T-Mobile is claiming victory in the national 5G race.
The mobile carrier on Monday switched on the country’s first next-gen wireless network with coast-to-coast service. T-Mobile’s 5G network, being carried on a low-band, 600 MHz spectrum, is expected to reach 200 million people in 5,000 communities across the U.S., about 60% of the population, company officials say.
For new users, it won’t be a quantum leap forward in terms of download speeds, but T-Mobile officials expect it to be 20% faster on average than LTE speeds.
In the news release, the company and its bombastic CEO John Legere took a few shots at competitors while also taking a victory lap. Under a subheading titled “It’s real!” T-Mobile claimed that Verizon previously launched a “made-up version of 5G” and AT&T deceived customers by rebranding its LTE network as 5G, but T-Mobile’s new network meets agreed-upon 5G standards.
“5G is here on a nationwide scale. This is a huge step towards 5G for all,” Legere said in a statement “While Dumb and Dumber focus on 5G for the (wealthy) few, launching in just a handful of cities — and forcing customers into their most expensive plans to get 5G — we’re committed to building broad, deep nationwide 5G that people and businesses can access at no extra cost with the New T-Mobile.”
Verizon Wireless is one of a handful of companies that are rolling out or planning 5G networks that will serve metro Denver. The T-Mobile network is expected to reach a much wider swath of Colorado, though company officials could not give an estimate of how many people in the state it would serve when asked last week. It will not be as fast as Verizon’s high-spectrum network, but it will travel farther and pass through walls and other physical barriers much more effectively, company representatives say.
T-Mobile recently made commitments to better serve Colorado. In return for Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser dropping out of a multi-state lawsuit seeking to block its merger with Sprint, the company agreed to build a network in the state that will deliver download speeds of 100 megabits per second or better to at least 92% of Coloradans within the next six years, including at least 74% of people in rural areas.
Dish Network, which will also benefit from the merger by absorbing Sprint’s prepaid wireless subsidiaries, has also promised to base its new wireless company in Colorado for at least seven years in return for Weiser withdrawing from the suit. Dish is based in Douglas County.
With the launch of Verizon’s nationwide 5G network, comes the announcement of new phone models capable of utilizing the service. The company opened up preorders for two new models — the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren and the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G — on its website Monday. The phones will be stocked in T-Mobile stores starting Friday. The OnePlus phone can be had for essentially free — via 24 months worth of bill credits — for new customers that switch to T-Mobile and trade in eligible phones.