T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray looks back at 4G LTE in 2017, and ahead to 5G by 2020
On a recently released video, T-Mobile's Chief Technical Officer Neville Ray recited his thoughts on the year about to end, while looking ahead at what the future might bring for the nation's third largest carrier. Ray discussed the 600MHz spectrum that T-Mobile won in the FCC's auction of airwaves no longer being used by television broadcasters. The low frequency airwaves travel farther and penetrate buildings better than spectrum carrying higher frequencies. T-Mobile wasted no time employing some of its newly owned 600MHz spectrum for 4G LTE.
With the spectrum won by T-Mobile from the auction, the company increased its spectrum holdings by 39%, and was able to finish building out its low frequency network, which now runs from coast to coast. From 2013, when it had absolutely no LTE coverage anywhere, T-Mobile's LTE signal now looks down on 321 million potential customers in the U.S. This year, T-Mobile also added DIGITS. This feature allows you to use your T-Mobile smartphone number to receive calls on other connected devices like certain smartwatch models. The executive also revealed on the video, that T-Mobile was recently able to achieve data speeds of over 1Gbps on both licensed and unlicensed spectrum.
Neville Ray also spoke a bit about the future. He mentioned that 5G handsets should start showing up early in 2019. He stated that T-Mobile plans to start building out its 5G network in 2019, "reaching nation-wide deployment in 2020."