T-Mobile beats mid-band deadline

T-Mobile beats mid-band deadline

15 NOV 2021
T-Mobile

Four out of every five T-Mobile US customers now has access to 5G, the operator claimed, as it announced 200 million Americans are now covered by its mid-band 5G network operating in the 2.5GHz band.

T-Mobile US is ahead of schedule with its 5G rollout. At MWC21 Los Angeles last month, the operator’s president of technology Neville Ray set year-end 2021 as the target date for covering 200 million people with mid-band 5G. In addition, Ray said 300 million people will have access to this part of the T-Mobile network by the end of 2023.

The operator claims it already covers 308 million people with 5G in the 600MHz band, which it calls Extended Range 5G. T-Mobile US started deploying 5G in the 2.5GHz spectrum following its acquisition of Sprint.

Rivals Verizon and AT&T have plans to also launch 5G in mid-band spectrum (3.7GHz to 3.98GHz), but those plans have been delayed by the US Federal Aviation Administration. AT&T and Verizon have both launched 5G in mmWave bands, which offer high throughput but limited range.

Research commissioned by T-Mobile US found its mid-band 5G network was available almost 75 per cent of the time on average, while Verizon’s mmWave 5G was available roughly 2 per cent of the time. The research, which was performed by umlaut, evaluated 5G networks in four US cities and found T-Mobile’s 5G network four times faster than AT&T’s and three times faster than Verizon’s.

US consumers have been lured onto 5G networks by abundant smartphone promotions, but operators acknowledge a number of 5G use cases are still in the future.

T-Mobile US CEO Mike Sievert recently countered the view of 5G as a technology without a clear consumer use case, describing the smartphone itself as the first killer 5G app. During the company’s recent Q3 earnings call, Sievert said customers on T-Mobile’s Magenta Max unlimited plan consume 35 gigabytes of data per month on average, or three times the average amount of data consumed by a customer on LTE.

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Martha DeGrasse

Freelance tech journalist Martha DeGrasse (@mardegrasse) is delighted to be contributing to Mobile World Live. Martha has written for a number of telecom and wireless publications, and was a writer, editor and video producer at RCR Wireless News for almost...

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