T-Mobile will start 5G tests with Ericsson and Nokia in the US in the second half of this year but don't expect net-gen mobile services from the carrier until compatible handsets arrive in the 2020 timeframe.
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) are working with T-Mobile US Inc. to set up field and lab trials on pre-5G 28GHz test systems later this year. T-Mobile said last week that it would start initial 5G trials this year. (See T-Mobile Joins 5G Trial Races With Ericsson.)
"We'll be on a direct path to 5G service once 5G consumer smartphones and standards are available in the 2020+ timeframe," T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said in a statement Tuesday.
The CTO has been consistent in sticking to the 2020-or-beyond timeframe for commercial deployment even as Verizon Wireless started to claim it will launch initial 5G services in the US in 2017. Ray blasted that claim as "total B.S." last week. (See T-Mobile CEO Slams Verizon's 5G Claims.)
Nonetheless, of the big four US mobile carriers, only Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) has yet to announce its 5G trial plans.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading