T-Mobile CEO Slams Verizon's 5G Claims

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.

Want to know more about 5G? Check out our 5G content channel here on Light Reading.

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

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DanJones 3/7/2016 | 10:39:42 AM
Re: Upside of an "STRP" investment It says the inquiry into using 5G spectrum will be completed this summer. Another commissioner has said they want to a plan for use by the end of this year. Great! That's part of the paper work done! So hopefully by the end of the year they'll have a plan for opening up 5G spectrum and when auctions can happen. Maybe, no one has said yet. So best case, auctions licenses happen in 2017? 2018? And of course the election could change the focus of the FCC.
TV Monitor 3/6/2016 | 9:37:17 PM
Re: Upside of an "STRP" investment Dan Jones

FCC Chairman Wheeler says the process of setting up rules to free mmWave bands for 5G will be completed by summer of this year.


FCC chairman Tom Wheeler says that the FCC should be wrapping up its inquiry into freeing up upper-band spectrum for 5G (millimeter wave band) wireless and authorizing its use sometime "this summer."
DanJones 3/6/2016 | 2:32:18 PM
Re: Upside of an "STRP" investment Nothing of the sort. The FCC also wanted AWS-3 and that won't be up and running til 2018. That's just the pace of government in the US. Factor in that a new govt and a new FCC could be on the cards by Nov 2016, well that could make things better, or worse, we don't know yet. This isn't South Korea with a well thought out broadband plan. This is a typically gridlocked govt with a pitiful level of technological insight. Sorry, can't help being realistic here.
Gabriel Brown 3/2/2016 | 12:53:30 PM
Re: Upside of an "STRP" investment The Samsung demo was impressive, but it was very carefully put together. It says NLOS on the demo graphics, but doesn't actually show that (instead it shows the benefits of relection to amoving vehicle and calls that line of sight). It clearly needs further work. Samsung and the Korean operators are pretty open about this.

The Qualcomm presentation on 28GHz was excellent. Docomo also showed high-level results of its trials in quite a range of frequecy bands. 
TV Monitor 3/2/2016 | 12:12:31 PM
Re: Upside of an "STRP" investment Garbiel Brown

"albeit it is very much still in development for mobile and non-line-of-sight operation."

For Nokia, Qualcomm, and Ericsson, yes.

For Samsung, not so much. Samsung's system has mobile and NLOS issues resolved. Indoor reception, not so much. Indoor reception is something that Samsung needs to figure out.
Gabriel Brown 3/2/2016 | 11:50:25 AM
Re: Upside of an "STRP" investment I agree with that in the sense that a large country like the U.S. can more or less do what it wants (and will do) in terms of spectrum allocation. And there's strong empahsis on 28GHz in the U.S. right now. 

Whether it needs a mobile license right away remains to be seen -- if the first application is for fixed wireless access, for example.

I saw several presentations of 28GHz demos at MWC. It looks very promising, albeit it is very much still in development for mobile and non-line-of-sight operation.

TV Monitor 3/2/2016 | 10:43:30 AM
Re: Upside of an "STRP" investment Dan Jones

You talk as if the FCC doesn't want 28 Ghz 5G. The FCC does. The FCC is willing, Verizon is willing, Samsung is ready to supply(First 28 Ghz 5G network goes operational in Pyeongchang by summer of 2017), so who's stopping the show?
DanJones 3/1/2016 | 5:09:39 PM
Re: Upside of an "STRP" investment AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon all want to use 28GHz for all or part of their tests (and presumably launches). You'll note, however, that none yet have approval for 28GHz mobile wireless licenses from the FCC.

This could be the sticking point. The current FCC wants to move ahead with a 28GHz usage plan by  the end of the year. Verizon has an option to buy up some 28GHz fixed wireless licenses -- but they aren't approved for mobile use yet.

The FCC is going to have to rush to get a plan in place before the elections and that could all get junked depending on who gets in.

So Verizon might say it wants to deploy on 28GHz in 2017 but it currently doesn't have any 28Ghz spectrum suitable for mobile deployment. I suppose it could use the fixed wireless licenses for fixed 5G services, as things stand today anyway.

TV Monitor 3/1/2016 | 3:50:56 PM
Re: Upside of an "STRP" investment Verizon CFO confirmed the 2017 5G launch they are talking about is the real 28 Ghz 5G, not some 4.5G LTE Carrier Aggregation stuff.


Verizon Eyes 5G Deployment in 2017
Tue, 03/01/2016 - 2:00pm by Diana Goovaerts, Associate Editor,

According to Shammo, 5G technology is nearly ready to go, but its launch depends on the FCC's clearing of high-band spectrum.

"It's here, it's now," Shammo said. "It doesn't have to wait for 2020, but it all hinges on the availability of that spectrum."

Shammo also revealed FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was recently at Verizon's Basking Ridge, N.J. headquarters to view a demonstration of one of the company's 5G trials.
TV Monitor 2/23/2016 | 2:44:48 PM
Re: Upside of an "STRP" investment Dan Jones

In Korea, government dictates what technology be used in what spectrum. And since the government said

1. they would allocate only 28 Ghz for 5G in the near future.

2. In the 28 Ghz spectrum, only Samsung 5G technology can be deployed so that customers can freely switch between carriers.

So SK Telecom has no choice but to go along with Samsung 5G if they want to launch by 2020. This is a done deal.

In fact, LG U+ whose primary base station vendor is Huawei wanted to deploy Chinese TD-LTE+ based on the arguement of providing roaming service to 10+ million/year Chinese tourists, but government rejected the bid due to what government claims is the lack of spectrum below 6 Ghz, and agreed to go along with the 28 Ghz 5G as well.

FYI, Nokia 5G being demoed at SK booth is supposed to be a 15 Ghz technology, meaning it is not possible to deploy it in Korea at all.

"I went to ask Samsung about it but they're all about the s7 at the moment."

Those are Samsung Electronics people. They don't know anything about the works of Samsung Networks, other than those engineers working on 5G modem and antenna.
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