The News: T-Mobile recently asked the FCC for authorization to evaluate Wi-Fi 6 capabilities and performance in the 6 GHz spectrum band. The company wants to explore the potential of the unlicensed spectrum to expand and enhance its Home Internet service. Read more coverage from FierceWireless here.
T-Mobile Seeks Authorization for 6 GHz Band Wi-Fi Testing
Analyst Take: T-Mobile recently launched its 5G Home Internet service using a 5G Gateway which converts 5G signals to provide Wi-Fi signals to all devices in a consumer’s home. Now the company is looking to the future, petitioning the FCC for special temporary authority to test the capabilities of unlicensed 6 GHz band at two fixed access points in Virginia. T-Mobile believes the 6 GHz band could help it expand and enhance home Internet service but wants to ensure that future Wi-Fi 6 service “does not cause harmful interference to incumbents”— a likely nod to potential concerns voiced by the aviation community.
Like other carriers, T-Mobile has previously made use of unlicensed spectrum to offload traffic from its cellular networks to manage traffic and prevent overloading. The company has a history of advocating for more spectrum licensing, but this application is a reminder of the importance of unlicensed spectrum in its long-term strategy. Unlicensed spectrum, which is where Wi-FI operates, is a highly prized resource and one that has long been an essential component of its network and operations.
T-Mobile Positions Itself as an Innovator in 6 GHz Use
T-Mobile’s application includes a reminder of the company’s track record in bringing cutting-edge solutions to the market, including its nationwide Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and next-generation Wi-Fi calling capabilities. T-Mobile considers itself a leader in the mid-band wave adoption that led to today’s widespread 5G networks. This move would bring more attention to use cases in the 6 GHz spectrum and above, often considered the tipping point from 5G to mmWave, which allows for much higher speeds but has drawbacks in that it is more susceptible to interference from obstacles.
By seeking special temporary authorization to test applications in the 6 GHz spectrum, T-Mobile positions itself as an innovator in 6 GHz use and a leader among wireless carriers. On the heels of recent independent tests revealing that T-Mobile has the fastest and most available 5G coverage in the US, the company is smartly looking to the future to discover what’s next and how to enhance and expand its services to consumers.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.
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Image Credit: T-Mobile
The original version of this article was first published on Futurum Research.
Shelly Kramer is a 20+ year marketing veteran and CEO of V3 Broadsuite, a marketing consultancy, and the President of Broadsuite Media Group. She’s a business strategist focused on B2B digital transformation, and delivering integrated marketing solutions for clients. She’s an expert at omnichannel marketing, content strategy and execution, connecting social media to business initiatives, and helping clients leverage the web for growth and profitability.