T-Mobile appears set to bring 700 MHz LTE service to NYC area

T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) has signed agreements with broadcasters to clear Channel 51 interference on its 700 MHz A Block spectrum in the New York City area, according to T-Mobile CEO John Legere.

However, it's unclear when T-Mobile will turn on commercial LTE service in Band 12 on that spectrum in New York, the country's largest market.

"We just signed some deals today to clear Channel 51 700 [MHz spectrum] in New York, so that's going to go through the roof," Legere said on Friday on the video streaming app Periscope, according to a YouTube video that captured his comments.

T-Mobile representatives did not immediately have a comment on the video or on when T-Mobile might launch commercial LTE service in the New York City metropolitan area. Deploying 700 MHz spectrum in New York will likely enhance T-Mobile's LTE coverage and provide stronger in-building penetration in that market, which is especially important in New York given its high population density and large skyscrapers.

Speaking at an investor conference last month, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said that the company now covers 280 million POPs with LTE and that the company's goal is still to cover 300 million POPs with LTE by year-end, which he said will let T-Mobile "take competition into more and more key areas of the U.S."

Ray said he is not sure how much T-Mobile will expand its retail presence into new markets this year, but that it will likely expand next year. T-Mobile has been "furiously" deploying its 700 MHz A Block spectrum, which covers 190 million POPs, Ray said. He noted last month that T-Mobile has cleared or has contracts to clear Channel 51 broadcasters to resolve interference concerns from more than 140 million POPs out of the 190 million, and has launched the spectrum in markets like Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Philadelphia, Tampa, Fla., and San Antonio so far in 2015. Ray said the overall LTE expansion is a "massive incremental opportunity for this company."

T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter said during the conference that T-Mobile's "selling footprint" of retail stores is only around 230 to 240 million POPs today, but that T-Mobile "will be relevant in a significant increase in population coverage in the U.S." thanks to the LTE coverage expansion. "It's just one adjacency of growth that we're very excited about in the future," he said.

Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) claim they now cover 308 million POPs with LTE. Sprint's (NYSE: S) LTE network now covers 280 million POPs.

For more:
- see this TMoNews article
- see this YouTube video

Related Articles:
T-Mobile catches up with Sprint: Both carriers now cover 280 million POPs with LTE
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T-Mobile's Carter: We'll continue going after 700 MHz spectrum, and will be 'aggressive' in 2015 deployments