington.

        • I’m a Utah native and there are a lot more technical reasons involved in these tests than most people may be aware of. Some of these tests could have something to do with the interference caused by copper and iron mining, which Utah has a lot of. For instance I live near one of the biggest Iron mines there is. I even live in a county called Iron County!

          Without knowing exactly what these tests entail this is all speculation on my part, but I can tell you from experience that the carriers are always testing around here for this and other reasons.

        • slybacon

          Same here. I live in a county named after salt. And next to the largest open pit mine in the world (for copper). ;)
          I don’t see how minerals in the ground affect radio waves in the air.

        • dcmanryan

          I live in in a county named after the state of Utah and welcome any new coverage because T-Mobile is VERY hit and miss. In Lindon at the Vivint building and all of 1600 north of Orem you’re lucky to get 1 Mbps outside. Lehi at Thanksgiving Park area I get 2-3 Mbps in doors. Bring on any new tech I say.

        • SirStephenH

          Mining doesn’t typically cause a lot of interference, let alone interference that will effect nearby areas. Even if it caused an unusual amount of interference it wouldn’t effect 99.99999999999% of uses. T-Mobile typically uses areas like Utah for non-city, outdoor tests.

        • slybacon

          There is no reason to come to Utah for non-city reasons when they could just go to extreme western Washington or eastern Washington. I have a feeling you live in California or the east coast. ;)

        • SirStephenH

          True about Eastern Washington but the whole point of Utah might be to test with natural obstructions like mountains and canyons. T-Mobile tends to do it’s lab, indoor, and city testing in Bellevue, WA so Utah is likely being used as a rural or middle of nowhere test ground where natural obstructions come more into play. The dryer climate would also provide T-Mobile with areas to test in without a lot of trees, allowing it to get a better picture of how just the terrain effects it without organic or man-made obstructions. 2.5GHz has different propagation than the familiar low and mid-band spectrum so knowing how terrain like in Utah effects it would be key.

        • slybacon

          Eastern Washington is also a desert without trees.

    • BobbieDooley

      There must be a lack of Educational Broadcasters using the airwaves in Utah.

      • slybacon

        Yeah we don’t go to “school” by listening to the radio or watching tv.

  • Sayahh

    You know how sonar and explosions mess with marine life? What does taking up all these low, mid and high band spectrums disrupt, if anything?

    • Jose Mendoza

      It disrupts nothing. But there should still be permits to conduct testing regardless. It’s common sense. Any testing can cause interference with other system as a spectrum block (even though owned by a telecommunications company) can still be in use by some other low power but important scenario. There’s lots of municipalities that use the randomest blocks of spectrum because they have “exemptions”. It’s kind of like states rights when it comes to ownership of blocks of spectrum. A small community could enact a law that overrides federal laws.

    • BobbieDooley

      It disrupts the ability for T-Mobile to send a bill, cash the payment, and transfer the cash to primary shareholders based in Germany.