T-Mobile Spent $8 Billion On Massive Upgrades to its Wireless Network

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The rivalry between different cell phone providers is fierce. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and even Cricket Wireless are constantly competing to provide the best coverage at the lowest price.

T-Mobile has seriously stepped up its game—investing $8 billion dollars (yes, with a “b”) to finally put its wireless network on par with Verizon and AT&T.

Part of this sum went to purchase 1,500 wireless licenses across the U.S. in order to help increase T-Mobile’s spectrum.

Spectrum is basically a catch-all that covers the airwaves that connect your phone to whatever network you have chosen. In general, the more spectrum a carrier owns, the better its network. But some spectrum performs better and faster than others. And that’s why T-Mobile just shelled out that whopping $8 billion.

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Back to those 1,500 licenses the provider has bought. Those purchased are in the 600 MHz spectrum range, which is very high-quality and relatively low-frequency. This means it can easily travel long distance and penetrate walls: both obvious characteristics for a strong cellular network. What’s the point in having a cellular carrier if you can’t even make a call across town?

How Does This Compare To Verizon and AT&T?

Well, both of those companies made massive investments in the spectrum at the 700MHz range several years ago. As a result, they’ve been able to build strong, nationwide, incredibly popular LTE networks.

T-Mobile has made it clear they’re serious about catching up and this step will go a long way toward that goal. But, the T-Mobile network won’t improve overnight, unfortunately. It could take until at least 2020 to become accessible to T-Mobile users. T-Mobile will also have to update its phones and other technologies to use the new spectrum.

 

But if you have T-Mobile already, sit tight—your wireless service is about to get a lot better.

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Jessica Suss

An aspiring food and health writer, native Chicagoan, and nut butter enthusiast. Jessica is also the creator of BiteMeBlog, but don't call her a foodie Learn More.