On Monday, T-Mobile announces that it has invested nearly $3 billion in mid-band 3.45GHz spectrum that will add to its Ultra Capacity 5G, which covers 210 million Americans. T-Mobile plans to cover 260 million with Ultra Capacity 5G this year and hopes to reach 300 million by the end of 2023.
Both Verizon and AT&T made last month when there was discussion that C-band 5G networks set to go live were interrupted by concern from both US airlines and the FAA of interference with aircrafts’ altitude instruments, critical during low-visibility landings. These concerns have since with active communication between carriers, key airports, airlines, and the FAA. This C-band spectrum that was sold to carriers in auction 17 consisted of 14 blocks of spectrum within the 3.7GHz to 3.98GHz bands.
T-Mobile’s new spectrum, won from Auction 110, consists of “an average of 21MHz of mid-band spectrum” in the 3.45GHz band – so it doesn’t seem to be involved in any of the C-band concerns with the FAA. T-Mobile made the right move by skipping mmWave 5G and going straight to low and mid-band rollouts. Combined with T-Mobile’s low-band 600MHz 5G and its mid-band 2.5GHz, the carrier will have plenty of 5G spectrum to go around.