5G in the USA: A Post-M&A Update
Sprint and T-Mobile's proposed $26.5 billion merger could change the anticipated 5G map in the US.
In this 5G update, we'll map out the 5G markets that have been announced to date from the four major carriers, as well as list what we know about the "NewCo" 5G plans if Sprint and T-Mobile do come together. Our map below represents the anticipated markets in each carrier's color.
Red flags indicate AT&T, blue for Verizon, magenta for T-Mobile and yellow for Sprint. Expand the map to see a larger version and the carriers' overlapping cities.
AT&T What: Mobile 5G using the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G New Radio (NR) standard, with fixed 5G in trials Where: Atlanta, Dallas, Waco and nine other unnamed markets When: Late 2018 Frequencies: AT&T hasn't confirmed yet but 39GHz is widely rumored Suppliers (known so far): Qualcomm Devices: A mobile "puck" Capex plan for 2018: $23 billion
- AT&T on Track With 5G, Starts FirstNet Build
- AT&T Reveals Initial 5G Cities
- AT&T's 'Mobile' 5G: What the Puck?
Sprint What: Mobile 5G using the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G New Radio (NR) standard Where: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. When: First half of 2019 Frequencies: 2.5GHz Suppliers (known so far): Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, Qualcomm Devices: Smartphones Capex plan for 2018: $5 billion-$6 billion
- Sprint's Initial 5G Cities Will Get 4G Massive MIMO First
- Sprint Teams Up with Cox to Boost Spectrum With Fiber
- Sprint Says No to mmWave, Yes to Mobile 5G
T-Mobile US What: Mobile 5G using the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G New Radio (NR) standard Where: Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City and 26 other cities When: 2019-2020 Frequencies: 600MHz, 28GHz, 39GHz Suppliers (known so far): Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm Devices: Smartphones Capex plan for 2018: $4.9 billion-$5.3 billion
- T-Mobile to Roll Out 5G in 30 US Cities in 2018
- T-Mobile Promises 'Nationwide' 5G in 2020 With New Spectrum
- T-Mobile Says Its 600MHz LTE Sites Will Be 5G-Ready
Verizon What: Fixed 5G using its home-grown 5GTF spec first, with 5G using the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G New Radio (NR) standard as soon as possible afterwards Where: Sacramento, with up to four more markets to follow in 2018 When: Second half of 2018 Frequencies: 28GHz Suppliers (known so far): Ericsson, Samsung, Qualcomm Devices: 5G customer premises equipment and home routers, smartphones (with mobile 5G) Capex plan for 2018: $17 billion-$17.8 billion
- Verizon: We'll Be First With Fixed & Mobile 5G
- Ericsson & Samsung to Supply Verizon With Fixed 5G Gear
- Verizon Capex to Stay Flat Despite Commercial 5G Launch in 2018
The "new" T-Mobile (NewCo) What: Mobile 5G using the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G New Radio (NR) standard Where (known so far): TBD When: 2019 Frequencies: 600MHz, 2.5GHz, 28GHz, 39GHz Suppliers (known so far): TBD Devices: Smartphones Anticipated spending 5G upgrade spending plan: Up to $40 billion over three years with the deal expected to close in the first half of 2019.
- T-Mobile to Buy Sprint for $26.5B to Create US 5G Powerhouse
- Can the 'New' T-Mobile Make America's Networks Great Again?
What does this mean in the real world? Expect to see commercial demos of initial fixed 5G deployments in the fall timeframe, with launch to follow soon after. Mobile 5G will still wait for the arrival of smartphones in the first half of 2019. (See America: A Tale of at Least Two 5Gs.)
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading
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