T-Mobile to build out 5G in 30 cities this year

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T-Mobile has been talking up its 5G rollout plans for quite awhile now, but we’re finally close to seeing the carrier deploy its first 5G coverage.

T-Mobile will build out 5G in 30 cities across the US in 2018. Among the cities that’ll be first to get T-Mo 5G are New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Las Vegas.

Of course, for that 5G coverage to mean anything to you, you’ll need a device that can access it. That’ll have to wait until 2019, though, which is when T-Mobile says that its first 5G smartphones will launch.

T-Mo’s 5G coverage will include 600MHz spectrum that it purchased in an FCC auction last year as well as millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum that will start rolling out this year. T-Mobile expects to have nationwide 5G coverage in 2020.

It’s also worth noting that just because T-Mobile is doing all of this work to deploy 5G coverage, it doesn’t mean that it’s done with 4G LTE. T-Mo confirmed today that it plans to deploy 25,000 small cells with License Assisted Access (LAA) to add extra capacity and speed.

Source: T-Mobile

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  • Jay Holm

    Im still waiting to see 3x CA more widely deployed. It isn’t on every cell tower.

    Sooo….obv obviously next year’s Samsung Galaxy S will have be 5G capable….all the more reason to NOT uogrupg this year!!!

    • taron19119

      If that’s the case u will never upgrade because it’s something new always comes that your phone won’t be able to do

      • eanfoso

        No new bands of LTE have been added in 2 years, he’s got a point (only looking at bands).

    • Francisco Peña

      i guess you are single then.

      • Jay Holm

        This comment has nothing to do with anything. What does being single, or not being single have anything to do with my fommeco, or this article??? Totally left field comment.

    • DDLAR

      Why do you care so much? Frankly, I care about coverage. When I have coverage (which is most of the time) I have more than enough network speed. I’m not saying that your off base; I’m just curious as to what you’re doing that would need more speed than is supplied on a single mid-range band (just in case it comes up CA with the 700MHz band doesn’t help if the mid range bands are fine on their own).

    • riverhorse

      Actually just the opposite. 9 is the only phone that supports all the present TMO upgrades: band aggregations/ 600mhz/ license assisted access…the latter about to arrive or arriving as we speak, so 9 really an obligatory phone upgrade.
      5g not here yet, cross that bridge once it’s built. Anyhow, zero phones will have it for the next year plus… Plus only available in few areas even then…

    • slybacon

      Just buy a new phone every year. Solved.

      • Jay Holm

        NobidN seeks to understand my comment at all. This isn’t a “year-to-year” type of upgrade. The S8 was a BIG jump because it included new standards, such as USB C & Bluetooth 5.0, and had 64GB’s of memory (FINALLY). . .next year’s Galaxy S will be a BIG jump also due to the inclusion of 8×8 MIMO network technology, 5G modem, and a 7nm processor…..hooef hope 128GB’s of memory.
        BIG uogrupg, not an incremsntal step.

        So no. I don’t have the mindset of “why not just uogrupg every 6-12mo’s?” When I upgrade, I want a big jump.

        • slybacon

          Your comment is if you wait, the next year will be even better. If you do that, you’ll always be waiting. I understand money gets in the way sometimes.
          Also, 5G won’t be widespread next year with the S10. Not until 2020. Might as well wait for the S11.

        • Jay Holm

          Do I have to explain the English language to you? S9 is incremental meaning small upgrade, next year will have next generation processor, 7nm! Next year will have next generation wireless, 5G modem.

          Do you know the difference between the words incremental, and BIG?

          Sheez, now ImI talking about the English language, instead of suoposesls the reason people come to this webaweb, which is to keep up on technology.

        • slybacon

          You should learn to proofread what you type, or upgrading to the S9 might help us read your “English.”
          I get your language and what you are trying to say, but incremental could mean big or small. Incremental is not the antonym of big. Incremental is a steady increase of proportionate size, which could be big or small. Again, I get what you are trying to say. I was a nuclear engineer for the navy and now do seismic engineering. I can read!!!
          You think the S9 is a small update and that the S10 will be a big update. Plain English. Either way, I won’t be buying either one.

