T-Mobile flips the switch on the first 600MHz LTE network site

(Image credit: T-Mobile)

5G may still be a ways off, but mobile carriers are working hard to make the most of their 4G LTE networks, and T-Mobile is no exception.

The carrier announced today that it's successfully activated a 600MHz cellular LTE network site in Cheyenne, Wyoming — the first of its kind. 

Operating on a previously open frequency, purchased during the Federal Communications Commission's auction of premium low-band spectrum licenses, the 600MHz LTE network claims to offer better coverage and less data congestion compared to the 700MHz network used by most large carriers today.

After Wyoming, T-Mobile plans to expand its newly minted 600MHz network to other rural locations such as Northwest Oregon, West Texas, Southwest Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle, Western North Dakota, Maine, Coastal North Carolina, Central Pennsylvania, Central Virginia and Eastern Washington.

Though active, it will still be a while before T-Mobile's record-breaking service sees widespread use. 

According to the carrier, it will take some time for today's phones to catch up with the tech, with Samsung and LG planning to launch phones capable of tapping into the new network by the fourth quarter of this year. Those are the Galaxy Note 8 and LG V30, by the way.

T-Mobile is also still hard at work preparing the rest of its network for the eventual switch to 5G, the next-gen (albeit currently undefined) mobile communications standard the carrier hopes to have ready for consumers nationwide by 2020.

Parker Wilhelm
Parker Wilhelm is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He likes to tinker in Photoshop and talk people's ears off about Persona 4.