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

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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DanJones 12/24/2015 | 12:46:25 PM
Re: Déjà Vu Well he's right in the sense that we don't know what the 5G standard is yet. So claiming to deploy 5G in 2017 is premature.
VernonDozier 12/24/2015 | 11:57:30 AM
Déjà Vu Well, you have to remember that T-Mobile also said something similar about carrying the iPhone...

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