Bellevue, WA (March 27, 2018)—In a March 21 tweet, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray revealed new details to the company's ongoing 600 MHz expansion, adding to the growing list of cities now covered by the carrier’s low-band LTE service in the 600 MHz band. All audio pros in those regions using pro-audio wireless microphones and IEMs that operate in the 600 MHz range must stop using the systems or risk considerable fines from the FCC.
The announcement adds more than 180 cities in 39 states, plus the District of Columbia, to the rapidly growing list of cities with T-Mobile service in what is known as Band 71. The carrier won 31 MHz of the 600 MHz spectrum licenses in the FCC’s Incentive Auction in 2017 and has been rapidly building out its 600 MHz Extended Range LTE capacity on cell towers nationwide ever since.
Ray’s tweet comes hard on the heels of an announcement at the recent World Mobile Conference (WMC) in Spain that the carrier had added 600 MHz coverage in 90 more cities in 26 states. T-Mobile also announced during the WMC that it was adding services in 30 major cities, without stipulating whether that coverage would be in the low, mid or high bands. This latest news adds some specificity.
T-Mobile’s latest announcement is great news for its customers but not so good for users of wireless audio equipment operating in the 600 MHz band. Licensed and unlicensed wireless audio equipment operators must vacate frequency spectrum in the 600 MHz band as soon as any of the new licensees who acquired bandwidth in the auction announce an intention to begin using it, whether for testing or full-time services. Failure to do so may result in a hefty fine.
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It had initially been widely assumed that T-Mobile’s build-out would follow the FCC’s 10-phase TV spectrum repack schedule, which is due to be completed by mid-2020. But the carrier moved quickly to add 600 MHz services in areas where no repack was necessary and is partnering with broadcasters to help them relocate out of the 600 MHz band ahead of schedule. A partnership with FOX Stations, for instance, accelerates the relocation of WWOR-TV in New Jersey by 16 months, affecting anyone operating audio gear in New York City in the 600 MHz band much sooner than previously expected.
The latest list provided by Ray in his tweeted GIF includes the following cities, by state:
Alabama: Pelham, Birmingham, Hazel Green, Huntsville, Millbrook, Cusseta, Phenix City
Arizona: Phoenix, Glendale, Avondale, Tucson, Flagstaff, Williams, Camp Verde, Dewey
Arkansas: Jacksonville, North Little Rock, Searcy, Little Rock, Rogers
California: Los Angeles, Pomona, Chula Vista, La Mesa, Cardiff By the Sea, Blythe, Twin Peaks, Orange, Bakersfield, Livermore, Merced, Turlock, Red Bluff
Colorado: Aurora, Denver, Fort Lupton, Colorado Springs
District of Columbia: Washington
Florida: Jacksonville, Pensacola, Pompano Beach, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Kissimmee
Georgia: Swainsboro, Thomson, Savannah, Thomasville, Tifton
Hawaii: Waianae, Honolulu
Idaho: Twin Falls, Swan Valley, Boise
Illinois: Arlington Heights, Crystal Lake, Skokie, Calumet City, Harvey, Joliet, Bristol, Chicago, Des Plaines, Palos Heights
Kansas: Kansas City, Buffalo
Kentucky: Lexington, Bowling Green
Louisiana: Meraux, New Orleans, Pearl River, Bossier City
Maine: Biddeford, Kennebunkport, Saco, Buxton, Augusta, Bangor, Hampden, Waterville
Massachusetts: Littleton, Douglas, Middleboro
Maryland: Bethesda, Owings Mills, Brooklyn
Michigan: Clarkston, Burton, Haslett
Minnesota: Circle Pines, Hastings, Owatonna, Silver Lake, Wayzata, Mankato
Missouri: Williamsburg, Kansas City
Montana: Belgrade, Manhattan
Nevada: Las Vegas
New Jersey: Paramus, Belle Mead, Monmouth Junction
New Mexico: Santa Fe, Artesia, Des Moines
New York: Yonkers, Jamaica, Westbury, Mount Sinai, Plattsburgh, Hastings, Buffalo, Niagara Falls
North Carolina: Wilmington, Jacksonville
Ohio: Bridgeport, Hamilton
Oklahoma: Fort Cobb, Randlett, Walters, Erick, Aline, Alva, Cherokee, Jet, Woodward, McAlester, Calvin, Wardville
Oregon: White City, Milton Freewater, Union
Pennsylvania: Oakdale, Northern Cambria, Bellefonte, Boalsburg, Snow Shoe, Mifflintown, East Earl, Chester, Philadelphia
South Carolina: Columbia, Charleston, Loris
Texas: Garland, Longview, Jasper, Wichita Falls, Sterling City, Houston, Spring, La Marque, Jourdanton, San Antonio, Donna, Plainview, Shallowater, Lubbock, Balmorhea, El Paso
Utah: Salt Lake City, West Valley City, Logan, Hurricane
Virginia: Manassas, Centreville, Virginia Beach, Newport News, Petersburg, Blacksburg
Washington: Duvall, Seattle, Clinton, Ryderwood, Quincy, Cle Elum, Thorp, Sprague, Wilbur, Spokane, Pasco
West Virginia: Berwind, Wheeling, Upper Tract
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