Satellite Operators Agree to Accelerated Timeline for New 5G Band
Jun 1, 2020, 4:24 PM by Rich Brome
Five satellite operators have agreed to the FCC's "accelerated" plan to reallocate 300 MHz of valuable mid-band spectrum so it can be used for enhanced 5G service as soon as late 2021. Without acceleration, the plan might not have been complete until 2025. The so-called C Band consists of 500 MHz around 3.7 GHz, a frequency ideal for 5G. The band is currently used for communication with satellites in space, but it is used inefficiently. By moving the satellite operators into just the upper 200 MHz of the band, 280 MHz can be freed for new 5G service on the ground. The FCC will auction licenses of the new spectrum to wireless carriers starting in December of this year, and carriers will be able to use some of the licenses starting one year later. In a second phase of the accelerated plan, the full 280 MHz will be available for use by the end of 2023.
Sep 15, 2021
T-Mobile phones will soon display a new icon in the status bar to indicate when they are connected to 5G in a higher frequency band that offers faster data speeds. The icon will appear first on the newest iPhones, and the company is working with phone makers "to include this update on as many devices as possible".
Mar 12, 2021
AT&T today announced its plans for the C-band radio spectrum it recently acquired in FCC Auction 107. The company will "begin deploying the first 40 MHz of this spectrum by the end of 2021".
Jul 29, 2021
As T-Mobile continues to expand its 5G network, PCMag reports that the company has updated its coverage maps to differentiate between its faster "Ultra Capacity" 5G and its slower but more widely-available "Extended Range" 5G. T-Mobile's 5G Ultra Capacity network uses a mid-band frequency (2.5 GHz, AKA band 41, which was inherited from Sprint) that offers faster data speeds than most sub-6 GHz 5G, and much better coverage than mmWave 5G.
Aug 27, 2021
For the first time, T-Mobile has won the title of Fastest Mobile Network in PCMag's annual nationwide drive test. T-Mobile's 5G network was the fastest in 24 out of 36 tested cities and regions.
Dec 1, 2021
T-Mobile recently announced that its mid-band 5G network now covers over 200 million people, a threshold that the industry acknowledges as "nationwide" coverage. (Mid-band 5G offers an ideal balance of fast data speeds and broad coverage compared to 5G in other bands.) In an interview with Phone Scoop, T-Mobile executives detailed how they plan to maintain the company's lead in mid-band 5G even as Verizon and AT&T launch mid-band 5G early next year.