Regional US operators Agri-Valley Services and NewCore Wireless have teamed up with Ericsson to conduct a joint 4G LTE trial using 600MHz spectrum, as they seek to evaluate the band’s commercial usage prospects in regional markets. The trial, which will take place in Caro, Michigan, is said to be the first such 600MHz trial staged with a regional carrier in the US. Agri-Valley Services is testing the performance of the 600MHz band for fixed-wireless access (FWA), while NewCore Wireless will offer hosted core services for Agri-Valley Services.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the ‘600MHz Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction’ commenced in August 2016 and concluded in February 2017. The bidding process raised a net total of USD19.3 billion, with 50 bidders placing winning bids for a total of 2,776 licences. T-Mobile US comfortably dominated the bidding process and remains the only operator to have publicised a commercial launch to date. The firm agreed to pay almost USD8.0 billion for a total of 1,525 regional licences. T-Mobile’s 600MHz LTE network went live in August 2017, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and now covers 1,254 towns and cities in 36 states.