Earlier this year, T-Mobile spent superyacht money on new spectrum licenses. For a cool $8 billion, T-Mobile got the right to use 600MHz spectrum all across the country, which should do wonders for making T-Mobile’s network broader and more reliable (although potentially not much faster).
But one problem with rolling out new wireless spectrum is compatibility. Old devices won’t be able to use new spectrum, and even brand-new devices will have to be made with T-Mobile’s new network in mind.
The good news for T-Mobile — and anyone who doesn’t like dropped calls — is that device manufacturers aren’t dragging their heels. Although there’s no 600MHz spectrum even available for use yet, T-Mobile has confirmed that Samsung and LG will both release devices later this year that will be compatible with the 600MHz network.
Gazing into our crystal ball of phone rumors, we can confidently predict that the phones in question will be the LG V30 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Although it’s very possible that Samsung and LG will be releasing cheaper phones at some point later this year, but compatibility for 600MHz is likely to only be in high-end cellular modems at first — components that will only find their way into top-end phones.
Of course, just being a T-Mobile customer and buying a Galaxy Note 8 doesn’t mean you’re going to get great service all of a sudden. It will take T-Mobile years to roll out coverage nationwide across the nation, as the spectrum is currently being used by local TV stations that are being transitioned over.