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If everything goes to plan, T-Mobile’s 5G service will soon get another boost

T-Mobile got a lot of 2.5 GHz spectrum when it acquired Sprint and it also dominated FCC’s Auction 108 of the mid-band spectrum in 2022. The company now wants to shore up more of the spectrum, reports Fierce Network.

T-Mobile has proposed a spectrum swap with SoniqWave Network, a startup that provides private wireless and wholesale broadband services. According to the company, it has “accumulated a portfolio of prime 2.5 GHz mid-band spectrum (Band 41) in over 30 markets across the United States.”

T-Mobile has signed an agreement to swap 3.45 GHz licenses it purchased in 2021 for some of SoniqWave’s 2.5 GHz spectrum. The carrier hopes for a speedy approval from the FCC and says the spectrum swap would allow it to offer better broadband coverage and increased data capacity using contiguous 2.5 GHz spectrum in many markets including Arizona, Florida, and Iowa.

Having more spectrum allows carriers to offer faster speeds and serve more customers.T-Mobile promised to improve coverage in rural areas when the Sprint merger was improved and this spectrum swap would allow it to work towards that commitment. That’s because 247 counties involved in the transaction fall under the classification of rural or partially rural.

T-Mobile began lighting up the 5G spectrum it won in Auction 108 in March, resulting in a performance boost for customers in rural areas.

The company hopes to provide 5G connectivity to 85 percent of the population in rural areas in three years, and to 90 percent in six years.

In exchange for the 2.5GHz spectrum, SoniqWave will get 28 licenses in 14 Partial Economic Areas (PEAs) in the 3.45 GHz band. The company thinks the move is beneficial for its business. It may end up selling the spectrum to AT&T for more than what T-Mobile paid for it.

It remains to be seen whether FCC would green-light the spectrum swap, considering it did ask T-Mobile to divest 20 megahertz of mid-band spectrum after AT&T objected to it holding so much of it.

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