T-Mobile took another swing at its rivals’ network plans, this time mocking Verizon’s decision to launch fixed-wireless 5G this year using pre-standard technology.

In a blog post, CTO Neville Ray castigated Verizon for not “respecting industry standards” after Verizon CTO Hans Vestberg confirmed at CES the operator’s initial fixed-wireless deployment will not use 3GPP’s recently released non-standalone 5G standards. Ray accused Verizon of ignoring the standards “in their rush to fixed 5G” and warned the company is “building a bridge to nowhere”.

He elaborated: “Why does it matter that Verizon doesn’t use 5G industry standards? Well, it won’t scale and won’t work with the vast majority of 5G smartphones that will come to market, which will be standards based.”

Verizon previously indicated its initial 5G deployments will be software upgradable to bring them into compliance with the 3GPP standards.

This isn’t Ray’s first shot at the competition. Earlier this month he blasted AT&T’s ambitious plan to launch mobile 5G by the end of 2018, pointing out the operator failed to provide key details around device availability, spectrum and footprint.

All bands for 5G
Ray on Wednesday (17 January) restated T-Mobile’s commitment to launch a nationwide 5G network by 2020, noting the operator will begin launching 5G on its 600MHz spectrum in 2019. He also reiterated T-Mobile’s plans to use all spectrum bands for 5G.

Each band, he said, “provides a unique contribution to the overall 5G experience”. He explained low-band spectrum will offer coverage and reliability, while mid-band spectrum like 3.5GHz will add reliable capacity and consistent mobile broadband speeds. Ray added mmWave will contribute capacity for multi-gigabit hotspots in urban environments, on campuses and in buildings.

He concluded: “The best way to launch a new technology is new, clear spectrum like 600MHz, then re-use other spectrum bands for 5G over time. We are in a best position to execute on this strategy, and will drive the network evolution to 5G.”