While gigabit speeds
have been theoretically attainable in the US
long before 5G became a commercial reality, it's still not easy to break the 1Gbps barrier in real-life use on a casual stroll around town.
In contrast, Sprint's mid-band 5G signal
is not hindered by such obstacles, traveling pretty far although not quite as far as T-Mobile's nationwide low-band technology
. Together, many industry pundits and market analysts had expected these two to strike the perfect balance between coverage and speed, and while "New T-Mobile's" integration efforts are barely getting started, the early tests are considerably more encouraging than anyone could have anticipated.
Who knew mid-band 5G could be so fast?
That psychological barrier came tumbling down in recent speed tests
conducted by at least two different people, including one non-T-Mobile-employee
. Of course, it's safe to assume average speeds are in fact significantly lower than that in Manhattan, where these results were recorded. In addition to that, the real-life numbers are likely to drop as more and more users start connecting to the budding network.
Plenty of room for improvement in some places
Meanwhile, T-Mobile's 5G speeds
are... frankly embarrassing
in many cities (not to mention rural areas), but with the help of mid-band technology, it looks like those scores might increase by a lot more than previously expected.
In case you're wondering, yes, Magenta's incredible feat was achieved without employing any mmWave spectrum, which is the core of Verizon's flawed 5G strategy while sitting at the top of New T-Mobile's so-called "layer cake." Said "cake" will be gradually served to NYC residents in the next weeks, which guarantees even higher download speeds in certain parts of "The Big Apple."
More importantly, T-Mobile's amazing (and amazingly early) work integrating Sprint's mid-band 5G spectrum
makes the dream of an ultra-high-speed cellular network for the masses suddenly feel like a realistic short-term hope in the US. We're still talking many months, possibly years here, but it's definitely nice to see exceptional download speeds are not synonymous with mmWave technology.