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T-Mobile last week announced that it has begun the long-anticipated rollout of its new 600-MHz LTE premium low-band spectrum network in Cheyenne, Wyoming, kicking off a massive rollout designed to provide wireless coverage to rural communities across the United States.

T-Mobile also plans to use the low-band spectrum to accelerate deployment of next-generation 5G mobile service.

T-Mobile acquired about 45 percent of the low-band spectrum licenses the Federal Communications Commission made available two months ago. It spent about US$8 billion to gain access to millions of potential wireless customers in small communities where access to wireless and broadband coverage has been limited due to low-density populations and high buildout costs.

T-Mobile aims to meet a record-setting deployment schedule, it said, condensing a two-year deployment process to make the network available to consumers in only six months.

“T-Mobile has seen rapid growth in recent years,” observed Jeff Kagan, an independent telecom analyst.

The one area where it has not grown is the rural U.S., he told the E-Commerce Times.

Major Expansion

T-Mobile has set an ambitious schedule for deploying low-band spectrum around the country, with new service planned for Northwest Oregon, West Texas, Southwest Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle, Western North Dakota, Maine, coastal North Carolina, central Pennsylvania, central Virginia and eastern Washington.

The deployment will bring T-Mobile’s total LTE coverage from 315 million to 321 million customers nationwide by the end of 2017, according to the company.

T-Mobile earlier this year said it was working with PBS and America’s Public Television Stations to cover the cost of relocating low-power broadcast facilities to new broadcasting frequencies following the FCC auction….