T-Mobile 5G Coverage

T-Mobile plans to deploy the new spectrum that it won in the recent auction of spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band as soon as it receives its licenses from the FCC.

The company was by far the biggest winner in the auction. Its bids totaled $304 million, and the company won 91% of available licenses.

According to a press release from T-Mobile today, the company’s winnings include more than 7,000 county-based licenses covering 81 million people, primarily in rural areas. Up to three licenses per county were available in the auction, and most of the available licenses were in rural areas.

The company already had 2.5 GHz licenses covering most of the U.S., which it acquired when it merged with Sprint.

Spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band is considered mid-band spectrum, which is widely viewed as supporting the optimum mixture of speed and coverage for 5G.

T-Mobile uses the term “Ultra Capacity 5G” for 5G deployed in the mid-band spectrum. According to today’s press release, the company’s Ultra Capacity 5G now covers 235 million people nationwide. The company expects that number to increase to 260 million this year and to 300 million next year.

T-Mobile uses the term “Extended Range” for 5G service deployed in low-band spectrum, where the company made its initial 5G deployments. Extended Range 5G offers excellent coverage but at relatively low speeds. According to the company, its Extended Range 5G service now covers nearly everyone in the country – 320 million people.

In today’s press release, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said the new 2.5 GHz spectrum “accelerates” the company’s mission to build the leading wireless network in America.

In typical T-Mobile fashion, Sievert taunted the company’s competitors, arguing that the competitors have been “distracted, whether they were trying to become media conglomerates or were betting on the wrong 5G strategy.”

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21 thoughts on “T-Mobile Will Deploy New 2.5 GHz Spectrum ASAP

  1. I hope this time that T-Mobile really means it when they say this. There are VAST areas out here in the middle of the country, almost entire states (the Dakotas, Nebraska, western half of Kansas, northwest quarter of Oklahoma, I could go on) where T-Mobile has not yet installed any mid-band at all. Add this to T-Mobile’s other huge problem, that their sites are situated 20 miles apart and that mid-band only reaches 3-4 miles from a site, and you have the fact that T-Mobile needs to install thousands of new sites in order to have any sort of blanket coverage for mid-band. This site-spacing also affects low-band 5G, leaving gaps in coverage between sites.

    T-Mobile announced a new program over a year ago that was supposed to address this problem, but as yet there has not been any real progress or new construction.

    1. T-Mobile isn’t going to be putting towers out in the middle of a corn field when nobody is using them. Nobody is going to do that. That is where the satellite fill in coverage is going to come into play.

      1. That’s what people said several years ago about LTE and look what T-Mobile did. They spent a ton of money building all brand new infrastructure out in those pastures and cornfields anyway and now serve rural areas and small and medium sized cities towns they did not cover before.

        They built all new infrastructure that in my area’s case, went from only covering 10-20% of the state to covering 96% now. Is it perfect? Definitely not, 20-mile spacing does not work at all for mid-band and just barely works for low-band spectrum. But they did it, so this old saw about cow pastures and cornfields no longer applies at all because they did the exact same thing all across the country. So it’s time to give it up. This new spectrum purchase, as they say in the press release, will help them improve the situation even more, which is more evidence that this old rant no longer has any meaning whatsoever.

      2. I use it. And yes, T-Mobile’s tower nearest me in Iowa is actually in a corn field! But the signal is hit and miss, mostly miss. Speeds down range from 5M on a bad day to 30M on a good one. Up speeds can range from 0 to 800k, maybe even 1M. The upgrade can’t come soon enough!

    2. I worked for Verizon Wireless for 10 years.

      What they lack in cell tower coverage, instead of building expensive new cell towers, they’ll simply run new or lease existing infrastructure fiber links between towers.

  2. Never mind, from looking at the map, in this latest auction, it looks like T-Mobile bought good amounts of mid-band spectrum in every state except Oklahoma. Things look really good now for Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas, but no good for Oklahoma, as they bought virtually nothing there.

      1. Thank you very much for stating that T-Mobile does have coverage in Oklahoma, which includes pastures, corn fields, and small towns all across the state. I guess those areas were important enough for T-Mobile to feel they need to be served after all.

  3. Central Oregon Coast? No internet, no cell coverage, no DSL. Surrounded by M$ homes. Starlink only. As far as our neighborhood goes, this is all so much hype.

    1. Yeah, that’s likely due to NIMBY’s and local policy..

      Usually this happens when local (usually older) people are more worried about property value and asthetic than connectivity.

      I’m betting if the local fiber provider was given permission to install service and dig up yards temporrarily, they’d gladly move in if the homes are really worth that much.

  4. Don’t have no internet reliable at all in pea ridge road roper North Carolina zip 27970. Be greatly appreciated get some that money used in this area so we can have more reliable internet or fiber optic

  5. Eastern Tennessee is so spotty with T-mobile that we have to carry a Mi-Fi powered by Wal-Marts straight talk to make sure we have service anytime we leave the city limits. Shame on you T-mobile!

    1. I have an S21 Ultra that supports most/all of TMOs latest bands. I experience poor connectivity because the phone seems to prioritize Band-66 (B66) or B2. While I realize everyone cannot use 600mhz (B71) at once, I can often improve my 5G connection by using the band-selector on my phone and locking it to stand alone (SA) 5G B71 + 5G SA 2.5Ghz (B41 Ultra Capacity – UC). Then my phone connects on B71 and carrier aggs B41. I don’t always get UC but B71 is a helluva lot better than trying to use B66 or B2 which frequently have a decent signal but (I believe) cannot “hear” my phone. Web pages just freeze and apps don’t work. Of course when I operate it in this mode I cannot make calls because voice over SA 5G is not prevalent.

  6. Marni Walden and Lowell McAdam are the guilty party of taking Verizon’s eye off of the 5G ball in their misguided quest to become the media conglomerate that Sievert ribs about in this article. AOL? Yahoo? Go90? Yeah, all disasters that drained on Big Red’s war chest.

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