    • Sharti24

      Agreed. You only need to upgrade to an S9 if band 71 is deployed in your area. If its not just wait till the S10. Upgrading every two years is enough

    • steveb944

      It depends, in the last couple years it’s only been LG to support all the latest things from T-Mobile.

  • Sharti24

    I think it’s time to kill 2G/3G. Common, we’re talking about 5G and there’s still 2G Edge out there lol.

    • slybacon

      I haven’t seen 2G/3G in and around Utah for a long long time. I still see 4G now and then. Maybe Utah has more LTE coverage than other states and that’s why i don’t see 2G/3G…
      I didn’t know until today that 5G phones will connect to LTE and 5G simultaneously (when both are available). It would have been nice if 4G and 4G LTE could have done that. That would have utilized spectrum much more efficiently.

      • Sharti24

        Yeah good idea. Or better yet connect to wifi and LTE at the same time like the galaxy S5 could do

        • slybacon

          The iPhones did that for a while and then Verizon customers had huge overage bills cause they thought they were only using WiFi. Haha.

        • Sharti24

          I dont remember any iphone being able to use both wifi and the cell network simultaneously

        • slybacon

          All iPhones still can. It’s called “WiFi assist.” It’s in the cellular settings. If WiFi signal is poor, it’ll use cellular but still show you are connected to WiFi. That’s how people didn’t know they were using cellular data.

        • Sharti24

          Right but im talking about using wifi and lte together at once for downloading big files. Wifi assisst switches to lte when wifi is weak

        • slybacon

          But it doesn’t switch totally. It stays connected to WiFi. Either way, I don’t see that as being useful. My home WiFi is 300mbps DL.

        • the martian ambassador

          That’s good then. Hopefully, when 5G goes live, they will make 4G the new throttled speed.

      • SirStephenH

        Most of Utah has band 12 which provides a far stronger signal than can be obtained with 2g or 3g. This means that your phone will always prefer to hold onto the band 12 signal which is LTE. Many older phones will fall back onto 2g or 3g far too easily though so it’s not always like that for everyone.

        • slybacon

          Whenever I do “service mode” or whatever it’s called on the iPhone, it always shows Band 4. I know there is some Band 12 here, though. We are in Phase 1 for Band 71, too.

    • the martian ambassador

      I’m not an expert on these protocols, but T-Mobile uses 3G tethering on the T-Mobile One plan, and T-Mobile Prepaid hotspots throttle to 2G after your 4G data allotment is used for the month.

      • Sharti24

        Its not “3G” its actually LTE throttled to “3G” speeds

    • Zach Mauch

      To do that everything has to move to voice over LTE.

    • Jason

      World roaming in America. Thats why they keep it. Lots of GSM phones out in the world and people coming to America often just want to make voice calls. Also it uses a miniscule amount of spectrum

      • Sharti24

        Hspa is a spectrum hog

    • SirStephenH

      T-Mobile has 2g (EDGE) in the guard bands so it doesn’t waste spectrum for other purposes. 3g (UMTS, HSPA+) is the real spectrum waster.

  • Zach Mauch

    The big thing I’m curious about is how much of their 600MHz will be 4G and how much will be 5G. For instance, in OKC they won 30MHz. I’m guessing 4G will be 5×5 and 5G will be 10×10, but who knows.

    • Sharti24

      Curious as well

    • John Doe

      “Ray said you’ll see an “incremental benefit” when you’re connected to 5G when it’s running on an LTE-like wireless band. “You’ll see more where you have millimeter wave,” which is likely to be limited to denser cities.”

      From the verge

      This means that 5G on 600MHz will only be incremental the real 5G is where millimeter wave is deployed which is in big cities.

      • Sharti24

        What will the max theoretical speeds be running 10×10 600mhz 4G vs 5G

      • Jay Holm

        Am I right that millimeter wave has weak bldg penetration?

        • John Doe

          generally speaking yes but it all comes down to how powerful the antennas are and how many of them are there. They have to test it in a huge market like NYC and see the results. You can see how Starry works as an example.

