Report: T-Mobile Looking to Build Fiber Network

Report: T-Mobile Looking to Build Fiber Network

T-Mobile, per Bloomberg, is teaming with Citigroup to “find partners to build a fiber network targeting the home-broadband market that will require several billion dollars of investment.”

Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that T-Mobile is looking to launch a fiber-optic network and that the carrier is teaming up with Citigroup to find partners for such a network. While AT&T and Verizon offer fiber networks, T-Mobile does not, although it did launch a “fiber-to-the-home pilot program” in New York last year. 

T-Mobile, per Bloomberg, is teaming with Citigroup to “find partners to build a fiber network targeting the home-broadband market that will require several billion dollars of investment, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. One of the people said the joint venture could be worth $4 billion and T-Mobile could chip in on a part of that.”

Meanwhile, Fierce Telecom reported that Frontier could be an ideal partner for such a venture. 

Jonathan Chaplin, an analyst for New Street Research, told the site that Frontier is a fit because it would be an operating partner, rather than just an investor. 

“T-Mobile isn’t interested in just investing $2 billion in a fiber venture. They’re doing this because there’s a prospect it’s going to become a much bigger strategic initiative,” Chaplin said, per the site. 

"They’ve got a bunch of assets that they can’t get to because they’re using all of their available capital to go after other assets,” he added. “And then there’s a big subsidy opportunity through the BEAD program that the Frontier guys on their own can’t get to as well.”

Meanwhile, Light Reading reported this week that T-Mobile recently purchased $21.1 million worth of mid-band 2.5GHz of spectrum from Shentel.

“For T-Mobile, its apparent purchase of Shentel’s spectrum simply adds to its massive 2.5GHz war chest. The company acquired an enormous amount of midband spectrum in 2020 via its purchase of Sprint, and since then it has been buying additional 2.5GHz spectrum licenses around the country,” the Light Reading report said. “Most recently, T-Mobile spent $304 million in an FCC spectrum auction, winning roughly 90% of all the licenses sold in the auction.”

Of late, T-Mobile has been expanding its 5G Home Internet product, adding about a half-million customers in the most recent quarter. At the same time, the carrier touted the pilot program of its broadband product in New York. 

“If there are opportunities that could maximize our growth and further strengthen our position in this industry, we’ll be open-minded,” T-Mobile said in a statement at the time of the earnings release. 

“On the heels of our highest ever postpaid account net additions and industry-leading postpaid and broadband customer growth, we are raising guidance for the third time this year,” Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile, said during earnings. “Our Un-carrier playbook continues to win in this ever-changing competitive and macro-economic climate and our momentum is only getting stronger.”

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters.