T-Mobile's 600MHz-based 4G LTE service is now available in over 900 cities and towns spanning 32 states, the mobile service provider said Wednesday. The promise of the firm's 600MHz holdings "exploding" in 2018 is hence still being fulfilled, with T-Mobile also vowing to bring the same service to Puerto Rico this fall. Last year's hurricane tragedies in the U.S. territory have been seen by the company as an opportunity to completely rebuild its infrastructure and make it "better than new," Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray said as part of a prepared statement. The network that's now meant to go live in Puerto Rico later this year will consist of 5G-ready equipment, just like T-Mobile's existing 600MHz setups in other parts of the United States. The carrier is presently offering six 600MHz-enabled Android smartphones.
The Bellevue, Washington-based telecom giant's aggressive infrastructural investments have even surprised some analysts, whereas its latest pledge to the disaster-struck territory is meant to go beyond relief efforts as the firm promised to "continue to invest in the island's future." The vast 600MHz holdings acquired by the company in April of 2017 are said to offer double the reach and four times better building penetration capabilities than mid-band LTE. T-Mobile is also positioning the spectrum for its upcoming 5G buildouts, with its ultimate goal being to join its wireless portfolio with Sprint's massive 2.5GHz holdings as part of their proposed merger valued at $26.5 billion.
T-Mobile's chances of successfully combining with Sprint remain uncertain, with many analysts pointing to Washington's handling of AT&T's attempted Time Warner purchase as a sign that stateside regulators are no longer entirely open to big business mergers and not even vertical consolidations are now safe from scrutiny. The third- and fourth-largest wireless carrier in the country previously said they're aiming to have their all-stock tie-up approved by the end of the first half of 2019. A U.S. Senate panel will be holding the first official hearing on the matter in three weeks.