T-Mobile reaffirms 5G test plans, trials slated to begin second half of 2016


When T-Mobile announced its Q4 2015 earnings earlier this month, CTO Neville Ray touched a bit on 5G, confirming that T-Mo will conduct some 5G tests later in 2016. Now a bit more info on T-Mobile’s plans has surfaced.

Ericsson and Nokia have made separate announcements about their partnerships with T-Mobile for 5G testing, saying that they’ll be using spectrum in the 28GHz band for their trials. The testing will let T-Mo, Ericsson, and Nokia evaluate emerging 5G tech and use cases “that support massive bandwidth capacity and virtual zero latency.”

Both lab and field tests are planned, with trials expected to happen in the second half of 2016.

In a statement included with Ericsson’s announcement of these 5G trials, Neville Ray had this to say:

“We are excited to continue our technology collaboration with Ericsson to extend 5G capabilities from the lab and into field trials. T-Mobile delivers Americas fastest 4G LTE network today, and using our existing LTE technology and spectrum investments for 5G field trials, we’ll be on a direct path to 5G service once 5G consumer smartphones and standards are available in the 2020+ timeframe.”

When he wasn’t calling Verizon’s claims about 5G “kind of B.S.,” Neville Ray confirmed that T-Mobile would be doing its own 5G testing in 2016 but cautioned that we’re unlikely to start seeing 5G smartphones become mainstream until at around 2020. Today’s comments echo that statement, saying that while 5G will have benefits, it’ll be a few years before most consumers will experience them. All that said, it’s still exciting to hear that 5G testing is going to get underway this year, especially with Nokia teasing things like “massive bandwidth capacity” and “virtual zero latency.”

Via: FierceWireless
Sources: Ericsson, Nokia

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  • Mark McCoskey

    Business Insider has an article out stating companies are pushing for a 2017 availability. Let us hope so.


  • Willie D

    Explain “5G” for me here. What is the actual technology? Is it LTE-Advanced? Is it Longer Term Evolution or something? I mean, what’s the damn name of it? Otherwise, all I’m believing is that they want to deploy LTE-A on higher, less penetrating spectrum.

    • Paul

      Not really sure the carriers know, but they plan for faster speeds.

      Just keep in mind that “5G” means 5th generation.

      • donnybee

        I wonder the same thing he does, too.. Each generation brings a different tech. 4G/LTE can accommodate a lot of growth and still be technically 4G.

        To be honest, I will bet 5G is more public hype than actual tech right now. Verizon jumped on it first because its 4G was getting long-in-the-tooth and it wants to differentiate itself from the booming carriers by recapturing public attention.

        • Paul

          I very much agree.

        • Edgar Gonzalez

          I agree hopefully T-Mobile hurries up and switches everything to 4G LTE so they can have 5G to focus on and still keep the already good (and improving) 4G network to fall back on.

    • patt

      it’s EDGE Turbo

    • Edgar Gonzalez

      What Paul said. It’s the beginning of the 5th generation of networks.

    • SirStephenH

      Nobody knows yet. The standards aren’t even worked out yet.

    • uncommonsense

      There are currently no standards. However based on the technologies most being discussed as 5G it will offer insane speeds with low latency as long as you are near and have line of sight to a tower.
      Things like millimeter wave technology are capable of speeds 100s of times faster than what you are seeing now. The catch is… if there is anything as thick as a piece of glass between your phones antenna and the tower it probably won’t work at all.
      All the users that hang out near cell towers and don’t go indoors or get in cars will love it.

      • Willie D

        Sounds like Sprint WiMAX Spark LTE+ to me.

  • taxandspend

    This is horseshit

    • Paul

      Elaborate, because you could be complaining about anything with that lackluster comment.

      • taxandspend

        I guess you didn’t listen to the earnings call. It was supposed to be a joke.

        • Wezi427

          If you have to explain a joke……..

        • Paul

          The article is “T-Mobile reaffirms 5G test plans, trials slated to begin second half of 2016”, not the earnings call.

        • taxandspend

          Since you’ve chosen to continue this, you can remain ignorant or you can listen to the earnings call. If you choose to do that, I’m sure you’ll take back your criticism, realize the relevance, and understand the joke I was making.

        • Paul

          As Wezi427 said, “If you have to explain a joke..”

