T-Mobile's CEO, John Legere, blasted Verizon's claims that it will launch initial 5G commercial services in the US in 2017 as "horse shit" on the carrier's fourth-quarter earnings call Tuesday morning.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s CEO Lowell McAdam in said December 2015 that the operator would start commercial deployment of 5G in 2017, with downloads at up to 200 times faster than today's networks. "I showed my board the service in November... you don't ever go to a board with something that's not real," McAdam reportedly said at the time. (See Verizon CEO: US Commercial 5G Starts in 2017.)
"It's pure horse shit," the T-Mobile US Inc. 's CEO said of Verizon's claims during the operator's lengthy Q&A session with financial analysts Tuesday. Legere says that it is not possible for Verizon Wireless to commercially launch 5G in 2017 simply because that is "way before the handsets and standards arrive." (See Watch Out for 5G Pretenders.)
The initial 5G specification is expected to be completed in 2018, with early limited launches in 2018 and 2019. More widespread commercial deployments are expected in 2020. (See UAE Aims to be First With Nationwide 5G in 2020.)
Legere spoke up on 5G after T-Mobile's CTO, Neville Ray, had already described Verizon's 5G claims as "total BS." Big Red, he suggested, is feeling pressure from T-Mobile on the LTE front, and looking to market its network as 5G in order to get an edge.
Ray, however, did state that T-Mobile will be starting tests on the next-gen mobile technology this year. "We'll be running our own trials both in the lab and in the field through '16," Ray said on the call.
He said that T-Mobile will be working with parent company, Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), and others on tests. T-Mobile, Ray stated, has a "large swathe" of "suitable spectrum" to test 5G in already, so won't require special licenses from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) . He did not specify what frequency band -- or bands -- that spectrum is in.
T-Mobile is the latest US carrier to say that it will run 5G tests in 2016. Verizon, as noted, said it would do so last year. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) laid out its plans for 5G tests in 2016 last week. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is now the only major US mobile operator that hasn't revealed a test schedule for 5G.(See AT&T Lights Fire Under 5G, Plans 2016 Trials and Sprint: 5G in the US After 2020?.)
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading