LIVE FROM MWC21 LOS ANGELES: Neville Ray, president of technology at T-Mobile US (pictured), stayed true to form by pulling no punches as he claimed 5G coverage, capacity and speed superiority over rivals AT&T and Verizon, while maintaining the smartphone remained as relevant as ever to ignite next-generation applications.

Delivering a virtual keynote, Ray said T-Mobile was well into a budgeted $60 billion on networking services and, following its mega merger with Sprint the unique combination of low-band and mid-band spectrum assets was ensuring it could rollout its 5G network across the country and provide connectivity to all.

Ray explained T-Mobile, “unlike its competitors”, had built up its 5G network with a multi-band strategy, combining low-, mid-band and mmWave “for capacity where it makes sense”, making it the “most available 5G network in the world”.

In total, this translates to 5G coverage for 308 million people in the US and Puerto Rico, “which is more 5G coverage than AT&T and Verizon put together”.

“It is two-times more than AT&T’s coverage and four-times more than Verizon”.

Its “ultra-capacity” 5G offering using mid-band currently covers 185 million people, with a target to reach 200 million by the year-end and 300 million by the end of 2023.

The sheer ambition of the company showed how it “pulled away from the pack with the pace of our build and the performance of our network”.

Further pressing home T-Mobile’s advantage, Ray pointed to “a dozen independent reports”, name dropping OpenSignal and Ookla to name a few, which confirmed it as the 5G market leader in terms of speed and availability.

The executive stated T-Mobile had “punched away” at competitors despite them taking the lead in 4G, and it had created a new dynamic with 5G.

At a time when Facebook for one is betting big on VR to create a so-called metaverse, Ray was keen to keep the smartphone firmly in the spotlight.

He said the device was “more relevant than ever” and remained “the most powerful connection to our world”.

Ray pointed to T-Mobile’s Magenta Max unlimited plan, which when combined with a powerful 5G device like the iPhone 13 was helping to power immersive applications for customers.

The T-Mobile tech supremo also believes the smartphone is the ultimate enabler for devices capable of delivering other 5G use cases such as AR and holographic presence, as well as serving as a gateway for new form factors including wearables and apparel.