T-Mobile is prepped for Super Bowl LV this Sunday, having bolstered the Tampa area with mid-band spectrum for 5G and bringing all three “layers” of the carrier’s 5G to Raymond James Stadium.
T-Mobile already rolled out 5G in Tampa using low-band 600 MHz spectrum, and on Tuesday said that 2.5 GHz is now live in and around parts of Tampa Bay.
The speedier 2.5 GHz service is available in parts of the downtown area, as well as Hyde Park, Ybor City and surrounding cities of St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Dade City. T-Mobile’s 2.5 GHz deployments are expected to lift performance, providing a sweet spot for coverage and capacity versus respective shortcomings of mmWave and low-band spectrum.
As for the Raymond James Stadium where the Kansas City Chiefs are set to face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the weekend, the venue was equipped with a mix of low-, mid-, and high-band spectrum for T-Mobile’s full so-called “layer cake” 5G. That includes inside the stadium and the surrounding parking lot. T-Mobile is using mmWave spectrum in the 39 GHz band.
T-Mobile brands its mid-band and millimeter wave flavors of 5G as ‘Ultra Capacity’ versus the "Extended Range" 600 MHz deployments used for broader nationwide 5G coverage.
Of course, this year’s big game will be different than prior Super Bowls, with only limited in-person attendance.
T-Mobile President of Technology Neville Ray confirmed the network upgrades on Twitter, noting as in years before, the enhancements aren’t temporary and will stick around after the final score on February 7.
Super Bowl comes once a year.. but these Tampa Bay @TMobile 5G network upgrades are permanent!— Neville (@NevilleRay) February 2, 2021
We deployed massive Ultra Capacity 5G upgrades throughout the city to make @TMobile's FASTEST 5G in America broadly available to customers! #5GLeader pic.twitter.com/YuxYrtozUT
All three carriers have been talking up pre-game day 5G network improvements in the Tampa Bay area.
Like AT&T, T-Mobile also equipped the Tampa International Airport for access to mmWave 5G with a compatible device. Both are using 39 GHz.
AT&T also extended mmWave 5G service (dubbed 5G+) using 39 GHz to parts of the downtown Tampa Bay area and Raymond James Stadium. For Verizon, network news included an $80 million investment for enhancements in and around the stadium, with upgraded DAS, 281 small cell antennas, and 70 miles of high-speed fiber.
5G is expected to be featured during the game as well. Verizon is offering Fortnite experience via a virtual Verizon 5G Stadium, and the Verizon 5G SuperStadium in the NFL app which shows different camera angles for fans in the stadium and at home.
T-Mobile won’t be absent from viewers either, confirming Tuesday that it will advertise during the Super Bowl.