The wireless carrier stated its ambitions of opening up thousands of mid-band 5G sites through the end of the year. It looks like things are well underway.
Soon after merging with Sprint, T-Mobile customers in eight cities had access to its 2.5 GHz mid-band 5G network. Today, the telecom giant now supplies 81 new locations in addition to the eight cities it already had under its wing. The move is part of a larger one to establish thousands of mid-band sites before the end of 2020.
Mid-band spectrum is having quite a summer this year with demand rising and an FCC auction that is showing that companies are ready to put their money where their mouth is. T-Mobile is continuing to develop its nationwide standalone (SA) 5G network which many believe can keep the wireless carrier ahead of competitors such as AT&T and Verizon as they work to obtain more mid-band spectrum licenses. After establishing a 5G network that primarily depends on low-band spectrum, T-Mobile’s focus on mid-band signals which according to the company “can cover tens of thousands of times the area that one mmWave site can cover,” will help it deliver faster speeds without the issues that mmWave, high-band spectrum would bring. mmWave is the fastest but has trouble penetrating walls and can also travel far shorter distances. Mid-band signals are the perfect way to deliver more speed over larger areas.
The move will be welcomed by not only the carrier but also its subscribers. So far, T-Mobile’s 5G network is receiving mixed reviews and with low-band spectrum allowing for speeds closer to 4G LTE than what the future of 5G holds. The mid-band network is showing download speeds far beyond its low-band counterpart that can average 300 Mbps with the ability to reach peak speeds of 1,000 Mbps. T-Mobile will look to unleash more than its already deployed 60 MHz but will have to overcome hurdles such as certain limitations and Sprint LTE users. T-Mobile’s President of Technology Neville Ray feels confident that even with these issues, the company is well-positioned to continue leading the push for a faster, nationwide 5G network. “T-Mobile has the competition in the rear-view mirror on 5G, and they’re only getting farther behind. While the other guys are playing catch-up, we’ve had nationwide 5G since last year, and we’re now adding faster speeds across the country with mid-band 5G,” said Ray.
This strategy of T-Mobile continues to come under fire from its competitors. The wireless giant already faced adversity for its reliability claims and now Verizon believes that the FCC should limit the amount of 600 MHz due to believing it is creating an unfair spectrum advantage. Part of Verizon’s point is that T-Mobile already owns more low and mid-band licenses at 311-megahertz than AT&T and Verizon do when combined. Things could be changing soon, however, with Verizon a huge winner this summer at the CBRS auction. AT&T didn’t bid on any licenses which was a surprise to many, but with an upcoming auction in December, many expect both AT&T and Verizon to be there, ready to spend.
Source: Fierce Wireless