Apr 13 - T-Mobile just spent $8 billion to get signal across the entire country

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 2 weeks ago '13        #1
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misterethoughts 121 heat pts121
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Apr 13 - T-Mobile just spent $8 billion to get signal across the entire country
 

 
T-Mobile: great prices, meh coverage. Thatís been the general consensus for years, but things are about to change in a massive way.

The results of the FCCís low-band spectrum auction just came out, and T-Mobile is the biggest spender by a country mile. The carrier spent $8 billion to buy 45 percent of the available spectrum, including some kind of low-band coverage in every region in America. This is a big win for T-Mobile, and a.ssuming the company can make effective use of the spectrum, Verizon and AT&T just lost their last advantage in network quality.

Dish and Comcast, two companies you donít normally a.ssociate with cell phones, were the two other big spenders in this auction. Dish spent a painful $6.2 billion on licenses, and Comcast spend $1.7 billion. Dish provides TV and internet over satellite, so it might be planning some kind of wireless home internet solution using 5G technology and its new spectrum. Who knows.

Comcast, on the other hand, just launched its own wireless service Xfinity Mobile, which uses Verizonís towers to sell service to Comcast TV or home internet customers. It doesnít have enough nationwide coverage to build out an entirely new network only using the licenses it just picked up, but it could be a piece of the puzzle.

What is spectrum anyway?

To understand whatís going on, you need to know what spectrum is and who owns it. The wireless radios in your cellphone use different frequencies to communicate with cell towers, depending on what region youíre in and which cell carrier youíre on. The carriers own the right to use different frequencies (called ďbandsĒ) in different areas, which keeps networks from interfering with each other. The right to use a certain frequency in a certain area is a license, and itís bought from the government, via the Federal Communications Commission.

But not all frequencies are equal. Lower-frequency signals travel much better over distance, and penetrate buildings much better. The older networks, particularly Verizon and AT&T, own much more low-band spectrum than the newer T-Mobile and Sprint, which is a huge part of why Verizon and AT&Tís cell signal has historically been better.


Itís not just about which frequency you own, but how much of it you have. In this particular auction, the FCC was selling frequency in the 600MHz range (from 614-698MHz) cut up into bands. Each band has 5MHz of upload and 5MHz of download capacity, with seven total bands available. Each band is available for each major region ó so, for example, T-Mobile could buy Band A-C for use in Washington, but Verizon could buy the same chunk of spectrum to use in NYC.

Where did the spectrum magically come from?

The FCC auction wasnít just about selling brand-new spectrum that no one was using: it actually involved buying old spectrum from over-the-air TV stations that werenít using it efficiently, repackaging everything, and then selling the newly-freed-up spectrum to wireless carriers. It was a long and tedious process, and it isnít nearly done yet.

So is my signal getting way better?

Yes ó eventually. Because the FCC has to move TV stations around, and the networks need time to test equipment, this process is going to take years. The first TV stations will only be moved in November 2018, so youíre looking at a two to three year delay until all this glorious new spectrum comes online.

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19 comments for "Apr 13 - T-Mobile just spent $8 billion to get signal across the entire country"

 2 weeks ago '04        #2
ItAlY2BkLyN 236 heat pts236
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That sh*t is mind blowing. I had no idea sh*t worked like that.
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 2 weeks ago '04        #3
1MikE 9 heat pts
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They gotta recoup that 8 billion tho


Price of those plans goin up
iggyemu gave props
 
 2 weeks ago '10        #4
#JewLife 107 heat pts107
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anyone know if this sh*t is nice now? so tired of paying $120/month for Verizon
 1 week ago '15        #5
POTUS2045 4 heat pts
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I finally upgraded my iPhone and now my bill is 78 a month. Was paying 45 before.

Make America Great Again.... He said.

Is the switch from ATT worth? I have great service.
iswerve and 1 others slapped this ish
 
 1 week ago '07        #6
N.O.4Life 31 heat pts31
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 #JewLife said:
anyone know if this sh*t is nice now? so tired of paying $120/month for Verizon
T-Mobile trash son.Half the places I go I little or no signal
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 1 week ago '04        #7
famoussasjohn 17 heat pts17
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 POTUS2045 said:
I finally upgraded my iPhone and now my bill is 78 a month. Was paying 45 before.

Make America Great Again.... He said.

Is the switch from ATT worth? I have great service.
I enjoy my service with AT&T. I have the OG unlimited data plan still with my 30% FAN discount. Newer Unlimited Data Plans don't get discounts unless you're military.
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 1 week ago '05        #8
klew 227 heat pts227
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My loyalty to T-mobile finally paying off. Took cheap prices over coverage for so many damn years
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 1 week ago '15        #9
POTUS2045 4 heat pts
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 famoussasjohn said:
I enjoy my service with AT&T. I have the OG unlimited data plan still with my 30% FAN discount. Newer Unlimited Data Plans don't get discounts unless you're military.
MY service is great and I have never had an issue with ATT. I've got that unlimited 2004 plan and have been grandfathered into everything since, just the damn phone lease fee.
 1 week ago '09        #10
messy marv stan 4134 heat pts4134
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the cell phone monopoly regime just keeps getting even bigger
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iswerve slapped this ish
 
 1 week ago '12        #11
djgist 1 heat pts
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Verizon and Att have been buying the majority of spectrum for years T-Mobile has a long way to go in order to catch up
 1 week ago '07        #12
Monroe200 
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T mobile service always fuccin up
 1 week ago '15        #13
160z 1 heat pts
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 1MikE said:
They gotta recoup that 8 billion tho


Price of those plans goin up
With what they just explained that's nothing. Also explains why Verizon and att just lowered they bill. With all that coverage they about enter so many different markets they wasn't in or heavy in. And I'm just a.ssuming but with what they got now and just got strongest network in a year or two
 1 week ago '16        #14
240k 1 heat pts
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 #JewLife said:
anyone know if this sh*t is nice now? so tired of paying $120/month for Verizon
Ive been tmobgang since 03 and I travel for work


My work phone is ATT. Both services experience dead spots.
 1 week ago '04        #15
jumpman2304 24 heat pts24
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i switched to tmobile about 5 months ago, ATT was raping with prices and data overages...

sure the phone service isnt always the best but lets be real who talk on the phone much anymore? i get unlimited everything never overages..

im happy
 1 week ago '04        #16
bnw99 14 heat pts14
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They need to do something.. their service is basura
messy marv stan gave props
 
 1 week ago '05        #17
Clutch City Kid 97 heat pts97
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and i still know places where it wont work AT ALL lol and im not talking about in the absolute middle of nowhere, within 15 mins of one of their damn stores
 1 week ago '04        #18
Claudinho69 1 heat pts
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Always worked perfect for me in south Florida
 1 week ago '04        #19
famoussasjohn 17 heat pts17
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 POTUS2045 said:
MY service is great and I have never had an issue with ATT. I've got that unlimited 2004 plan and have been grandfathered into everything since, just the damn phone lease fee.
Ah my bad, mis-read that and thought you were switching to AT&T. I'm not sure if discounts apply with T-mobile these days on the new plans, but I think the plan costs would be what you're paying now before the cost of a new phone. I'd say look into BYOD to T-Mobile OR putting funds down on a device to help lower the monthly installment costs.
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 1 week ago '07        #20
Damagegadget 489 heat pts489
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there is an article here that will explain their response to a new market
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