T-Mobile eyes 6 GHz band for Wi-Fi tests, cites fixed wireless service

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Given T-Mobile’s recent history of arguing for more licensed spectrum, it’s easy to forget how much unlicensed spectrum plays into its overall strategy. But a recent application before the Federal Communications Commission serves as a reminder of that. T-Mobile is asking for special temporary authority (STA) to operate on spectrum in the 6110-6190 MHz portion of the 5925-7125 MHz (6 GHz) band in and around the areas of Alexandria and Falls Church (VA). The application lists an ideal start date of April 11, but that’s come and gone, and the paperwork remains pending at the FCC. The end date for the tests is listed as September 1, 2022. In its application, T-Mobile reminded the FCC that it has a long history of using unlicensed spectrum and Wi-Fi as “an essential component” of its network. T-Mobile has used unlicensed spectrum as a means to offload traffic, as many carriers have done to manage traffic and keep cellular networks from overloading. It was also one of the first carriers to offer customers “cutting-edge technologies” like nationwide Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and next-generation Wi-Fi calling, the company told the FCC. T-Mobile wants an STA to evaluate additional Wi-Fi 6 capabilities and performance using the 6 GHz spectrum band.

T-Mobile eyes 6 GHz band for Wi-Fi tests, cites FWA service