T-Mobile is at the top of its game, and the carrier is constantly hitting new 5G goals what seems like every week. As AT&T and Verizon trail behind, and DISH Network is working furiously to build its 5G network, T-Mobile leaves its competitors in the dust as it looks to become the nation’s top wireless carrier. But as the end of 2021 approaches and all three competitors roll out significant launches in 2022, how will T-Mobile stay on top? T-Mobile’s strategy hinges on coverage, including rural America.
Recently, T-Mobile’s Ryan Sullivan, VP, Device and Technology, and Karri Kuoppamaki, SVP, Network Technology Development & Strategy, spoke with PhoneScoop and asked about their strategy as the other carriers catch up. Here’s what they said.
T-Mobile still plans on offering 250 million Americans with “true” 5G coverage using the mid-band spectrum in 2022, with a goal of 300 million covered by the end of 2023. Rural areas will take a bit more time to provide 5G coverage when compared to big cities. T-Mobile plans to accomplish this using carrier aggregation within its midband spectrum that will help quicken download speeds.
T-Mobile will also be using Voice over New Radio (VoNR) technology. This establishes telephony connections through a 5G network. Currently, voice calls go through 4G LTE networks. Still, with the introduction of VoNR, the 5G network will be able to handle both calls and data, giving T-Mobile the opportunity to sunset its 4G LTE network to make room for 5G network expansions. (This is a while off, though.)
There is a ton of VoNR testing now with plans to release phones that support 5G VoNR in 2022, perhaps the Galaxy S22 models set to debut this spring. According to T-Mobile’s President of Technology, Neville Ray, “with LTE we rolled out data first, then later VoLTE… To have a good, strong, reliable voice service on 5G, you need a big, strong 5G footprint. It’s important to work out any kinks because once a call is set up on 5G, it’s undesirable for it to get bumped down to LTE. Every time those changes happen, you can have potential problems.”
Currently, T-Mobile has fast median 5G speeds and the largest blanket of 5G coverage (even though Verizon has similar speeds on its 4G LTE network) but better LTE coverage overall. But AT&T and Verizon aren’t too far behind, both companies just purchased large amounts of spectrum that would level the playing field, but T-Mobile intends to stay ahead.
T-Mobile’s 5G Network Coverage Plans by 2023
- 97% of Americans with slow “Extended Range 5G” by the end of 2022
- 90% of Americans with faster 300Mbps-400Mbps 5G network by the end of 2023
T-Mobile’s 5G Five-Year Network Plan
Maintaining 5G leadership in the 5G era
- Recent C band investment further positions T-Mobile’s superiority for 5G era.
- Already delivering 5G across more geographic coverage than AT&T and Verizon combined.
- Only operator to have deployed dedicated mid-band spectrum for 5G.
Significantly expanding addressable markets
- T-Mobile’s superior 5G network to unlock growth opportunities in new markets, deepen relationships with customers and take the competition to cable.
- Plans to increase share of smaller markets and rural areas to nearly 20% in next 5 years.
- Expect to double market share in enterprise in next five years.
- Bring competition to the $90 billion broadband market, targeting 7-8 million customers in 5 years.
Unlocking bigger merger synergies, faster
- Expect total net present value of merger synergies to be more than $70 billion – up more than 60% from original merger guidance of $43 billion.
- Expect total run-rate cost synergies to reach ~$7.5 billion per year by 2024 – up 25% from original merger guidance of $6 billion per year.
Delivering better financial results
- Raising mid-term and long-term guidance across the board w/ higher service revenue, Core Adjusted EBITDA, and free cash flow.
- Potentially up to $60 billion in shareholder return between 2023-2025.
T-Mobile has a strong lead over its competitors, and it intends to hold it. Stay up to date on all news relating to 5G in easy, digestible content on 5Ginsider!
Source: Phone Arena