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Telecom Daily

Welcome to Faulkner's Telecom Daily. We publish Monday through Friday, updating top stories as events warrant.

Thursady, August 17...

T-Mobile Goes Live with First 600MHz Market
T-Mobile announced that it has gone live with its first 600MHz market in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The new spectrum band, which was recently acquired in a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) auction, is slated for use as part of T-Mobile network expansions across the country. The carrier claims that the process of integrating the new airpsace into its network could take as long as two years. However, it plans to complete the rollout of 600MHz networking hardware in as little as six months by expediting all physical and regulatory aspects of the installation. Beginning with Cheyenne, T-Mobile will focus its efforts primarily on expanding its network into rural areas of the country. The next wave of markets scheduled for 600MHz expansions includes additional portions of Wyoming, Northwest Oregon, West Texas, Southwest Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle, Western North Dakota, Maine, Coastal North Carolina, Central Pennsylvania, Central Virginia, and Eastern Washington. The telco estimates that it will raise the number of US citizens covered by its network from 315 million to 321 million by year's end, all thanks to the additional capacity provided by the aforementioned spectrum. More information about this rollout can be found at T-Mobile's coverage Web page.

Google's Pixel Follow-UP Could Feature HTC U11's Squeezable Frame
A new document submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) online filing system suggests that the smaller of Google's upcoming Pixel 2 phones will likely support the same squeezable, interactive outer frame as HTC's recent U11 flagship. This is not entirely surprising as it has been rumored for some time that HTC would be called on to manufacture the smaller of the two models, with LG handling construction of the larger units. The feature in question, called "Active Edge" in the filing, allows users to interact with a smartphone by squeezing and pressing on the device's outer edge. In the case of the Pixel 2, or whatever the smaller handset comes to be named, this action appears to be slated to launch the Google Assistant on the device. Google is expected to unveil its follow up to the first Pixel and Pixel XL some time in October.

Essential Phone to Finally Begin Shipping to Consumers Within One Week
The Essential Phone, a new smartphone designed and manufactured by Android co-creator Andy Rubin, will apparently begin shipping to consumers some time next week. According to an email sent to some of those who pre-ordered the Essential Phone, and obtained by 9 to 5 Google, the "Black Moon color scheme of the device will be shipping "within seven days" of the message's delivery on Wednesday, August 16. The message was sent out to those purchasers that chose the "Pure White" color scheme, asking them if they would like to change their choice due to the fact that the lighter-colored model was still facing a three-week shipping delay. This is on top of the delays which impacted all models of the Essential Phone, pushing its release back from a launch window initially set for June. Meanwhile, Sprint, the only carrier selling the device in the US, will begin offering the model on August 18. It remains unclear what the exact reasons for the extensive shipping delays was.

... Michael Gariffo, Faulkner Information Services

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