T-Mobile acquires 700MHz of Montana spectrum from Charter
US carrier T-Mobile has added to its spectrum holding in Montana after acquiring 700MHz of A-block bandwidth from Charter in the area.
T-Mobile already offers its Extended Range LTE in several Montana towns, including Kalispell and Missoula, but according to CTO Neville Ray, this footprint is continuing to grow.
The latest acquired spectrum covers around 120,000 square miles, Ray told a Goldman Sachs conference, and almost 600,000 points of presence (PoPs).
Ray added that T-Mobile currently has 215 million PoPs covered in low band spectrum and 269 million licensed PoPs to build into. Looking ahead, Ray said that T-Mobile will continue to expand its 700MHz coverage over the next 12 months.
“A bunch of that footprint expansion will occur in 2017, some more in 2016 for sure,” Ray explained.
T-Mobile is currently locked in a spectrum auction for 600MHz, but Ray said it will continue to roll out 700 MHz band, adding towns including Billings and Great Falls to its coverage with this latest spectrum.
“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 700MHz,” Ray added. “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%.”