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T-Mobile won't be making a serious push into launching and promoting its 5G network until the second half of 2019, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said in an interview shared by CNET today.

The carrier had initially planned to promote 5G in the first half of 2019, but it is delaying that rollout because smartphones able to take advantage of its 5G network won't be available until later.

tmobile600mhz5g-800x596.jpg
Image via CNET​

According to Ray, T-Mobile had hoped that smartphone makers and chip manufacturers would have 5G devices ready to use the lower-band 600 megahertz spectrum that will power much of its 5G network, but that hasn't quite happened. The company instead plans to "go big" with 5G later in 2019.

The 5G version of the Galaxy S10 from Samsung, which will come in April, offers millimeter wave support compatible with Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, but not T-Mobile. T-Mobile is deploying millimeter wave, but coverage at the moment is "too minimal for the company to promote."

T-Mobile is planning to use the 600MHz spectrum to power most of its 5G network because while it offers slower peak speeds, it provides better coverage than the millimeter wave spectrum that Verizon and AT&T are currently focusing on more heavily.

Early 5G devices like the Galaxy S10 5G will use millimeter wave spectrum. T-Mobile plans to sell the Galaxy S10 5G, but given that its millimeter wave deployment is so limited at this time, Ray is not sure the company will promote Samsung's newest smartphone.

CNET's original story suggested T-Mobile was delaying its 5G launch entirely, but Ray says that is not true. On Twitter, Ray clarified that 5G will still start rolling out in the first half of 2019, but that it will get "more meaningful" in the second half of the year when there are actual devices that can take advantage of the 600MHz 5G spectrum.

Sorry, Roger. That's wrong. We've always said we'd launch when phones are available and they will be in H1. H2 is just when it gets more meaningful ... but there's no delay and no change of plans. - Neville (@NevilleRay) February 25, 2019

The network differences put T-Mobile a bit behind other cellular companies. AT&T has rolled out 5G in 12 cities, Verizon has a 5G home broadband service in a limited number of cities, and Sprint is planning to launch its 5G network in May.

T-Mobile isn't worried about AT&T and Verizon having an edge in the race to deploy 5G just because millimeter wave spectrum has such a limited range. "You can't go to a US consumer and charge them a big premium and it works on three street corners," Ray told CNET.

Full 5G rollout with faster overall speeds will require carriers to offer 5G connectivity across multiple spectrums, with the fastest, millimeter wave, limited to dense urban areas. AT&T is also planning to offer 5G on low-band spectrum starting in 2019, with nationwide coverage planned for 2020.

For Apple users, the 2019 rollout of 5G means little because there won't be iPhones able to use 5G networks until at least 2020. Rumors have suggested Apple won't introduce a 5G-capable iPhone in 2019, and Intel recently confirmed that its 5G hardware won't be in consumer products until 2020. Apple is currently using Intel's modem chips in its iPhone lineup due to an ongoing legal spat with Qualcomm.

Article Link: T-Mobile Won't Make Serious Push Into 5G Until Second Half of 2019
 

JPack

macrumors 604
Mar 27, 2017
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There are plenty of 5G devices available, they're being shown all over MWC 2019. They're just available outside of the U.S.
 

e1me5

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2013
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Cyprus
All that money in R&D and people won't buy the 2019 iPhone as they will wait for 2020's 5G device.
 

nutmac

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Mar 30, 2004
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At 28-39 GHz in the US, which translates to only few hundred feet of usable range, mmWave is meaningful only in very densely populated metro cities, or top 50 markets (if at that).

mmWave spectrum holdings by top US carriers:
  • AT&T: 39 GHz (30% of top 50 markets)
  • Sprint: None
  • T-Mobile: 28 GHz (12% of top 50 markets)
  • Verizon: 28 GHz (76% of top 50 markets) and 39 GHz (46% of top 50 markets)
Sprint is betting on 2.5 GHz and T-Mobile is betting on 600 MHz. Neither will offer as much bandwidth as mmWave, which is why they want to merge so that they can leverage Carrier Aggregation (combining multiple frequencies). If Sprint and T-Mobiles does merge, the combined 5G spectrum can be very effective and superior to AT&T and Verizon's 5G offering.
 

