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Why Did T-Mobile Delay Its 5G Launch?

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T-Mobile delays 5G phone launch

The third-largest US mobile network, T-Mobile (TMUS), has reportedly announced that it will not launch its 600 MHz 5G before the second half of 2019. T-Mobile had earlier stated that it would deploy 5G services in 30 cities by the end of 2018 and would launch its 5G phones in early 2019. The company had also anticipated it would roll out its 5G phones by the first or second quarter of 2019. However, according to CNET, T-Mobile has delayed the 5G launch to the second half of the year, as it does not have a phone that covers its broader spectrum.

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Lack of phones

T-Mobile’s chief technology officer, Neville Ray, stated at MWC on Monday that the company will not officially launch its 5G service in its first 30 cities until the second half of 2019 due to the lack of phones. According to Ray, the phones do not support T-Mobile’s low-band 600MHz spectrum that covers initial 5G service.

The delay in T-Mobile’s phone launch means the company will most likely be lagging behind Verizon (VZ), Sprint (S), and AT&T (T) in launching the full 5G network. Last year, T-Mobile partnered with Ericsson (ERIC) and Nokia (NOK) to supply 5G equipment.

Verizon launched 5G Home Internet service in some US markets in October 2018, while AT&T has rolled out its mobile 5G service in 12 cities in December 2018 and has plans to launch 5G services in 19 cities by early 2019. Sprint has plans to start its commercial 5G mobile service in nine US cities in the first half of 2019.

According to Ericsson’s prediction, around 1.0 billion subscribers will have access to 5G mobile networks by 2023. Ericsson anticipated in its “Mobility Report” that this emerging 5G technology will lead to mobile subscriptions of 9.1 billion at the end of 2023.

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