QUALCOMM SNAPDRAGON TECH SUMMIT 2019, HAWAII: Mark McDiarmid, SVP of radio network engineering and development at T-Mobile US, revealed it isn’t planning to rely on dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) to the same extent as its rivals, claiming it has no need.

AT&T and Verizon previously highlighted DSS as a key enabler of their 5G transitions, making it possible for them to rapidly deploy next generation service on spectrum already in use without having to clear 4G traffic off the airwaves first. Both operators told Mobile World Live they’re planning to implement DSS in 2020.

But McDiarmid said in a separate interview T-Mobile will be less dependent on DSS than its competitors since its low-band 5G rollout is being done using unencumbered 600MHz spectrum.

He added the situation will be the same for mid-band 5G deployments if a proposed merger with Sprint is completed, since much of the operator’s 2.5GHz spectrum is currently fallow. Nor is DSS needed for deployments in unencumbered mmWave bands, he said.

While McDiarmid acknowledged T-Mobile may use DSS to add capacity in select markets, he noted it won’t be a linchpin of the operator’s 5G strategy the way that it is for others.

“It is a very significant feature promise, it promises to do some magic which has never been achievable before. For some operators a lot is riding on this and it has to work…It’s been a long time since I’ve run into a feature which is such a high stakes feature.”

Qualcomm paid for travel to this conference. This article reflects honest reporting on the event.