For its next trick, T-Mobile is looking to match Verizon's 4G LTE coverage, but the operator's CTO has made it clear he isn't interested in following Verizon down the fixed 5G path.
The US population stands at 318.9 million and Verizon's 4G LTE network covers 98% of it at the monent. T-Mobile currently covers 311 million people across the US.
T-Mobile is currently adding more low-band 600MHz spectrum to its network, as well as bidding in the incentive auction to acquire more. (See T-Mobile CEO: We'll be a 600MHz Auction Winner.)
On the operator's recent earnings call, Ray made it clear that he's not going to be following Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) in using early 5G networks to take fixed broadband to the home. (See Verizon Could Take Fixed 5G Nationwide.)
"What I'm not hugely excited about is the optimization of delivery of broadband to the home," Ray notes, instead he's waiting for "mobility solutions" he expects in 2019 or 2020.
"We will push very hard to make sure that it comes into the mobility space as soon as possible and we'll be a leader in that, but a lot of work needs to happen," he adds.
The comments neatly illustrate the difference between Verizon and T-Mobile. Verizon is motivated to make 5G an alternative to cable because it expects it to be cheaper to deploy than FiOS.
T-Mobile, having no wired network to tend to, is focused purely on the mobility aspects of next-gen wireless. In fact, Ray is expecting mobile 5G to be layered in with 4G in urban areas over time.
"The base layer of technology over the next 10 years, 15 years is going to be 4G LTE," he notes.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading