T-Mobile this week continued its low band expansion with the acquisition of another 700 MHz A-Block license in eastern Montana from Charter Communications.
In comments delivered at an investors’ conference on Thursday, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said the deal will net the Un-carrier around 600,000 incremental license POPs and about another 120,000 square miles of LTE footprint.
Among the cities covered by the license are Billings and Great Falls, T-Mobile said in a subsequent announcement.
Ray said the acquisition and roll out of 700 MHz spectrum has been and will continue to be key to T-Mobile’s network strategy. The Un-carrier currently covers 312 million POPs with its LTE network and 215 million POPs with its low band holdings, Ray said. T-Mobile also have room to expand into 269 million licensed POPs, which it plans to do over the next 12 months, Ray said.
“A bunch of that footprint expansion will occur in 2017, some more in ’16 for sure,” Ray said. ““We continue to acquire A-Block licenses as and where we can, and that will be a continued and big focus for us.”
The acquisition is just another part of T-Mobile’s aggressive network strategy that has seen it hone in on expansion and performance to catch up with industry rivals like Verizon.
But according to Ray, while the network has rapidly improved, the Un-carrier is just starting to see the business impacts of that boost – and the results are both heartening and motivating.
“I think as a business, even though network is now extremely formative and we now have an industry challenging and matching footprint, as a business we’re still growing into the benefits of 700 MHz,” Ray said. “Handset penetration with low band is going really well; about two-thirds of our LTE customers have Band 12 capability and that number will continue to grow and rise. We want that to be 100 percent.”
Filed Under: Telecommunications (Spectrum)