Dish providing 600MHz spectrum portfolio to T-Mobile during coronavirus outbreak


T-Mobile and Dish Network are teaming up to help get T-Mo and Sprint’s merger completed, and now they’re working together to help consumers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Dish announced today that it’s providing its entire portfolio of 600MHz spectrum to T-Mobile at no cost for 60 days. This can help give T-Mo’s network a boost as customers rely more on the wireless network for entertainment and work due to the coronavirus.

“DISH is proud to support Americans’ personal and professional connectivity needs during this challenging time,” said Jeff Blum, Dish’s SVP of public policy and government affairs. “As we take this step, we’d like to thank the FCC for their leadership on the technological needs arising as a result of the virus, including the increased need for broadband access to help consumers respond to the impact of COVID-19 on daily life.”

T-Mobile also announced today that it will waive late fees for customers affected by the coronavirus and that all T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers will have unlimited data for 60 days.

Source: Dish Network

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  • Shaun Michalak

    It makes me wonder?? Can T-mobile actually just flip a switch and start using all that extra frequency?

    • slybacon

      I wondered if it was that easy as well. I’m guessing they tell the towers which spectrum “blocks” to run on and their power output based on what they are licensed to run on. I would assume the tower equipment installed can use all the different 600 MHz blocks if needed. Crazy how simple it sounds.

      • Joe

        T-mobile has LTE 600 MHz on quite a few towers already so for those towers it literately is just a software change.

      • marque2

        I wonder about the power though – aren’t they limited to X watts and if the use more bandwidth wouldn’t they need X plus a bit more?

        • Shaun Michalak

          I was thinking kind of the same thing.. after all, if it takes 1watt to send out a signal to one phone, then logically, they would need 10 watts to use 10 phones, all at the same time..

          I would guess that they could change that with remote access to change the amount of power..

    • SurvivingSunnyvale


      It would take almost that much time to work out the bugs and tune the frequencies.

      • Axel I

        It is not that hard to add spectrum to the existing deployment. On this band it is a lot simpler vs a Band-4 with Band-66 coexistence. You essentially need to extend your antennas to operate on a wider band of the same spectrum band. And then adjust/augment some elements in a core to accommodate additional bandwidth, and we know those aren’t that saturated to begin with as policies are in place to throttle speed on that particular band. And I doubt they will lift that at all. So it will provide access to more users but nothing else will change – piece of cake and a batch job on the RNC.

      • Shaun Michalak

        still being in the band 71 range, I do not think it would be a problem with bugs that they would have to worry about..

    • Mike Smith

      As long as it’s the bands they already use it’s that easy. It’ll be hard to give it up at the end of the 60-days.

    • none

      Yeah, it’s just extra band 71 blocks that phones and towers already support.

  • Willie D

    This is the most stupid idea. 600Mhz that has only 5G build out. Hardly anyone has a 5G phone let alone FCC clearance to use in some areas like where I live in Nor Cal where there is no 600Mhz build out. It would have been better if TMo and Sprint both opened up their network to each others customers for the entire spectrum portfolio.

    • slybacon

      Not true. T-Mobile first launched 600 MHz on LTE and there is still at least one block of 600 MHz running on LTE. They can now use DISH’s blocks to supplement T-Mobile’s.

      • Willie D

        That’s hilarious cause as I said before 600Mhz isnt even allowed to be used in some major markets. So 5G or LTE is not existent regardless who’s spectrum. Again, it would be better since they own Sprint to just open both networks

        • slybacon

          No you didn’t. You said 600 MHz was 5G only (and no LTE). 600MHz will be clear in all areas of the US soon. Sucks for those (like you) who don’t live in an area with 600 MHz.

        • Trevnerdio

          You do know that T-Mobile is currently in Phase 8 of their 10 phase rollout, right? They only have a few more small markets left to go, nearly every major market has moved their TV stations off that frequency range.

    • marque2

      Almost every TMobile phone for the last two years is built with 600Mhz LTE support.

      It isn’t a 5g only thing – though TMobile did implement it that way in some spots. My understanding is that the 5g transmitters also can do/be switched to LTE.

      I don’t understand how spectrum can be loaned though.

      • Willie D

        A phone can be built with whatever but if the network isnt built or not allowed to use specific frequencies like 600Mhz in this case then 20+ million americans have been shut out. Point is opening 600Mhz was a pointless effort.

        • GoFarKid

          You have no clue what you’re talking about. Lay off the drugs

        • marque2

          Not sure why you keep saying that. A lot of TMobile 600mhz is LTE. You don’t need 5g to use it. My LG V30 which is the first TMobile phone to have 600hz will pick up the extra signal just fine.

          Also I believe a lot of the 600hz towers are dynamically programmable so the can switch back and forth between LTE and 5g a TMobile tries to load balance.

          In the end though – I doubt this Corona virus will change data usage much. If I am locked in my home I will have WIFI.

    • ericdabbs

      @WillieFDiaz:disqus Please stop replying. You are making yourself look silly and frankly annoying. Apparently you don’t know what is going on with the 600 MHz rollout. Nor Cal is still in the process of having the TV stations vacate the frequencies so how do you expect Tmobile to deploy 600 MHz LTE and 5G when the frequencies in use? You seem to be think you know a lot about the logistics of what Tmobile is doing but in fact you don’t. Also the fact that your assumption that the additional 600 MHz from Dish is used only for 5G is silly.

  • rshimizu12

    T-mobile’s 600 mhz service is still unavailable in many areas. There is only 2 towers that have it in San Diego.

  • Trevnerdio

    It’s possible those were just in a test phase. 5G will return when they’re ready to turn it back on.

    • David

      im sure they will,it was on for a week or so,with kickass upload and so so DL.. Seems to me that phase 1 was done and hope that next phase is turn that back on! :)

  • marque2

    The transponders use software to switch between 5g and LTE so that doesn’t mean TMobile isn’t using the spectrum.