Tuesday May 02, 2017

T-Mobile Wants to Build the First Nationwide 5G Network

The company just announced today a bold plan for rolling out 5G service as early as 2019. While it will technically be true 5G, the emphasis will not be on super speed but merely better coverage: T-Mobile’s move revolves around their recent acquisition of those lower-band radio waves, which is all about providing a better signal. Competitors are playing the game differently by focusing on high-frequency spectrum, which results in the opposite: better speeds, but reduced coverage.

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The nation's third-largest carrier on Tuesday unveiled plans to build out its next-generation wireless network using the radio airwaves it just purchased in a government auction. The focus for its 5G network isn't necessarily speed, but instead broader coverage across the country. It's a surprising move given those airwaves operate on a lower band, which is great for covering long distances but won't give you tremendous speeds. The move goes against the conventional thinking about 5G, which has spurred excitement because of its ability to give you a seemingly supersonic connection to the network. Instead, T-Mobile is stressing a better signal everywhere and the ability to manage multiple devices beyond the phone.