Amid the race to launch a 5G (fifth-generation) network, T-Mobile (TMUS), the third-largest US wireless carrier, is looking to merge with telecom peer Sprint (S). Together, the companies could pool their resources to rapidly launch a nationwide mobile 5G network. With T-Mobile’s 600 MHz (megahertz) spectrum, Sprint’s 2.5 GHz (gigahertz) spectrum, and other combined assets, the combined entity is looking forward to creating the highest-capacity mobile network in the United States.
On a standalone basis, T-Mobile is planning to bring 5G to 30 cities this year, using both 600 MHz and millimeter wave spectrums. This network, aimed at harnessing 4G and 5G bandwidths simultaneously for dual connectivity, is set to be ready for the first 5G smartphones in the first half of 2019. T-Mobile is planning to launch a nationwide 5G network by 2020.
Verizon’s 5G strategy
Verizon (VZ) is looking forward to rolling out 5G fixed wireless broadband services in three to five US residential markets this year. The mobile operator made this pledge after it completed 5G pre-commercial trials in 11 US markets last year. Meanwhile, AT&T (T) is looking forward to rolling out its mobile 5G services in a dozen US cities this year.
In short, 5G is a new, updated version of the 4G (fourth-generation) LTE (long-term evolution) technology we’ve been using. The 5G rollout is set to provide faster speeds, lower latency, and consistent coverage. While LTE mostly relies on small chunks of low- and mid-band spectrum, 5G uses everything from low-band frequencies to millimeter wave spectrum. According to Statista, 5G wireless subscriptions are anticipated to reach ~545 million by 2022.
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