T-Mobile US said that it expects to launch more than a dozen smartphone models with 600 MHz support this year and that it has already extended 600 MHz coverage to nearly 600 cities and towns.
The carrier said that in 2018, it “will launch more than a dozen new 600 MHz capable smartphones, ranging from budget-friendly phones to superphones.”
Smartphone support will be key to T-Mobile US subscribers actually making use of the new 600 MHz spectrum, which was the focus of a number of T-Mobile US efforts in the latter half of 2017 — from deploying initial sites in rural areas to working with a Fox affiliate in New York City for faster repacking of the spectrum there. The carrier has made it clear that it wants to “rapidly deploy” the spectrum.
T-Mobile US spent around $8 billion in the 600 MHz incentive auction, which closed in March. The self-billed “Un-carrier” won 1,525 10-megahertz licenses covering 414 of the 428 partial economic areas covered in the auction. The carrier said it won 45% of the spectrum sold with an average depth of 31 megahertz and at least 10 megahertz covering all of the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
We're already live with 600 MHz in 586 cities and towns!! We now cover 322M ppl with LTE across all bands. The LTE coverage gap between @TMobile and @Verizon is a thing of history – and we’re still just getting started! https://t.co/DlB7B2HMiB pic.twitter.com/k3FDn5bH5Z
— Neville (@NevilleRay) January 3, 2018
Taking stock of its network progress in 2017, the carrier said that it expanded its overall covered potential customers from 315 million to 322 million, completing “several major 700 MHz deployments” as well as its 600 MHz work. The carrier said that it “completed in just six months a task that is typically a two-year process from spectrum auction close to customer availability, and continues to roll out 600 MHz LTE coverage at a record-setting pace.”
“The LTE coverage gap between T-Mobile and Verizon is a thing of history,” said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile. “Any small difference that exists will rapidly disappear as we accelerate expansion into rural America. We’re just getting started with the 600 MHz low-band spectrum we’re rolling out now, and it’s a wide-open highway for customers, increasing coverage, capacity and in-building reach.”
T-Mobile US also touted two customer satisfaction surveys — one from HarrisX and another from YouGov’s BrandIndex. The YouGov data found that T-Mobile US customers “consistently gave their wireless carrier a higher satisfaction score throughout 2017 than customers of Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T gave their respective telecommunications provider.”
“The secret for having the happiest customers isn’t a secret at all. I’ve been yelling about it for years! Listen to customers, fix their pain points, give them a great deal and awesome coverage. You’d think even Dumb and Dumber would get it by now,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “Our customers may be happy – but I won’t be until we’ve completely changed this broken industry for good! There’s still so much to fix!”