With just about everyone working from home now due to the Coronavirus, T-Mobile is expecting more people to be using its network more, and has decided to add more capacity to its 4G LTE network.
The company is doing so for a limited time, as it is using spectrum that is not actually theirs, to do this. T-Mobile is leasing spectrum from Comcast, Dish and a few investment firms to add capacity to its network for the next 60 days.
It's using 600MHz spectrum from these companies, which is smart. As T-Mobile already has 600MHz in the majority of the US, and the majority of its newer smartphones also support it. Meaning that customers won't need to do anything special to experience these faster speeds.
T-Mobile's President of Technology, Neville Ray stated, "In trying times like this, we understand how important it is for people to remain connected – to family and friends, to resources and information, to their jobs via teleworking or schools via virtual classrooms. And we take our responsibility to keep our customers connected incredibly seriously We can't thank these partners and the FCC enough for coming together to provide people across the country with the critical connectivity they're relying on right now."
More capacity is needed in times like these
T-Mobile going ahead and leasing this spectrum from companies that it normally sees as competitors, is a good move, on both ends. As it is going to allow its customers to continue using its network, even as more and more people are using it. And keeping everyone connected at the same time. That is a win/win for T-Mobile.
And seeing Comcast and Dish step up to help out T-Mobile is also very commendable. It's not clear how much T-Mobile is paying to use this spectrum, but it wouldn't be surprising if they let T-Mobile use it for free, amid this Coronavirus crisis that is currently ongoing.
T-Mobile has already suspended shut offs, so that if you are having trouble paying your bill due to being out of work, T-Mobile won't shut off your service. It has also given everyone unlimited data. So no need to worry if you are using 50GB or 100GB of data, you won't be slowed down. Which is a good move on T-Mobile's part, but one has to wonder if these caps were all just a way to grab more money? Not because the network can't support it. The FCC may look into that after this is all over.