T-Mobile said it became the first U.S. carrier to put its AWS-3 spectrum to use when it lit up some of the airwaves in honor of the LG V20 launch this week.
The news marks a quick turnaround time for the Un-carrier to convert the spectrum it won last year to LTE.
During the AWS-3 auction, which ended in January 2015, T-Mobile came away with around $1.8 billion in new AWS-3 spectrum. At the time, T-Mobile said the new spectrum was ideal for carrying data, but blasted AT&T, Verizon and Dish’s ability to scoop up the majority of the airwaves with combined spending of $41.6 billion out of the auction’s $44.9 billion total.
The FCC handed the AWS-3 spectrum licenses to T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon in April 2015, but T-Mobile has managed to deploy the spectrum in less than two years – much more quickly than the several years it usually takes carriers to get new airwaves online. AT&T, for example has previously said it will begin deploying its AWS-3 spectrum in a 2017 to 2018 timeframe.
T-Mobile’s deployment of new AWS-3 spectrum comes alongside its launch of LG’s new V20 smartphone this week. The device will be the first in the Un-carrier’s lineup that can utilize the AWS-3 airwaves for more capacity.
The device is available for pre-order today and will hit stores on October 28. The V20 will run customers $49.99 down and $30 per month for 24 months on an equipment installment plan or $769.99 retail. For JUMP! On Demand customers, the V20 will be available for $0 upfront and $34 per month for 18 months.
Verizon this week also said it will carry the V20, with pre-orders starting Thursday and in-store availability starting October 27. Pricing details are not yet available.
The LG V20 has been available for pre-order at AT&T since October 7 at a cost of $27.67 per month for 30 months or $34.59 per month for 24 months on an equipment installment plan.
U.S. Cellular has also said it plans to carry the V20.
Filed Under: Telecommunications (Spectrum)