May 2, 2017 —
Bashing the fixed-wireless, high-band 5G strategies of Verizon and AT&T, T-Mobile has announced that its 5G network will be mobile, nationwide and will use a portion of its low-band 600 MHz spectrum to deliver 5G coverage.
T-Mobile president and CEO John Legere laid out the carrier’s strategy to deliver 5G coverage to customers across the country in a video blog.
“5G will be amazing, and we can’t even imagine all the cool stuff it will bring, just like with our earlier network innovations. That’s why truly mobile 5G has to be nationwide — period, the end,” Legere said. “The carriers are using 5G to either distract from how badly they’re losing today or to give their shareholders some hope they can compete with Big Cable. Their ambitious vision for Fixed 5G to replace home internet will never provide mobile 5G coverage. It makes no sense.”
T-Mobile will leverage multiple spectrum bands to deliver nationwide mobile 5G coverage. Legere contrasted its approach with that of AT&T and Verizon, which he said was approaching 5G “much like a series of hotspots in select cities.” The 5G coverage will disappear once customers step outside these limited 5G zones, he said.
The T-Mobile announcement was made in response to AT&T’s announcement that it will build a “5G Evolution” with faster speeds in more than 20 major metro areas by the end of this year, while 5G standards are being finalized. The Verge called it a “Fake 5G Network” in its headline.
T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray wrote a blog explaining the company’s nationwide Mobile 5G, where he complained about the marketing hype that currently surrounds 5G.
“5G is the buzziest of buzzwords in wireless right now. And, that’s a problem. The carriers are fueling the hype to create tons of confusion about 5G,” Ray wrote.
Ray took on what he called several myths about 5G, such as certain spectrum is now being call “5G spectrum.”
“There’s no such thing as ‘5G spectrum,’ and in the next decade we’ll see everything moving to 5G,” said Ray. “Nationwide Mobile 5G will require both high-band AND broad low-band coverage, and having unused nationwide 600 MHz spectrum means T-Mobile is in an ideal position to deliver.”
On top of its nationwide deployment, T-Mobile 5G said it will enable high bandwidth and massive throughput in urban areas using a combination of mid-band and millimeter wave spectrum.
T-Mobile’s 600 MHz 5G network will deliver increased radio efficiency, immense numbers of connected devices, lower latency and improved battery life and reliability, all of which Mobile 5G will make possible. T-Mobile expects to deploy 5G in its low-band 600 MHz spectrum across its existing nationwide macro network, in contrast with the carriers’ millimeter wave spectrum plans, which would require a number of small cells so massive that providing broad coverage would be impossible.
“The 600 MHz spectrum will allow 5G to be deployed nationwide, bringing the ultimate experiences to T-Mobile’s enterprise customers and consumers throughout the United States,” said Borje Ekholm, president and CEO, Ericsson. “We will support T-Mobile US with 5G radio development for this spectrum. Commercial availability of the product will be aligned with 3GPP standardization and ecosystem support.”
Along with device and infrastructure partners, T-Mobile will help drive 3GPP certification for 5G in 600 MHz. As 5G standards are defined, chipsets are delivered, and equipment comes to market, T-Mobile will quickly deploy 5G nationwide in a large swath of unused spectrum. 5G rollout is expected to begin in 2019 with a target of 2020 for full nationwide coverage.