DISH has announced that it is providing its entire portfolio of 600 MHz spectrum to T-Mobile at no cost for 60 days. The step was taken as the nation responds to the spread of COVID-19, which has led to the closure of businesses, schools and large gatherings coast to coast.
"DISH is proud to support Americans' personal and professional connectivity needs during this challenging time," said Jeff Blum, DISH SVP of public policy and government affairs. "As we take this step, we'd like to thank the FCC for their leadership on the technological needs arising as a result of the virus, including the increased need for broadband access to help consumers respond to the impact of COVID-19 on daily life."
DISH's 600 MHz spectrum will enhance T-Mobile's network nationwide as wireless users increasingly turn to mobile networks for work and personal use. The FCC said eight companies agreed to make some of their spectrum available, including Comcast and Dish.
Milan Milanovic, from internet metrics company Ookla, said in order for T-Mobile to quickly tap this spectrum, “It would only require over-the-air reconfiguration, which would widen the existing 600 MHz channels in T-Mobile's network. This could be done late nights. This is assuming that Dish's spectrum licenses have been cleared.”
Late last week, T-Mobile announced that it was providing all current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile data customers with unlimited smartphone data for the next 60 days (excluding roaming). The carrier said, “The vast majority of customers on T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile plans already have unlimited talk, text and data, and our T-Mobile Home Internet customers already have unlimited plans with no data caps or surcharges. But in these unique circumstances, access to unlimited data is more important than ever.”
In addition, T-Mobile is working to soon provide these customers with an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot service for the next 60 days. And T-Mobile also said it was working with its Lifeline partners to provide customers extra free data up to 5GB of data per month over the next two months.