T-Mobile Launches 5G, Establishes ‘Key Foundation’ for Partners



T-Mobile has officially activated its 5G network.

The carrier said its network reaches more than 200 million people and 5,000 municipalities. While rivals AT&T and Verizon have targeted specific cities with mobile 5G, T-Mobile characterizes its rollout as nationwide.

Legere, John_T-Mobile

T-Mobile’s John Legere

“We’re committed to building broad, deep nationwide 5G that people and businesses can access at no extra cost with the New T-Mobile,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said. ” … and today is just the start of that journey.”

T-Mobile announced that customers can pre-order the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren and the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G smartphones, which are needed to access 5G capabilities. The devices will be in store Dec. 6. Customers won’t pay an extra charge on their plans for 5G.

Both phones can access the midband 2.5GHz spectrum of Sprint, which T-Mobile is attempting to acquire. Sprint’s spectrum and T-Mobile’s 600 MHz spectrum vary significantly from that of AT&T and Verizon, which are utilizing millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum to push faster speeds. T-Mobile does not claim to match the 1 gigabit speeds of its rivals but rather points to the struggles of high-band 5G transmitting indoors.

“This is not the gigabit speed that millimeter wave enables but, of course, those are only available over very short ranges and very limited spaces,” Mark McDiarmid, T-Mobile’s senior vice president of radio network engineering and development, told Fortune.

Clint Patterson, T-Mobile’s vice president of public relations and brand social communications, told Channel Partners that wide accessibility – including in rural areas – is a key foundation for partners to build “5G era” applications.

“We believe that this technology is truly transformative and could potentially be the most transformational technology of our lifetime,” Patterson said. “But it’s not any good to anyone if only a few people in a few cities can get it.”

Patterson said channel partners will continue working with T-Mobile as they always have, as the carrier won’t be introducing any channel partner-specific offerings in conjunction with the 5G rollout.

“Because while the technology is new and is really exciting, we don’t think that our partners or customers should have to pay more for it. We think that it ought to come included so as many people as possible can take advantage of the technology,” he said.

Legere, who is set to leave his role when the merger finalizes, has blasted his rivals on several occasions and drawn several rebuttals from them.

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