The new iPhone models launched last week and are the first to support 600 MHz – a major win for T-Mobile as the only carrier currently deploying Band 71 in the United States, analysts say.
It represents “a huge boon – and should help lower long term churn,” for T-Mobile, Wells Fargo senior analyst Jennifer Fritzsche wrote in a Friday research note. The phones also still support Sprint customers, which will provide users with a seamless transition to the T-Mobile network if the carriers’ proposed merger is approved, she noted.
BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk also sees the inclusion of band 71 as a big win for T-Mobile, which has been busy deploying 600 MHz spectrum. Earlier this month, the carrier announced it has lit up 600 MHz Extended Range LTE in 1,254 cities and towns in 36 states, including the island of Puerto Rico.
In a blog post last week Piecyk said that low band spectrum, including 700 MHz, is important to T-Mobile as it enhances in-building performance and extends coverage in more sparsely populated areas.
“These are critical factors as T-Mobile attempts to increase its market share in segments like Enterprise and suburban families that are currently dominated by AT&T and Verizon,” Piecyk wrote.
T-Mobile now has 16 devices that support the 600 MHz band, including Samsung and LG models,
Piecyk too believes the addition also benefits Sprint, “due to its roaming agreement with T-Mobile and Dish, which spent $6.2 billion on this spectrum in the incentive auction.”
Fritzsche, for her part, thinks the Sprint-T-Mobile deal will be completed. However, she noted that the DOJ “is very much a walled garden, in our view,” pointing to the agency’s surprise decision to pursue an antitrust suit against AT&T and Time Warner’s merger last year.