T-Mobile gets busy this summer rolling out new 600MHz network

T-Mobile logo
T-Mobile logo (Image credit: Android Central)

T-Mobile ran away with 45% of the 600MHz spectrum at the FCC's spectrum auction earlier this year, and the time has come to start using it. T-Mobile is going to use its newly acquired licenses for 600MHz to beef up its high-speed LTE network this summer.

The FCC finally sorted out the last of the paperwork with the magenta-colored carrier this week, and now T-Mobile has announced its plans to beef up its network (opens in new tab) during the summer with this new bandwidth. It's planning to develop the new spectrum and prep test sites this summer, with the hope of bringing that bandwidth to the average user later this year. Phones supporting 600MHz spectrum should also be available by that time.

The hope here is that with this low-band spectrum, which travels further and can penetrate thicker walls, T-Mobile can start really competing with AT&T and Verizon where it counts. Can it come back to school in the fall a whole new wireless network? Maybe, maybe not, but at least the work has started.

Ara Wagoner

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.

  • Which major phones have the 600mhz band? IPhones? Samsung's? How will anyone notice?
  • Probably won't notice for a couple of years for a couple of reasons: first, no phones have support for it yet. T-Mobile says a Samsung phone should have it before the holidays this year. Second, they are doing it in phases and depending on where you live will determine when you get it. So, this is something that will be nice to have in a couple of years or more.
  • I will say this though: T-Mobile has consistently built out their network faster than anyone else for the past few years. I'm willing to bet that trend will continue. If you live in one of their kinda poster-child cities (I live near Cleveland, which is one of them), then you'll see it pretty darn fast, I bet. All other areas, and I think digit is right--a couple of years.
  • Less than a couple of years. Keep up with the Industry
  • The phones with 600MHz band support will be the phones equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC which comes bundled with the X16 LTE modem. Qualcomm will issue a firmware update to enable 600MHz support. At the moment Samsung S8, Xiaomi Mi 6, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, HTC U11 and OnePlus 5. iPhone unfortunately doesn't support this newly acquired spectrum on any of it's current models, maybe on the next generation iPhone they'll support it.
  • T-Mobile released a video of their estimated timeline for deployment of the 600MHz spectrum (https://vimeo.com/213931264). And yes, they'll start a very small test bed this summer, but the reality of the situation is that won't in any way impact a majority of users for a very long time. What is important is when T-Mobile will deploy 600MHz in the area *YOU* live in. To determine that estimated time please see the video above. Where i live for example, western NY, it will be mid/late 2019.
  • Thank you for sharing this!
    Apparently, my timeline is right after yours. Enough time for me to switch now and then return later.
  • Great catch! This is really helpful information to have. Looks like my town (Philly) will get it around the same time as you. It's a shame that the wait will be so long, but re purposing spectrum that's already in use has got to be a massive undertaking on both sides.
  • What lte bands will support the new spectrum?