T-Mobile plans to start rolling out 5G this year. As the competition between carriers (un-carrier?) warms up, an executive warned that 5G speeds will not blow you away initially. The company stated that you should expect speeds 25-50 percent faster than current LTE speeds. We hear a lot about future speeds on 5G, but it seems logical to point out that LTE didn't start out as fast as it is now. This is exactly what T-Mobile cited as the logic behind the warning. In some areas, LTE is still slow for users. Some cannot get it at all. The point is, that as the networks were improved and expanded, users saw better speeds. Claiming multi-gigabit speeds make great talking points, but we will probably see subtle improvements at first. This is especially true for those of us who live a bit further away from major city centers. T-Mobile plans to launch with further ranges than other carriers, but the speeds coming out at that distance will be slower than the hotspot technology other carriers plan to launch.
How does this impact everyday users?
Initially, it probably wont have much of an effect. Those who are within range and have enabled devices will probably see the kind of improvement that people who live in rural or even suburban areas experience when they switch to a city tower on LTE. It is no secret that there are already differences between signal speed and strength depending on your carrier. The move to 5G will probably be a slow and lengthy process, full of gradual improvements and growing coverage. T-Mobile again points out that there is a lot more room to grow on 5G than there was with 4G. The initial gap may be small, but over years the possibility for growth and speed is much, much larger.