T-Mobile’s launch of 5G services
T-Mobile (TMUS) stated that it would first release 5G on its 600 MHz spectrum in 2019, followed by the global launch of its 5G network by 2020. T-Mobile, the third-largest US (SPY) carrier, has unveiled its 5G plans after AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) announced their limited-scale rollouts of 5G cellular services by the end of 2018.
The 5G service is an updated version of 4G LTE, and 5G is expected to provide faster speeds, lower latency, and consistent coverage. While LTE mostly relies on small segments of low-band and mid-band spectrum, 5G uses everything from low-band frequencies to the millimeter-wave spectrum.
According to T-Mobile, its spectrum consists of 31 MHz in the 600 MHz band, 10 MHz in the 700 MHz band, 29 MHz in the 1,900 MHz PCS band, and 40 MHz in the AWS band, as can be seen in the chart above.
T-Mobile’s CTO calls out AT&T and Verizon
After CES 2018, T-Mobile’s chief technical officer (or CTO), Neville Ray, called out its rivals Verizon and AT&T. Ray stated in a company blog post, “Last week at CES 2018, we saw some pretty amazing innovation, some exciting power outages and flooding, and perhaps not surprisingly, we also saw the carriers’ 5G Hype Machine shift into overdrive.”
According to industry sources, carriers such as Verizon and AT&T have been proclaiming that they would be first to release their 5G services by the end of 2018. However, these companies—including T-Mobile—are initially releasing only limited real-world applications of 5G services with a specific type of spectrum.
Verizon initially plans to release the nonstandard 5G version using the millimeter-wave spectrum to provide fixed home Internet service in 2H18. Verizon stated that it was committed to upgrading its millimeter-wave trials as well as LTE mobile spectrum to the official 5G standard—whenever it becomes available—starting in 2019.
These sources noted that Verizon’s millimeter-wave fixed wireless, or T-Mobile’s 600 MHz 5G, is technically 5G—but in name only. Plus, 5G is a network, and its launch cannot be predicted to occur during a particular timeframe.