T-Mobile Preps 600MHz 5G Launch, Expects Sprint Deal to Close in Early 2020

T-Mobile executives say the operator is working to close its $26.5 billion Sprint merger in early 2020 as it moves ahead with plans to start its nationwide 5G rollout on the 600MHz band later this year.

T-Mobile revealed earlier this month that it will launch 600MHz lowband 5G in late 2019. That deployment initially will cover around 200 million people in the US with lowband 5G. Company CTO Neville Ray has said that users could expect speeds of 60-70 Mbit/s from initial 5G services, about double the speed of T-Mobile's LTE service today.

T-Mobile plans to follow a "layer-cake" approach to its 5G rollout, bringing Sprint's nationwide midband 2.5GHz frequency as soon as the merger closes, Ray said. T-Mobile's highband millimeter wave holdings are also being layered on top of this. T-Mobile says it will have an average 5G download speed of 440 Mbit/s when its 5G rollout is completed.

In Q3, T-Mobile added 1.7 million net connections and 754,000 postpaid phones, beating AT&T and Verizon quarterly results in those categories.

T-Mobile posted Q3 revenues of $11.06 billion, compared to $10.84 billion in the year-ago period. Net income rose 9%, to $870 million.

T-Mobile shares rose 77 cents, to $87.39 each, in late-day trading Monday.

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— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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