T-Mobile isn't officially launching its nationwide 5G network for consumers until this Friday, December 6th. But today, the carrier announced
that it has flicked the switch turning on 5G signals covering more than 200 million Americans, 5,000 cities and towns and 1 million square miles. That includes many rural areas of the U.S. Not missing the opportunity to stick its corporate tongue out at its rivals, T-Mobile notes that this is 20,000% more towns than Verizon and AT&T cover with their limited 5G offerings. Doing the heavy lifting is the low-band 600MHz spectrum that T-Mobile paid nearly $8 billion for during an FCC auction held in 2017
. Since low-band airwaves travel farther than higher-band mmWave airwaves, T-Mobile was able to launch nationwide 5G service earlier than expected.
The 600MHz signals also penetrate structures better than high-band signals do; however, mmWave spectrum does deliver faster data speeds and can handle larger amounts of traffic. If the merger with Sprint is approved, T-Mobile will take control of its merger partner's 2.5GHz mid-band spectrum and finish building out its 5G network using a combination of low, mid and high-band airwaves.
Consumers can't access T-Mobile's 5G network until Friday with the launch of a couple of new phones
While T-Mobile has launched nationwide 5G service today, you won't be able to access it until Friday. That is when the wireless provider will launch a pair of 5G phones that are equipped with the Snapdragon X55 5G modem chip that is compatible with both ultra-high mmWave and sub-6GHz signals. Earlier 5G phones feature the Snapdragon X50 5G modem chip that works only with mmWave signals. Starting today, the carrier is taking pre-orders on the OnePlus 7T
Pro 5G McLaren and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G
. Both handsets will be in T-Mobile stores this Friday. The OnePlus 7T Pro
5G McLaren is free via 24 monthly bill credits when you switch to T-Mobile and trade-in an eligible handset. If you're an existing customer, you can get up to $300 off of the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren and as much as half-off the Galaxy Note 10+
5G with a trade-in. Or, you can purchase the Galaxy Note 10
+ 5G, and get a second one for free (via 36 monthly bill credits) by adding a new line (existing customers) or two new lines (new customers). Next year, T-Mobile says that it will launch more than 15 new 5G enabled handsets.
"5G is here on a nationwide scale. This is a HUGE step towards 5G for All. While Dumb and Dumber focus on 5G for the (wealthy) Few, launching in just a handful of cities — and forcing customers into their most expensive plans to get 5G — we’re committed to building broad, deep nationwide 5G that people and businesses can access at no extra cost with the New T-Mobile … and today is just the start of that journey."-John Legere, CEO, T-Mobile
The OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren is equipped with a 6.67-inch Fluid AMOLED display with a 1440 x 3120 resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. Under the hood is the Snapdragon 855+ Mobile Platform along with 12GB of memory and 256GB of storage. It offers a triple-camera setup in back, a 4085mAh battery, and the zippy Warp Charge 30T. Priced at $899.99, T-Mobile customers can pick it up for 24 monthly payments of $37.50.
T-Mobile turns on its nationwide 5G network today
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G sports a 6.8-inch Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED display with a 1440 x 3040 resolution. It is powered by the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform and includes 12GB of memory and 256GB of storage. The three cameras on the back include wide, ultra-wide and telephoto features and there is a Time of Flight sensor for more precise depth measurement. This will help the phone deliver better AR capabilities and more natural bokeh blurs for portraits. A 4300mAh battery keeps the lights on. This phone retails for $1,299.99 or 36 monthly payments of $36.12.
T-Mobile points out that its nationwide 5G network, thanks to the properties inherent with its 600MHz spectrum, goes through walls. Since Verizon has been sticking to mmWave spectrum for its limited 5G service, T-Mobile says that the 5G signals delivered by the nation's largest carrier are blocked by "things like walls, windows and leaves." And 5G at T-Mobile won't cost a penny more than 4G LTE service.
T-Mobile's President of Technology Neville Ray says, "The carriers have been over-hyping 5G for years now, setting expectations beyond what they can deliver. When Verizon says #5GBuiltRight, they must mean sparse, expensive and limited to outdoors only. Meanwhile at T-Mobile, we built 5G that works for more people in more places, and this is just the start. With the New T-Mobile, we’ll see 5G speeds follow the same path as LTE, increasing exponentially over time. Plus, real broad and deep 5G will unleash whole new categories of innovation that will touch almost every area of the economy. The 5G future is bright, and it starts today."