T-Mobile US Inc. CTO Neville Ray took the stage in Seattle Tuesday at the Competitive Carriers Association conference to talk 5G, 4G, and -- of course -- trash-talk Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)
"We've been pretty quiet on the 5G story," Ray said. "That doesn't mean we haven't been doing anything." He says that the carrier has been working on standards and trials and collaborating with owner Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT).
Helpfully, T-Mobile acquired high-band 28GHz spectrum -- a prime band for 5G -- in the US when it bought MetroPCS. T-Mobile will run trials with Samsung Corp. 's "pre-commercial" 28GHz system "in early 2017," according to Samsung.
Ray once again declared himself unexcited by Verizon's plans for a fiber wireless to the home pilot in 2017. "If that is all that 5G is about is, we should all pack up and go home," he jested. (See T-Mobile Sounds Off on Verizon 5G, LTE-U Frustrations.)
Mobility, virtual reality and augmented reality are the services that will "light up" consumers with excitement for 5G, Ray argues. 3D printing, wearable nano-sensors and real-time translation of languages over the air are all "edgy, exciting" applications for 5G that are "feasible," the CTO claims. (See Pokémon Go Is Just the Beginning: Wait Until VR's on 5G!)
"Don't get me wrong, this is a 2020 story," Ray added.
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In the meantime, the CTO is focused on covering the US population with LTE. "Great 5G wireless will be anchored in and live alongside an amazingly advanced LTE network," the CTO said in a blog post Tuesday. "Our footprint is now 312 milion covered people in the United States," Ray said. "And we've come from nowhere, really."
He also couldn't resist another pop at Big Red and its recent LTE-Advanced launch. "Verizon has got to stop this BS," Ray said. "Calling this 'next-gen' is confusing for customers. We launched carrier-agg [LTE channel-bonding for extra speed] in 2014."
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading