T-Mobile Unveils 5G Phone Using 600 MHz Band

BELLEVUE, Wash.—T-Mobile has introduced a new 5G-enabled smartphone that uses the 600 MHz it acquired from broadcasters during the spectrum auction held in 2017. The company said it plans to cover 200 million consumers with 5G on 600 MHz by the end of the year.

Pricing and availability for the new limited edition OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren “superphone” will be announced later this year, the company said. T-Mobile says it has been “building toward broad 5G on 600 MHz for two years, laying a foundation with 5G-ready equipment.” The company has been so eager to get its hands on the spectrum that it incentivized some broadcasters—including Dallas’ KXAS—to vacate its spectrum early. The company spent nearly $8 billion to acquire 31 MHz of the 600 MHz spectrum during the auctions, which yielded $19 billion total to U.S. broadcasters.

T-Mobile has already obtained approval from the DOJ and FCC to merge with Sprint, but a lawsuit by 15 state Attorneys General is holding it up.

The company recently released a video showcasing where the 600 MHz channels are showing up, including Cannon Beach, Ore., Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, Jersey Shore, Pa., Kabetogama, Minn., and Roswell, N.M. 

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.