T-Mobile plans to offer full 5G coverage across the nation by 2020. Using its recent $8 billion purchase of low-band spectrum (600 MHz) as campaign 5G kick start, the Uncarrier plans to be the first to offer this faster network nationwide.
The 5G spectrum roll out will begin in 2019. "First, we are going to dedicate part of the new 600 MHz spectrum we just won to LTE and then part to 5G nationwide. This means T-Mobile is the first company to commit to building a nationwide 5G network," T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said.
Focusing on scope versus speed, T-Mobile plans for broader 5G coverage while AT&T and Verizon efforts are directed on the higher band frequencies that provide the super 1Gbps speeds to compete with home internet.
Verizon previously announced it will begin 5G tests in 11 US cities in the first half of 2017. AT&T has partnered with Intel to begin tests in Texas and Indiana, before a larger roll out across the country.
What exactly is 5G?
5G stands for 5 Generation, or 5th Generation. In the early 1990s, 1G technology made it possible for the earliest ‘brick-sized’ mobile phones to make phone calls. Then 2G technology stepped up the game by adding the texting feature. 3G allowed for multi-tasking--calling, texting and web browsing capabilities and 4G fine tuned it so you could do it all faster and smoother—think larger files, better music and video streaming experiences. So what’s next?
5G is the great technological hope purported to make room for the million-and-one internet-connected devices entering our everyday world. Think autonomous driving cars and robotic floor cleaners.
It also promises to dramatically increase the speed at which data is transferred across the network and make it easier to upload and download Ultra HD and 3D video.
But perhaps the biggest step forward with 5G is it allowing a high level of responsiveness, meaning it can provide the speeds to allow you to remotely navigate a vehicle or perform surgery with virtually no lag time.
T-Mobile is one of the "Big Four" cell phone carriers in the United States, a key player in the wireless market. Founded in 1994, T-Mobile USA is helmed by outspoken CEO John Legere.
- Network: T-Mobile's 4G LTE network runs on LTE bands 4 and 12. These bands use the frequencies 1900, 1700 def and 700a. For phones using 2G or 3G network technology, the T-Mobile network will primarily use the 1900 MHz frequency.
- Coverage: At last check, T-Mobile ranked #3 in overall coverage in the U.S. That may change, though, as the company quickly buys up spectrum in previously-uncovered areas.
- Where to Buy: T-Mobile products can be purchased online or at one of the company's over 3,500 U.S. stores.
- Bring Your Own Phone to T-Mobile: Customers can bring along their unlocked, GSM-compatible phones for service on T-Mobile. Just make sure that the device supports T-Mobile's LTE bands and 3G frequencies; you can check here.
- Tethering: T-Mobile's unlimited ONE plan includes unlimited hotspot data at up to 3G speeds. Customers can add ONE Plus to get unlimited Smartphone Mobile HotSpot data at up to 4G LTE speeds.
- Taxes & Fees: One of the biggest perks of T-Mobile is that all taxes and fees are included in the price of their plans.
Fact: T-Mobile's unlimited plans have been incredibly popular, and arguably moved the entire wireless industry in the direction of all-you-can-use talk, text and data plans. Learn more about T-Mobile via our carrier review.