T-Mobile has been in it to win it when it comes to dominating the U.S. 5G markets and its latest move to focus on rural areas shows the company has no signs of slowing down. T-Mobile president and SEO Mike Sievert said T-Mobile is “really focused” on rural America because it’s the “size of the prize” and not necessarily because the company promised to build there.
Traditionally, wireless carriers haven’t tried to dominate in rural markets because the economics and ability to make big money didn’t make sense. While there is a demand in rural markets, there are fewer customers than in more urban areas and the landscape is large and big to cover with service. However, T-Mobile promised to cover rural areas with 5G coverage as one of its promises to get the merger with Sprint to go through.
T-Mobile has already seen growth in its brand reputation in rural areas compared to more urban areas. In fact, a lot of people in those areas are commonly referring to T-Mobile as “the 5G company.”
In smaller markets and more rural areas, Sievert said, “we are up 52% from just a year ago in terms of the reputation of people saying, ‘Hey, that company is the 5G company.’ And that’s just an example of how our brand is evolving.”
One key component to the new growth is strategic partnerships the company has made, including its distribution with Walmart as well as the “hometown experts” that T-Mobile is hiring.
Sievert has also said that T-Mobile’s 5G mid-band deployment has played a hand in its rural gains. AT&T and Verizon are relying heavily on C-band spectrum that won’t be available until later in 2021, and that won’t be coming to rural America anytime soon.
He said, “This first tranche of C-band, there’s the same amount of C-band coming for AT&T plus Verizon as T-Mobile will have already deployed by the end of this year,” in the 2.5 GHz band.”
Sievert continued, “We will have 300 million people covered by the end of 2023 with Ultra Capacity 5G, and that’s 400 megabits per second, transformational speeds and capacities. They’re not even going there. There’s a reason. It’s really hard to do. Do you know that getting from 200 million people to 300 million people is five times the land mass you’ve got to cover? And that’s in our funded plan and the capital plans we’ve already showed you. We’re going there, and we’re going there right now.”
Source: Fierce Wireless