T-Mobile US snags 700MHz spectrum in Montana from Charter

27 Sep 2016

T-Mobile US says it has signed an agreement to purchase Charter Communications’ 700MHz A block spectrum covering Eastern Montana. T-Mobile said the spectrum covers around 600,000 people and roughly 120,000 square miles of territory. The deal, which has yet to be announced officially, was revealed by Neville Ray, T-Mobile’s CTO and executive vice president, on social media late last week.

Mr. Ray noted that while T-Mobile’s main 1700MHz LTE network covers 312 million people, its 700MHz LTE network currently covers 215 million. Following the completion of a series of pending transactions – including a deal with Leap Licenseco, an AT&T subsidiary, for spectrum in Chicago – T-Mobile expects to hold 700MHz licences covering some 269 million people.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database the cellco bulked up its sub-1GHz spectrum holdings in January 2014, when it bought a substantial package of 700MHz A block spectrum from Verizon Wireless for USD2.37 billion. Since then, the company has executed no less than 23 different agreements to beef up its 700MHz spectrum portfolio. Branded ‘Extended Range LTE’, T-Mobile’s 700MHz 4G network launched in December 2014.