T-Mobile announces 5G expansions; leases additional 600MHz spectrum from Columbia Capital

22 Apr 2020

T-Mobile US has switched on 2.5GHz 5G spectrum on its network in Philadelphia, as promised at the start of this month, using mid-band frequencies acquired via its recent merger with Sprint, to boost peak 5G smartphone data speeds to ‘near 600Mbps’, it announced on its website. The cellco promises to roll out 2.5GHz coverage rapidly to other markets starting with New York City where customers will be the first to gain access to a full ‘layer cake’ of T-Mobile low-band, mid-band and mmWave 5G.

T-Mobile also announced it is expanding its 5G network to Detroit, St. Louis and Columbus, Ohio, initially using 600MHz spectrum.

Furthermore, starting later this month Sprint customers owning the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G handset can access T-Mobile’s national 5G network, which currently covers more than 200 million people (over 60% of the US population) in over 5,000 towns and cities. Sprint LTE users can already roam on T-Mobile’s LTE network, giving them access to ‘more than double’ the number of LTE sites on Sprint’s network alone.

Currently, six 5G smartphones can access the T-Mobile 5G network, with a seventh handset, the OnePlus 8 5G, being added to the list on 29 April.

T-Mobile US has meanwhile struck a three-year deal to lease additional 600MHz 5G spectrum from venture capital firm Columbia Capital’s subsidiary LB License Co in various markets including St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and others, reports FierceWireless. The arrangement increases T-Mobile’s 600MHz holding by around 50% on average in each market by accessing additional bandwidth of between 10MHz and 30MHz depending on region. Financial terms were not disclosed.

United States, Sprint Corporation (became part of T-Mobile US), T-Mobile US