You might remember that back in 2017, T-Mobile spent nearly $8 billion to win 31MHz of low frequency 600MHz spectrum in an FCC auction. Today, T-Mobile announced that it has partnered with Ericsson and Intel to complete a 5G video and data call over its 600MHz airwaves. The carrier also completed a tri-band 5G video call with three users over 600 MHz, 28 GHz and 39 GHz spectrum.
The New T-Mobile (the combined T-Mobile-Sprint if the deal is approved) will offer 5G to subscribers with a tri-band approach that includes a low-frequency band, mid-band and millimeter wave band. Low frequency spectrum travels farther and passes through structures. The millimeter wave bands are limited in terms of distance with the signal covering less than a square mile. The mmW band also has a harder time passing through walls. And T-Mobile says that if allowed to close its merger with Sprint, the combined company "will have critical mid-band spectrum to enable broad AND deep nationwide 5G coverage."
T-Mobile, along with the other major U.S. carriers, will be offering the 5G enabled version of the Samsung Galaxy S10 later this year. While a limited roll out of 5G is expected from the wireless provider this year, T-Mobile hopes to have its 5G network running nationwide by 2020.
Last month, AT&T started offering 90 day trials of 5G service to selected consumers and businesses in 12 markets. This service uses the Netgear Nighthawk mobile 5G hotspot, allowing users to access its 5G+ network. As soon as April, AT&T will start selling the Nighthawk for $499 along with 15GB of 5G data for $70 a month.