CrunchGear is reporting that T-Mobile just won 120 licenses on the 3G-compatable spectrum in this month’s FCC auction. That doesn’t just mean that they’re now able to roll out their nacient 3G network, but rather that they can roll it out their way, without being hamstringed by tacky 2 or 2.5G hardware and software licensing issues.
T-Mobile had to be aggressive in their bidding. Cingular, who has been rolling out it’s 3G network across the country in the last year, is poised to own the high-speed data market for mobiles. If T-Mobile really wants to be a player in this new-yet-profitable space, they had to move quickly, and move quickly they did.
With 120+ nationwide licenses, T-Mobile can now deploy true wireless broadband to most metro markets in the US, with short-term investments paying off. And they had better, as T-Mo has commited over $4 Billion to the FCC, as compared to Verizon’s $2.8 Billion, and $2.4 Billion from relative newcomers to the wireless world, a consortium of copper and fiber groups including Comcast and Time Warner.
This mad dash of bandwidth is remarkable in that it shows that wireless bandwidth is a true commodity. When something becomes commoditized, it truly becomes commonplace. With entertainment companies (including Satellite providers and Cable companies) bidding this aggressively, it shows a maturity in the market that most people use to call Mom. There is irony there, you should share it.
The long and short is that T-Mobile is changing. With their recent handset offerings, this near-future upgrade in network capabilities makes them a contender, or a force to be watched in the mobile field. If they can lay out this type of high-end product while keeping their level of customer service and palatable plans intact, they could easily shoot from number 4 to number 1 in the North American provider rankings. Translation: T-Mobile stalwarts, your day is coming.