T-Mobile has announced it will activate its 2.5GHz spectrum in the coming days, which it won at auction several years ago but faced disputes over with AT&T.

The carrier paid $304 million for 7,156 licenses of 2.5GHz spectrum back in 2022 during US spectrum auction 108.

T-Mobile store
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The spectrum will boost T-Mobile's 5G network, by adding capacity to its network, with a particular focus on driving connectivity in rural areas.

“Thanks to years of planning, T-Mobile is ready to put this spectrum to use right now for millions of our customers, delivering ultra capacity 5G to more people and increasing speed and performance for others,” said Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile.

T-Mobile said that it will light up the 2.5GHz spectrum over the next few days. The spectrum will cover nearly 60 million customers over nearly 300,000 square miles, with the rest deployed as new towers are built out.

Despite winning the spectrum almost two years ago, T-Mobile has been unable to activate it due to AT&T challenging T-Mobile’s mid-band spectrum assets.

To mitigate this, the FCC confirmed last week that T-Mobile had agreed to divest 20MHz of spectrum on the Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Maui.

On top of this, T-Mobile has been unable to use the spectrum because of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) spectrum lapse.

The operator previously filed an application to the FCC, seeking Special Temporary Authority (STA) for the spectrum.

In March last year, the US Senate allowed the spectrum auction authority of the FCC to lapse for the first time ever, effectively preventing the issuing of more 5G spectrum for operators.

Last month, T-Mobile expanded its 5G coverage in Upstate New York, noting it had added nearly 400 new cell sites and upgrades to more than 800 existing towers across the region.