T-Mobile CTO: We'll Do 5G When We're Ready

Dan Jones
12/24/2015

T-Mobile's CTO says that it is not trying to fast-track 5G deployment in the US in the way that rival Verizon is.

T-Mobile US Inc. 's CTO, Neville Ray, in a blog Wednesday, took aim at Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s claims that it will deploy 5G in some cities in the US in 2017. (See Verizon CEO: US Commercial 5G Starts in 2017 and Watch Out for 5G Pretenders.)

The CTO has this to say on 5G:

"When 5G is ready, you bet T-Mobile will be ready to deliver the benefits to our customers. But don't be too distracted by certain carriers teasing premature promises of 5G today. The industry standards don't even exist for 5G yet, but if you look at what T-Mobile has being doing to give customers an advanced LTE experience (a prerequisite to 5G), you'll see that we fully intend to bring 5G to the market in a very real way when the time comes."

Neither AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) nor T-Mobile have put any date on when they actually expect to deploy 5G.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) has previously indicated that it doesn't expect 5G in the US until after 2020. (See Sprint: 5G in the US After 2020?.)


Want to know more about 5G? Visit Light Reading's 5G channel.


Ray, meanwhile, is also stressing that LTE upgrades are what will really benefit subscribers right now. T-Mobile now covers 304 million Americans with LTE, having extended service to another 219 million people this year. Ray claims the operator can provide maximum speeds of 150 Mbit/s in some cities.

The operator has been using the low-band 700MHz spectrum it bought from Verizon to boost coverage and speed in cities with "Extended Range LTE." This combines T-Mobile's low-band and mid-band radio channels through carrier aggregation to increase speed and extend signal range. "T-Mobile Extended Range LTE will improve our LTE signal for customers across 300 markets, big and small," Ray notes.

The work on LTE will continue in 2016, the CTO says. "We'll continue building more speed and capacity, and roll out new technologies like 4x4 MIMO [multiple antenna arrays] and three-band carrier aggregation," Ray writes.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
1/26/2016 | 12:28:56 PM
Re: Déjà Vu
Promises can always be broken.  Just look at Light Reading's Spring/Huawei headline this week.  ;)
KBode
KBode
1/26/2016 | 12:14:13 PM
Re: Déjà Vu
Or, I guess, how your marketing department insists you're GOING to use it. Maybe. Once somebody actually figures out what it actually is.
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
1/17/2016 | 2:16:39 PM
Re: Déjà Vu
4G, 5G, 7G...  What matters is how you use it...
kq4ym
kq4ym
1/8/2016 | 12:44:57 PM
Re: Déjà Vu
It will be interesting to see what actually transpires with all the 5G talk coming by 2017. It may be that 2020 will be the real actuation of the full capabilities since that when the International Telecommunication Union has mandated the 5G standards beginning.
KBode
KBode
1/4/2016 | 9:30:13 AM
Re: Déjà Vu
That's an excellent point. :) I've decided to skip 6G and be first to deploy 7G. Prove me wrong! :)
KBode
KBode
1/4/2016 | 9:25:51 AM
Re: Déjà Vu
Verizon's going to have to start moving downward on pricing as T-Mobile's network coverage improves. "We have the best network and therefore can charge twice as much" isn't going to be something they can continue to push in 2016, I don't think. It starts with their recent $650 offer and goes from there, I believe.
DanJones
DanJones
12/29/2015 | 11:57:17 AM
Re: Déjà Vu
Depends, might be more perception/marketing than reality for Verizon as regards 5G. There's a lot more upgrades for LTE to come yet.
danielcawrey
danielcawrey
12/28/2015 | 7:59:34 PM
Re: Déjà Vu
Verizon is doing its very best to try and differentiate itself from the rest of the pack. I think for the most part people are happy with Verizon, and this makes things tougher for the other carriers. 

Spring and T-Mobile are fighting an uphill battle against Verizon, that's for sure. These are the only defenses they can have against Verizon. 
DanJones
DanJones
12/28/2015 | 3:08:29 PM
Re: T Mobile has a mature approach
Interesting idea!

 

I kind of see that as 3 articles, or maybe one long one!

- Asia

- Europe 

- North America

The approaches are quite different.
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
12/28/2015 | 12:34:48 PM
Re: T Mobile has a mature approach
It might be interesting to see an article comparing the major carriers' approaches to 5G, in that case.
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