T-Mobile has announced an agreement with Leap Licenseco, an AT&T subsidiary, to acquire a section of A-Block 700 MHz band for extended LTE in the greater Chicago area. Although the deal has to be approved by regulators, once it is complete, it will give the carrier extended LTE bandwidth in the top 10 major metro areas in the United States. For those not familiar with the 700 MHz block, it is what allows the carrier to get LTE into remote places as well as into buildings in urban areas. This is represented by Band 12 on their network when you access it on your phone.
For T-Mobile and Project Fi subscribers, there has been a lot of discussion around T-Mobile’s LTE Band 12. This coverage from the carrier is in the 700MHz frequency range and is really helpful for those in urban areas (gets through buildings a bit better) and rural regions (goes out from the tower a bit further). While most of know that T-Mobile has the 700MHz range, there hasn’t been a huge amount of information on exactly where it is rolled out in the US. Most of the time those of us on Fi or T-Mobile simply depend on other users who post “I have Band 12 in such-and-such city” to know if it is there or not.
Now your life just got a little easier.
Spectrum Gateway is a site that gives great insight into T-Mobile’s network coverage but they have a specific area that is dedicated to the 700MHz range to show you were it is available here in the United States. Not only that, the map shows you where the carrier has applied for coverage but does not have it just yet. It is a wealth of information and can really help you as you plan a trip to know if you can expect Band 12 on your devices (assuming it supports it) as you travel.