AT&T, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon borrowing spectrum to boost network capacity


With more people working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, cellular networks may see increased traffic as people use their phones to stay connected to loved ones and the world around them. To help ensure that the networks work smoothly, several carriers are getting extra spectrum.

AT&T, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon are all getting extra spectrum during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Dish Network is lending 20MHz of AWS-4 (Band 66) and all of its 700MHz spectrum to AT&T at no cost for 60 days to boost AT&T’s network capacity.

Dish has also struck an agreement with T-Mobile to lend T-Mo its entire portfolio of 600MHz spectrum at no cost for 60 days.

The FCC announced that it’s granted Verizon’s request to use additional spectrum that it’s getting from Northstar Wireless LLC and SNR Wireless LicenseCo. Verizon is gaining spectrum in the AWS-3 band for the next 60 days to add extra capacity to its network.

US Cellular is getting some extra airwaves, too. The FCC has granted its request to use spectrum in the AWS-3 band that it’s licensing from Advantage Spectrum for 60 days. US Cellular will use this spectrum to boost its network capacity in California, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Adding this spectrum should help to improve the LTE networks of AT&T, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Sprint, helping to ensure that customers can stay connected and gets wireless speeds that they can actually use.

Also of note is that while we haven’t heard of Sprint striking any deals to add more spectrum to its network, T-Mobile is expanding roaming access for Sprint customers to use the T-Mobile network for the next 60 days. T-Mo’s expanded roaming access includes tens of thousands of locations nationwide, giving Sprint customers more coverage and capacity.

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