T-Mobile on Tuesday laid out its plan to offer the first nationwide mobile 5G coverage by 2019.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based wireless carrier said it will utilize the low-band wireless spectrum licenses it just paid $8 billion for to offer the next-generation network, which will roll out in 2019 and expand nationwide by 2020.
5G promises to be at least 10 times faster than the existing 4G networks. Though we are still several years away from being able to access and use something like 5G — many questions also remain about regulatory hurdles — there is already much discussion for how it will function and what possibilities could emerge from a faster, more robust mobile internet network.
T-Mobile is focused on not only bringing faster speeds with 5G, but also greater coverage.
“5G will mean lower-latency (that means faster response-times for your applications), massively increased battery life and an exponential leap in the number of connections we can handle simultaneously – and that unlocks all kinds of amazing new applications,” T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray wrote in a blog post. “It’s about more than just speed.”
There is debate over how to define 5G. Ray, who previously talked about T-Mobile 5G plans back in September, wrote that competitors are “focused on Fixed 5G – basically replacing your wired home Internet.”
“And that’s just fine if you’re not focused on today’s mobile customer or 5G applications that require broad coverage, but are instead intent on developing a wireless solution to compete with big Cable in the home broadband market,” he wrote. “This approach makes total sense if you are Verizon trying to ignore your troubles in wireless. But, it breaks down the second you want to leave your home.”
Both Verizon and AT&T announced plans earlier this year to roll out their own 5G networks. Verizon’s chief network officer said last week that the company is in position for “5G leadership” in a blog post that called out T-Mobile’s $8 billion spectrum purchase.
In the video above, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said Verizon and AT&T “pretended” to launch 5G. He said their strategies for 5G are “basically a series of hotspots.”
“That’s no solution for mobile 5G coverage, or coverage anywhere outside a small area downtown,” Legere said.
In its quarterly earnings report last week, T-Mobile said it added a net total of 1.1 million customers in the first quarter, climbing above 72 million customers for the first time, while posting total quarterly revenue of $9.6 billion and higher-than-expected profit of $698 million, up 46 percent from a year ago.