While its profits are still a far cry from what Verizon or AT&T notch each quarter, they are nearing a billion for the first time, and T-Mobile is still in its growth phase where it prioritizes subscriber increase.
The merger with Sprint was considered a success, too, with Big Magenta now hot on the heels of the top dogs subscriber numbers, and already showing the first 5G network synergies after the merger, at least in cities like New York or Philadelphia, with phones from the newest Galaxy S20 series
There is a lot of network to take advantage of, too. The combined holdings of T-Mobile and Sprint have 319 MHz of spectrum even without the fast mmWave bands. That's already double the AT&T and almost triple the Verizon amount. In the fast high-bands, where all the gigabit speeds magic happens, the mmWave spectrum holdings of T-Mobile and Sprint are 1,160 MHz, second only to Verizon's.
After the Sprint merger, T-Mobile doubles its 5G network speeds in Philly
The new T-Mobile flipped the switch on its "layer cake" 5G coverage in Philly just in the last few weeks, but before the coronavirus lockdown, or the announcement of the Sprint/T-Mobile merger, the testing analysts from RootMetrics
tried to get a snapshot of the 4G/5G coverage and speed situation there.
Philadelphia is, after all, one of the few areas with 5G coverage from all major carriers, and, naturally, became a battleground of speed and coverage claims. Here's a snapshot of the findings on the speed of the networks, juxtaposing the 4G and 5G marks before T-Mobile took over Sprint's spectrum to expand:
|5G median download speed (Mbps)||4G LTE median download speed (Mbps)|
|AT&T||94.5 Mbps||79.2 Mbps|
|Sprint||40.9 Mbps||31.4 Mbps|
|T-Mobile||41.0 Mbps||25.3 Mbps|
|Verizon||239.6 Mbps||50.7 Mbps|
The combined Sprint and T-Mobile 5G network blanketed almost 38% of Philly even before merging the bands, as the layered cake strategy was introduced to the city this month. With the 2.5GHz band at its disposal, no wonder that T-Mobile now boasts how its Philadelphia 5G network alone beats Verizon's whole nationwide mmWave coverage area.
Moreover, after the merged 5G network became operational in Philly, a new report from Speedtest's Ookla
, shared with PCMag's analyst Sascha Segan
. now reveals that T-Mobile managed to double its average 5G speeds in Philadelphia post-merger, from 60Mbps to 120Mbps. Bear in mind that average speeds are higher than median speeds as they are skewed by the peak numbers, but a 100% increase is a 100% increase anyway.
As you can see from the graph here, the boost in average 5G speeds is more modest in the case of New York where the combined network's footprint is much smaller. Philly, however, has become the poster child of the synergies that the merger of Sprint with T-Mobile has brought to the table, as it brings faster speeds to the already record 5G coverage of the new T-Mobile.
Granted, even in areas where T-Mobile and Sprint have a combined 5G network, its median speeds may actually be a bit slower than Verizon's robust 4G LTE fallback, but you can expect lower latency and a lot more devices hooked up on the same tower or base station.
For now, however, we are mainly using 5G on our phones, and there the speed tests are about the only visible difference if we are on 4G or 5G, so Verizon's Ultrawide Band strategy may be a marketing winner. The "layered cake" of the new T-Mobile, however, made possible after the merger with Sprint, already delivered some mmWave-like gigabit speeds down in New York to brag with, so the 5G competition is bound to remain fierce in the foreseeable future.