Yesterday, T-Mobile agreed to buy some, if not all, of Comcast’s 600MHz spectrum holdings. In a Securities Exchange Commission filing, T-Mobile disclosed the transaction valued between $1.2 and $3.3 billion depending on how much spectrum T-Mobile acquires. T-Mobile said it expects to close the deal in the first half of 2028.
For $1.2 billion, Comcast would sell 600MHz spectrum licenses covering around 39 million people outside of Comcast’s cable footprint, LightReading noted. For $3.3 billion Comcast would sell spectrum licenses covering 110 million people inside its cable footprint. It remains to be seen whether the company will build its own mobile network for the markets inside its cable footprint, which would mean selling less spectrum to T-Mobile.
Purchasing spectrum from Comcast would give T-Mobile an extra edge in the home internet competition. T-Mobile has been snapping up spectrum rapidly over the last three years in an effort to improve its 5G coverage quality and reach. Despite being outpaced by Verizon, T-Mobile has been most successful in signing people up for its home 5G service.
T-Mobile’s Chief Financial Officer Peter Osvaldik said that the carrier’s large low band network layer was a “natural” place for 600 MHz.
“[W]e can go and deploy that 600 megahertz immediately for the benefit of consumers with the option to purchase it in 2028,” Osvaldik said at the Bank of America conference yesterday. “We’re fabulously excited by this and it continues to allow us to immediately deploy for consumer benefit what is a bedrock of that low band strategy.”
Comcast wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Over the last year, 5G home internet has gained a lot of attention for its easy setup process and coverage potential. During last week’s Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology conference, CEOs from Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T along with cable companies Comcast and Charter gave their thoughts on where 5G is going. Answers varied and enthusiasm was tempered.
In July, reports from Opensignal said T-Mobile had the best network performance and 5G performance. The report also noted T-Mobile’s download speed experience, which was 195.5 Mbps on average. In addition, T-Mobile outpaced other carriers when it came to upload speeds, quality consistency, video experience, live video experience and games experience.
Back in 2019, T-Mobile said that its merger with Sprint would allow them to offer 5G as a cheaper and faster home internet option compared to cable. Since then, the carrier has kept its word, offering its home internet services for just $30 a month if you have at least one line with a Go5G Plus account. The deal also includes a 15-day trial period. Otherwise, it costs $50 a month. The carrier is also announced new gateways, the Arcadyan TMOG4AR and the Sercomm TMOG4SE, for faster internet speeds.
T-Mobile’s home internet includes average speeds of 100 Mbps, no equipment rentals and no contracts. For reference, 100 Mbps is fast enough to stream in 4K, surf the internet and power your smart home.
For now, T-Mobile’s strategy seems to be paying off and whether the deal with Comcast goes for $1.2 or $3.3 billion, it only bodes well for the wireless carrier. Time will tell what other carriers will do make their own 5G home internet offering stand out — or what the future holds for 5G home internet itself.