T-Mobile invested nearly $3 billion in the FCC’s Auction 110, securing 3.45 GHz mid-band spectrum. The carrier won an average of 21 MHz of additional mid-band spectrum in areas covering 184 million people across the U.S.

Today, T-Mobile said it will deploy its 3.45 GHz spectrum to add more depth to its Ultra Capacity 5G network, which is signified by a “5G UC” icon on smartphones. T-Mobile’s President of Technology Neville Ray told Fierce in October that the Ultra Capacity 5G network refers to T-Mobile’s mid-band spectrum.

In today’s announcement Ray said, “While Verizon and AT&T remain locked in a 5G race for second place, we’ll use this additional spectrum to take our 5G network to the next level.”

Mid-band spectrum is ideal for 5G, providing a good balance of capacity and coverage. T-Mobile has been aggressively deploying 2.5 GHz mid-band spectrum it acquired in the merger with Sprint. And it’s also deploying C-band won last year.

Of the 310 million people covered by T-Mobile’s 5G network, 210 million of those people are covered by its Ultra Capacity 5G. The company says it plans to bring Ultra Capacity 5G to 260 million people this year and 300 million in 2023.

Auction 110 closed November 17, 2021 after garnering more than $21.8 billion. AT&T spent the most in the auction, forking over more than $9.1 billion. Dish Networks spent $7.3 billion; T-Mobile spent nearly $3 billion; Three Forty-Five Spectrum LLC spent over $1.3 billion, and UScellular rounded out the top five, spending over $579 million.


United States Cellular also touted its 3.45 GHz winnings today. A company announcement said, “Combining mid-band purchases of CBRS spectrum in Auction 105 and C-band in Auction 107 with the spectrum acquired in recently-completed Auction 110, UScellular will have mid-band spectrum in the great majority of its operating footprint, and over 80% of subscribers will be covered with mid-band spectrum depths of 100 MHz or more.”

In Auction 110 UScelluar purchased 380 licenses covering 97% of its subscribers.

“We know that to offer an exceptional 5G experience, we need all three layers of the 5G spectrum cake – low, mid and high band. And now with our successful participation in Auctions 105, 107 and 110, UScellular has achieved its mid-band position objectives,” said UScelluar CEO Laurent Therivel, in a statement.

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