Despite a merger with Sprint that is expected to take place in the near future, T-Mobile is continuing to strengthen their spectrum capabilities. The most recent pursuit addresses low-band airwaves with 700 MHz A Block spectrum. This makes the future of a merger even more enticing with an even larger divestment.
T-Mobile has been stepping on the gas in the past few months and swooping up spectrum from other competitors. The fact that they are pursuing more spectrum is not entirely surprising either. T-Mobile recently acquired $2.4 billion in wireless spectrum from Verizon. The benefit of the acquisition allowed T-Mobile to have low-band spectrum in nine of the top 10 across the United States like New York and Los Angeles. This will provide existing LTE users with more reliable coverage, especially indoors. It also gives them the ability to roll out LTE data on the 700MHz band to help upgrade 2G-only areas to 4G speeds.
Over the last year, T-Mobile has also grabbed 10 MHz of AWS spectrum from U.S. Cellular. They plan to use their AWS spectrum and 700 MHz spectrum for LTE as well.
Spectrum has become very important to all of the carriers in order to reliably cover more areas. Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint have all made acquisitions to expand their LTE network over the past year. This tactic has created a larger separation between the major carriers and the 2nd tier carriers. With the buildup of spectrum in full swing, T-Mobile is creating more of a compelling case for Sprint and them to pose a threat to Verizon and AT&T.
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