T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) is in the process of shutting down HSPA+/UMTS service on its 1700 MHz AWS-1 spectrum as it completes the transition to supporting those services on its 1900 MHz PCS spectrum.
"We're providing our customers a better network experience by seamlessly moving them from the AWS spectrum band to the PCS band, which frees up additional AWS spectrum to be used for LTE," T-Mobile said in a statement to FierceWireless.
T-Mobile first started refarming its 1900 MHz spectrum for HSPA+/UMTS service in September 2012. Up until then, T-Mobile had exclusively been using its AWS spectrum for those services. However, as it reconfigured its network, T-Mobile used the AWS band as its primary band to support LTE, which it launched in March 2013.
T-Mobile's LTE network now covers 280 million POPs, and the company aims to reach 300 million by year-end. In addition to the AWS band (Band 4), T-Mobile's LTE network also runs on the 700 MHz A Block (Band 12) and 1900 MHz PCS (Band 2).
T-Mobile has been migrating HSPA+ customers over from the AWS spectrum to the 1900 MHz PCS spectrum and will be shutting down HSPA+ service on 1700 MHz AWS market by market.
Earlier this week the blog TMoNews reported that such shutdowns have already occurred this year in Indianapolis and Louisville, Ken. The blog said that on June 18, Chicago saw HSPA+ service on the AWS band go dark, with around 20 more markets to follow in the next two months. A T-Mobile spokesperson declined to comment on when and where HSPA+ service would be shut down in the AWS band in markets across the country.
On Sunday, T-Mobile shut down operations on MetroPCS' legacy CDMA network after turning off the service in Dallas, Miami and New York City.
- see this TMoNews article
T-Mobile: 190,000 MetroPCS subs were still on CDMA network ahead of shutdown
T-Mobile catches up with Sprint: Both carriers now cover 280 million POPs with LTE
T-Mobile appears set to bring 700 MHz LTE service to NYC area
T-Mobile hopes to deploy LTE in all of its 700 MHz A Block spectrum this year
T-Mobile will work with Nokia Networks to launch LTE carrier aggregation
T-Mobile to focus on 1900 MHz LTE deployment to expand network footprint
Article updated June 24 at 2 p.m. ET with an updated statement from T-Mobile.