Just a week after it blasted rival AT&T for overhyping 5G, T-Mobile has come out with its own 5G news in the form of a commitment to build and deploy a nationwide 5G network by 2020.
“Make no mistake about it: this is huge,” Legere said in a video blog post. “We’re committing to making something nationwide, not hotspots, not fixed broadband, but something real and substantial across the whole country.”
According to Legere, the Un-carrier’s 5G network will utilize all of T-Mobile’s spectrum holdings, including some of its recently won 600 MHz airwaves, as well as its mid band and 28 GHz and 39 GHz millimeter wave spectrum. T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray in a supplemental post noted the Un-carrier already has some 200 MHz of spectrum in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands covering nearly 100 million people in major metropolitan areas. Ray indicated T-Mobile has an “impressive volume” of mid-band spectrum as well.
“There’s no such thing as 5G spectrum. It’s just spectrum and 5G will work on all of it,” Legere commented.
While a chunk of the 600 MHz spectrum will first be used to enhance the Un-carrier’s 4G LTE coverage, Legere said another portion will be dedicated to fuel nationwide 5G coverage. Both Nokia and Ericsson have announced plans to partner with T-Mobile on its roll outs of the next generation network.
“As 5G standards are defined, chipsets are delivered, and equipment comes to market, we expect to be 3GPP certified and be able [to] deploy 5G on clean spectrum – without any refarming dependency – which means we can light it up and roll it out quickly,” Ray wrote. “We’ll expect all this to begin in 2019 and target 2020 for a full nationwide rollout.”
Legere took rivals AT&T and Verizon to task in his video for their limited strategies for initial 5G rollouts. AT&T, for instance, recently touted plans to bring its 5G Evolution service to more than 20 major metro areas by the end of this year, and has previously said it is aiming for late 2018 for initial mobile and fixed wireless 5G deployments. And Verizon is also moving forward with limited fixed wireless 5G rollouts. The carrier recently launched trials of the technology in 11 cities across the country, which are expected to run at least through June.
But Legere said T-Mobile is the first carrier to commit to a nationwide mobile 5G deployment.
“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,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “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.”