T-Mobile: On track with its rural expansion plans


One of T-Mobile’s ambitions for the next four years is to be the wireless leader among those living in rural America. And in order to make this happen, the Un-Carrier is already investing and gearing up for this massive growth. 

T-Mobile’s executive vice president of consumer group Jon Freier sees this as a “huge opportunity” for the brand. The executive shared that they “have the opportunity to bring to smaller markets in rural areas something that they’ve never seen, which is the best network and the very best value.”

It is a long road ahead for Freier, especially since his goal is to increase the company’s market share in rural areas to around 20% by 2025. But with the company’s possession of the 600MHz spectrum that they purchased back in 2017, it seems like a doable feat. This spectrum is suitable for areas with a vast geography. And with the combination of Sprint’s 2.5GHz and 5G technology, it’s really possible to make this goal happen. 

As of this writing, T-Mo’s 600MHz spectrum already covers 295 million individuals with 5G. By the end of 2023, they are expected to increase that number to 300 million with its 2.5GHz spectrum. Company officials revealed that T-Mo is already building 10,000 new cell towers in rural areas to achieve this goal. 

Along with this growth, Freier revealed that they will be opening “a couple hundred” of new stores in rural areas this year. And in a span of five years, they will be opening “hundreds more.” Once these stores open, customers in rural areas will have access to T-Mo’s services. They will also be able to achieve their promise of hiring around 7,500 new employees through its retail expansion. 

Another strategy that T-Mo is doing right now to achieve its goal is by inking an agreement with Walmart. T-Mobile has partnered with the retail giant to offer its services in around 2,200 stores; 1,000 of which will be located in rural areas that the Un-Carrier will be expanding in. 

Finally, T-Mobile plans to sell in-home broadband services in areas where it has excess network capacity. In doing so, they will be able to achieve their plans of expanding in rural areas. 


Source: 1

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  • Dsgb Solo

    They getting there but still have a very long ways to go

  • Shaun Michalak

    I am just hoping that this coverage will be more constant, and not “just barely touching” coverage.. I have seen way too much of this.. and not just from T-mobile either.. The bad part is, even if they are touching so that you have constant coverage.. Considering that each version of G that comes out, coverage gets slightly smaller.. and with that happening, those places that barely connect, when 6 or 7G comes out, with the way things are going, they will no longer be connecting.

    Even still.. I do have to admit that they have done an excellent job at expanding coverage these past few years.. To the point that they are not longer an embarrassment to the industry.. At least when you consider they were one of the big 4..

    • Glenn Gore

      They have come a long way but still have a long way to go before they can truly challenge Verizon or AT&T in overall coverage and reliability, especially where 5G is concerned. LTE works pretty good and has pretty good reach, but counter to what the spectrum should be capable of, the Band 71 5G just doesn’t reach as far as Band 2 LTE, which is the spectrum combination they use across middle America. Site spacing of 20+ miles just doesn’t work for either LTE or 5G, it just produces swiss cheese coverage with large gaps between coverage areas and really annoys users. There are 14 cellphone towers in this county and T-Mobile is only on 3 of them while Verizon and AT&T are on every single one. That needs to change.

      This would indicate that they need lots more sites to fill in the gaps in 5G coverage, which will be even worse with Band 41 if and when it is deployed in rural areas. I have my doubts if it ever will be but we will see. With the closest T-Mobile towers being 6 and 9 miles from this town, neither location would provide usable coverage here. They barely provide usable Band 71 5G here.
      Millimeter-wave is a non-issue and I am happy that T-Mobile has not wasted a ton of money on it, instead using those funds on spectrum that actually covers land area. They just need to do more of that.

      • marque2

        mmWave seems odd to me. YOU CAN GET 1.6 GPS SPEEDS they scream but only outdoors. Hey I only need a 7mb/s stream for my Netflix video, but want to watch it indoors where it is warm – can I do that on your mmWave? Um, no.

      • Shaun Michalak

        T-Mobile has come a long way from that kind of coverage where I am at.. Granted, there are still places that they need to fill in with a tower, which the other 2 have already done.. But on the other hand, T-Mobile is putting coverage in places that AT&T has no coverage.. I know a couple of people that have camps in rural areas.. They have stuck with Verizon for only one reason.. Verizon was the only one that had coverage in those areas.. Well, T-Mobile now has coverage in both of those peoples areas.. But it seems AT&T is feeling the pressure, because there are a lot of places that AT&T had no coverage in before, but they have been filling in, in the past year.. 2020 on..

        I just noticed it because of checking them out on Cellmapper.. I know for a fact that AT&T did not have coverage in a lot of places 2 years ago, but now it seems they do.. and all the towers have been registered in 2020 or 2021.. I checked rootmetrics too.. But it seems they seem to be very lacking.. No info about these new towers there were put up even a year ago..

        • Old_Hippie_69

          Was surprised a couple years ago when we were staying at a little town in NH by the Canadian border and all the Verizon customers had no service, but we had full bars on T-Mo. Unfortunately, in two major populated resort areas in NH, AT&T and Verizon had full coverage while we had zero data at all.

        • Shaun Michalak

          That one does not surprise me.. The northern part of NY, VT, NH.. That whole area is not great with T-Mobile coverage.. They had an article not too long ago that said that they were going to concentrate on adding coverage in that part of the US this year..

        • Old_Hippie_69

          Yeah. Over the years though, it got so much better. Three years ago (the last time we went up near the border) at least the route up to the border had service on and off most of the way. I was surprised. I also think they finally added a tower in Lincoln, but still nothing at the Bretton Woods resort. The whole North Conway area there was barely any coverage. As OP mentioned, you’d hit an edge of a signal here and there, but that was about it.

          It was fun every year seeing better and better service with T-Mo, but after an initial burst of very noticeable improvements three to six years ago, it seems very incremental since then. My folks still live in a total dead T-Mo zone though, and they’re in the southern part of the state. We just switched back to Verizon almost a year ago now it has been nice having full coverage when we visit. I thought perhaps by now T-Mo would have also added service, but according to Cellmapper, still nothing.

        • Shaun Michalak

          In my area it was like that too.. A big burst of coverage years ago, then just minimal improvements.. Then suddenly in the last 6 months, I have been seeing a bunch of new towers and improvements again..

        • Old_Hippie_69

          That’s good to know! Will keep a watch on their progress and maybe I’ll be able to leave Verizon at some point again. These major infrastructure pushes from the carriers are always fascinating to me for some reason.

  • Terry Whitt

    I know the expansion is happening because 5G showed up on my phone locally (Catskill Mountains of NY) about a week ago, 100 mb down and 30 mb up, pretty good for a rural area. There is an awful lot of territory to cover and coverage difficult to blanket especially in the mountains.

    • marque2

      Do you get decent home internet service already? Just wondering how you would think the Tmobile 5g compares to say Elon Musk’s Starlink service for rural areas?

      • Terry Whitt

        Up until 2 years ago, all we had was DSL internet by which we could stream video sometimes. Our local independent phone company installed fiber optic two years ago by which we get 25mbs down for $45/month at home and 50mbs for $60/month at work which are both more than adequate for our purposes. TM put in LTE about 5 years ago and recently 5g. I’m quite grateful for the service we have.

      • Terry Whitt

        I don’t rely solely on TM for internet, but it is nice to know it is there and that TM is trying and improving in our rural area. I also like service availability whrn I travel internationally.