T-Mobile mmWave 5G to be available in six cities on June 28th along with Samsung Galaxy S10 5G smartphone

T-Mobile US has announced it will use millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum to offer up “pre-standard 5G” services in parts of six cities beginning on June 28th.  Sales of the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G will commence that same day (see References below). The company published detailed coverage maps showing where subscribers in Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York can expect to access their 5G network.

T-Mobile has said its plan for nationwide coverage hinges on its vast portfolio of 600 MHz spectrum, but the “Un-carrier” also has its own stash of high-band frequencies. Sprint activated its mobile 5G offering using mid-band 2.5 GHz spectrum. The complementary aspects of Sprint’s and T-Mobile’s spectrum is a key piece of the pending $26.5 billion merger, which is awaiting regulatory approval which may be delayed due to several states filing opposition lawsuits.

 

T-Mobile US CEO John Legere, has been highly critical of AT&T’s and Verizon’s millimeter wave-based 5G deployments (particularly the lack of coverage maps). He wrote in a June 20th blog post that the “New T-Mobile” (merged with Sprint) could deliver the range of spectrum needed for 5G.

Current 5G networks in the U.S. aren’t anything to write home about. That’s because they’re mostly focused on high-band millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, which doesn’t travel far from the cell site and is blocked by things like trees, windows and doors. It’s a massively important part of 5G, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just that – a PART. We’ve been clear all along… real, game-changing 5G will require a range of spectrum – low, mid and high – and only the New T-Mobile will be able to deliver it.”

Legere stated that the “New T-Mobile” (merged with Sprint) would be better able to deliver 5G because:

  • We’ve got the high-band spectrum with mmWave, which delivers massive capacity over a very small footprint.
  • Later this year, when compatible smartphones launch, we’ll launch broad 5G on our low-band 600 MHz spectrum, providing the wide area coverage necessary to reach across America.
  • If regulators approve our merger with Sprint, we’ll have the crucial mid-band spectrum (2.5 GHz), which provides the balance of coverage and capacity that enables a seamless and meaningful 5G experience. Mid-band spectrum is key to providing an ideal mix of coverage and capacity for 5G networks, and the combination of Sprint’s mid-band and our low-band will allow New T-Mobile to use both spectrum more efficiently, increasing capacity even more.

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T-Mobile said it will use “Multi-band Dual Connectivity” to aggregate “5G in the millimeter wave band and LTE.”

T-Mobile plans to launch a larger 5G network later this year using the low-band 600Mhz 5G spectrum, a technology not supported by the Galaxy S10 5G.  5G smart phones that support both mmWave and the low-band spectrum are expected later this year.

However, critical infrastructure for mmWave 5G will require many more small cells (due to limited range)  that will need to be mounted on mainly local (public) government property with fiber backhaul.  We wonder why that gating item is hardly ever discussed on line or in the telecom business press?  It is probably why T-Mobile’s 5G mmWave coverage is extremely limited as you can see from their coverage maps.

References:

https://www.t-mobile.com/news/samsung-galaxy-s10-5g

https://www.t-mobile.com/5g

https://www.tmonews.com/2019/06/t-mobile-galaxy-s10-5g-launch-network-six-cities/

 

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