T-Mobile extends agreements to borrow 600MHz spectrum through June 30


When people began sheltering in place to fight the spread of the coronavirus, T-Mobile gained access to additional 600MHz spectrum to help its network handle the extra load. That extra spectrum was loaned to T-Mo from several other companies for 60 days. That period is coming to an end but the COVID-19 pandemic is still going on, and so T-Mobile has extended those 600MHz agreements.

T-Mo confirmed today that it has extended agreements with several spectrum holders to continue using their 600MHz spectrum during the coronavirus pandmic. Each company has extended their agreement through at least June 30.

With this additional spectrum, T-Mobile says that it’s been able to double its 600MHz LTE capacity nationwide.

The companies that are loaning 600MHz spectrum to T-Mobile include ATN International, Bluewater, Carolina West Wireless, Channel 51, Comcast, Dish Network, Grain Management affiliate NewLevel LLC, LB Holdings, Omega Wireless LLC, and Viaero Wireless.

In addition to these extended agreements, T-Mobile recently re-upped its Keep Americans Connected pledge with the FCC. Through June 30, T-Mobile will waive late fees and will not terminate service of customers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

T-Mo is giving extra data to customers without an unlimited high-speed data plan, too. Current customers on legacy plans without unlimited high-speed data will receive unlimited smartphone data through June 30.

Additionally, T-Mobile postpaid and Metro by T-Mobile customers on smartphone plans with mobile hotspot can get 10GB of extra smartphone hotspot usage for the next two months (20GB total) through June 30. This offer excludes the T-Mobile Connect plan.

Other steps being taken by T-Mobile to help customers affected by the coronavirus outbreak include providing up to 5GB per month of extra data to Lifeline customers, increasing the data allowance of schools and students in the EmpowerED digital learning program, and providing free international calling to landlines to countries significantly impacted by COVID-19.

Source: T-Mobile

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  • Jonathan

    I don’t understand — if these companies aren’t using the spectrum, why are they making this temporary agreement so short? Since we don’t know when the pandemic will end, couldn’t they make things simpler and say “until the end of 2020”?

    • riverhorse

      They and many of us expect the entire country to be back by July. We should already be back if not for media-fomented mass hysteria & opportunistic politicians.

    • dcmanryan

      Dish owns A LOT of spectrum. They basically let T-Mobile use it and played nice during the merger talks. At the end of the day it’s theirs to use or not use as they see fit. They owe T-Mobile nothing. And let’s be honest, T-Mobile isn’t the nicest to other carriers, satellite or cable companies. If I owned the spectrum I would have told them to f**k off.

      • marque2

        Dish needs Tmobile to help them out while they build their own network. Dish will be a Tmobile MNVO for a few years. They will probably be loaning Tmobile spectrum in lieu of payments for awhile until Dish gets their own towers in all the particular regions.

        I know T-mobile has said mean things about Verizon, Sprint and AT&T but , which have their own spectrum issues at this time, and nothing to spare, But Dish and the others – not so much. Not sure what you are talking about.

        • dcmanryan

          Most of what you say is true. T-Mobile did indeed bash the cable and satellite when they released their epic fail TV service that was basically the same business model.

          My main point of the my comment was geared towards the OP’s comment. I basically read it as someone has something that someone else needs and they’re not using it so they should share just because. That’s Bernie Sanders politics 101 equal distribution nonsense. Maybe I’m over thinking it but that’s the way I read it. Of course Dish and T-Mobile will play nice for now but I promise that will change.

          My other part of the comment is basically stating T-Mobile has always been the bully of the industry and shouldn’t expect any favors.

  • marque2

    I think they are providing free calls to most countries in Europe as well during the crisis.

  • Mike

    Borrowing spectrum only works for a short time, once the spectrum is returned it will be the return of slow data speeds. Perhaps a purchase of those companies spectrum would be more proper.

  • Mark

    The free international calling ended on May 13th:
    T-Mobile is offering free international calling for all current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers (excludes Prepaid T-Mobile Connect) to landlines and some mobile numbers through May 13, 2020 to help you stay connected to family and friends abroad. Calls placed on or after May 14, 2020 will be charged their normal rate based on your rate plan type.