        • taxandspend

          You were the only one who seemed to it explained

    • Edgar Gonzalez

      No seriously please explain what is horseshit.

      T-Mobile has said time and time again that they will continue to work on the LTE network throughout 2016 and be testing 5G that doesn’t mean they will stop working on 4G networks.

  • Philip

    Can last two years phone do 5G?

    • donnybee

      Zero phones can do 5G right now.

      There is no working 5G network to make a phone compatible with yet, and nobody knows the standards either. Pretty sure they’re still deciding on the best tech, or will be with these tests.

      • Durandal_1707

        Well there’s a simple solution to that! All we have to do is start calling LTE or LTE-Advanced “5G”. Next, we get into a “5G” war until every carrier that doesn’t call LTE “5G” starts losing sales like crazy for not having “5G”, until they join in and start calling LTE “5G” too. Finally, once the real 5G standard comes out, we start calling those phones “5G WTF” (or whatever the acronym ends up being) to maximize the alphabet soup in the name. Easy peasy!

        • AS118

          Wow, if the carriers haven’t hired you, they sure should do it now. I mean all of them. ALL of the carriers should hire you simultaneously and promote you to “Worldwide head of 5G Marketing”

      • Jay Holm

        Heck T-Mobile hasn’t even deployed Carrier Aggregation yet!!!

    • kgraham182


    • guest

      We don’t even know what 5G will mean or what technology will be considered 5G, so…

  • Michael Barnes

    where was the recent tmobile 700mhz spectrum purchased i have not heard any more about its since the 19th when tmonews reported it ?

    • Drew

      look at spectrumgateway (700mhz link above) – the map has been updated with all of the additional markets.

      • Michael Barnes


  • Adam

    Dear Qualcomm,
    Thank you for not calling the Snapdragon X16 a 5G modem.
    People that don’t speak marketing.

  • YABD

    Tmobile haven’t developed LTE all the way and they are talking about 5G? That’s why 9 members of my family plan went to AT&T and Verizon.

    • FILA

      um, Verizon and ATT said they were gonna be testing out 5G as well…

      • eanfoso

        In all fairness they do have a much broader LTE network.

        • AS118

          Yeah, I moved 3 lines from Verizon and have 6 on T-mobile now, but Verizon’s coverage is great, and if you need it, you need it.

          My family doesn’t need it, but there was a time where we did. I say what I want about Verizon, but it’s coverage is legit. It’s the other reasons why we left.

      • Omar Boyer

        well that suckz cuz here in LA tmobile Lte works and its much more faster and reliable than both att n verizon Lte . All my family members on att n verizon went to tmobile . Truth of the matter is if you in a place were tmobile has lte its much better than att n verizon lte.

        • Jay Holm

          Vzn is way, way overrated!!!

  • eanfoso

    Considering edge is the world standard for all phones (much like summation and subtraction to math), people that come over let’s say from Asia or Africa won’t be able to roam at all, not to mention t mobile makes money from these folks so until we have the same frequencies again like we do on edge world wide, I hope it doesn’t retire.

    • Omar Boyer

      agree im sure they gonna keep edge for those international travelers that come to the US of A . Because some african and asian phones dont support tmobiles lte bands or hspa bands but support tmobiles edge/gsm bands . And like he said im sure tmobile makes money of them .

  • eanfoso

    Every tower they service sure, although that will suck because 5G will, like LTE, cover a smaller area because its spectrum frequency is monstrous. Perhaps not before but when it comes out I can see this being harmful to the health.

    • Eric Butler

      They’re only testing it on that frequency. I think depending on how much of the 600mhz spectrum they get in the auction this year, I’m sure they’ll allocate a band for 5G.

  • guest

    This sounds like T-Mobile just entered an agreement with Nokia to conduct the test, the same type of tests Verizon and Nokia already conducted on February 22. Want to know more? check the other press releases on the Nokia site.

  • Jay Holm

    Still no carrier aggregation deployed…..booo!!!!

  • mallard1967

    My self would be happy just to have T-Mobile extended coverage to my 14065 freedom ny area would not even bother me if it was not 5 g just T-Mobile service alone would make me and lots of others real happy and make greedy verizon and AT&T cry over losing many customers to join T-Mobile happy family