Sedulous

Contributor
Dec 10, 2002
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Who really cares? 5G will not be beneficial for the vast majority of users. If anything, I think T-mobile has the better plan. 600 MHz spectrum may be slower but at least it can pass through a wall. So unlike the Verizon and AT&T, T-mobile might actually have a more reliably decent signal. Gigabit speeds on mobile is useless if it cannot be received.
 

nutmac

macrumors 603
Mar 30, 2004
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Who really cares? 5G will not be beneficial for the vast majority of users.

While 5G may not be as groundbreaking as 4G, I think you are underestimating its values. 5G is much more efficient at using the spectrum, allowing greater capacity. That in turn is good for customers -- less data congestion, quicker connection (lower latency), and once 5G chipsets are mature enough (most of us shouldn't rush into getting a 5G phone), longer battery life.
 
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now i see it

macrumors 604
Jan 2, 2002
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boy this is already turning into a carnival the more we find out about the "real" 5G.
Looks like there's gunna be several different kinds of 5G, some fast, some not so fast, some not even 5G. But it won't matter so long as we can see that 5G (or 5Ge) icon on our phones. That's what's important.
 

Juicy Box

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Sep 23, 2014
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All that money in R&D and people won't buy the 2019 iPhone as they will wait for 2020's 5G device.
Imo, 5G would be nothing to hold out for.

5G coverage for the majority of the US will be isolated to urban and population centers for many years to come.

If people need or want a new iPhone, the lack 5G won’t really hold knowledgeable people back.
 
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Sedulous

Contributor
Dec 10, 2002
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While 5G may not be as groundbreaking as 4G, I think you are underestimating its values. 5G is much more efficient at using the spectrum, allowing greater capacity. That in turn is good for customers -- less data congestion, quicker connection (lower latency), and once 5G chipsets are mature enough (most of us shouldn't rush into getting a 5G phone), longer battery life.
You might be right about spectrum utilization in theory. In practice 5G nodes will need to be on the corner of every block and signal indoors will STILL be weak. All that overlapping coverage will in practice generate more interference and network congestion. 5G will also not likely be more power efficient. Transmission will require more power and gain for reception will need to be much higher. 5G may find niche benefits but the hype is not deserved.
 

Juicy Box

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
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While 5G may not be as groundbreaking as 4G, I think you are underestimating its values. 5G is much more efficient at using the spectrum, allowing greater capacity. That in turn is good for customers -- less data congestion, quicker connection (lower latency), and once 5G chipsets are mature enough (most of us shouldn't rush into getting a 5G phone), longer battery life.


This is true.

Although I would have also added that coverage will be minimal for many years and the 5G rollout will be much slower than LTE.

No need to rush into buying a 5G phone for many people.
 

ClevelandGuy

macrumors member
Jan 10, 2017
45
35
I would be happy if they just improved the signal strength of LTE. Inside my apartment AT&T and Verizon are two bars in strength according to my iPhone and iPad. T-Mobile is worse!! Walk into my apartment building and the signal goes from 5 bars outside to No Service! So 5G is just a lot of hyper fluff and nonsense, try improving the quality of the existing service!
 
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Lenora Lynn

Suspended
Feb 23, 2019
21
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I would be happy if they just improved the signal strength of LTE. Inside my apartment AT&T and Verizon are two bars in strength according to my iPhone and iPad. T-Mobile is worse!! Walk into my apartment building and the signal goes from 5 bars outside to No Service! So 5G is just a lot of hyper fluff and nonsense, try improving the quality of the existing service!

5G won't be indoors anyway.
 

mschmalenbach

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2008
173
102
My iPhone 6s Plus with failing battery is fine for all my current needs. The LTE download speeds are more than enough for me - I don't mind waiting a few seconds for a download of a 100mb file. Heck, I grew up with 300 baud tape loading games in to my 1K ZX81 computer :)
 
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mithion

macrumors regular
Mar 1, 2016
186
449
Reno, NV
I'm one of those that believes 5G will be overrated, at least in 2019-2020. I'd rather see more 4G LTE coverage. With 5G rolling out, I bet coverage will be spotty and it'll take years before 5G coverage is as good as 4G LTE. Besides the question begs to be asked: What are people doing on their phones that necessitates hundreds of megabits of bandwidth?
 
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