        • marque2

          Yes. We might find 5g is better when a small antenna is put outside you home so it can be used to replace cable internet on the phone. Otherwise you will have to work and live outside to benefit.

      • Zach Mauch

        True. but the question still remains. Also, 5G offers more than just speed improvements. It gives latency and capacity improvements too. I’m curious if those are incremental on low band as well.

        • John Doe

          Again not on the current LTE bands it won’t, 600MHz is not capable of doing that. You have to be in a big city with millimeter wavelength bands especially for low latency.

    • FrothingAtTheSquanch

      5G is to 4G LTE what HSPA+ was to UMTS. Not exactly but 5G is still following the same bolted on top with a few changes attitude.

  • steveb944

    I just learned from the second source article that the V30 supports 600Mhz. That’s really forward thinking from LG.

    • Jason

      That was announced when the phone came out eons ago

      • steveb944

        I must have missed it since it wasn’t as prominent.

        • Trevnerdio

          Nothing with the V30 is prominent…which I used to think was sad that they weren’t pushing it, but now I feel a bit of relief as I sit here waiting for my 3rd V30 to come in, hoping it doesn’t have the same defects, but not really holding my breath.

        • marque2

          My G6 experience was a disaster. Note the LG phones have hard to see plastic around the sides of the beszle. This needs to be removed for the phone to work right.

        • Trevnerdio

          Interesting, I didn’t know this. I never had signal issues, just horrible display quality issues.

    • SirStephenH

      The V30 was the first to support band 71, followed by the S8 Active.

    • FrothingAtTheSquanch

      I’m still trying to figure out whether the S9 can aggregate B71. I know they are working on B2+B71 and B4+B71 pairs with the 3gpp but I’m not sure if it was done fast enough to get it in the S9.

      • steveb944

        hopefully we get more specific details soon.

      • bkat11

        Yes it can…it just can’t aggregate 600 and 700 but B2+B71 or B4 + B71 or B2 + B4 + B71 it can do

  • FrothingAtTheSquanch

    I love T-Mobile, but I will believe it when I see it. When they call an area built out, it’s not really built out. With the LTE and then 4×4 MIMO LTE buildout, they upgraded like 3 towers in the busiest parts of my area and called it fully launched. I am still waiting for 4×4 MIMO at my home 5 miles away. From talking to the guys I test with on HoFo, they say the same thing.

  • Steven

    Geeze T-Mobile, I love you but I think getting lost in the arms race for speed. There are WAY too many gaps in your service that need to be addressed first. Can you commit to fixing all your cell markets you claim to have coverage in but really don’t? I travel to two of them regularly and it’s infuriating!!! And these aren’t remote place either.

    • Jason

      Do you have a 700 Mhz (Band 12) phone?

      • Steven

        Yes I do. But that does not help a large portion of Shreveport Louisiana or Mobile, AL or Dauphin Island, AL or Gulf shores, AL or Orange Beach, AL or basically the rest of the FL panhandle. Decent size markets with TONS of tourist traffic that seems utterly forgotten about.

  • Jason Caprio

    It won’t be true 5G, just like when 4G was first appearing, it wasn’t the real thing.

    AT&T and T-Mobile were both guilty of this years ago. They both marketed HSPA+ as 4G until 4G LTE was rolled out.

    This is the same thing. This heavily modified 4G LTE Advanced is being marketed as 5G when the real thing will be called 5G NR (New Radio).

    • Jason

      That’s not happening this time because the 3GPP is finalizing the first release for 5G this year. They know what happened last time. Release 15 lays out the first official 5G specs and it’s pretty much done. And all the carriers now pretty much follow the 3GPP releases for next phase rollouts. T-Mo has been particularly good at rolling out release compliant upgrades very quickly. Btw NR or new radio is just the air interface for 5G and yes, it is rolling out when they roll out 5G. It’s already finalized and btw the Ericsson boxes they (Tmo) are using for the 5G rollout have both LTE and NR out of the box. I know, I’ve seen them. This is the reason why the 3GPP was in a rush to get the NR standard finalized in December of 2017 for combined LTE/5G networks. Now all the upgrade systems from Ericsson etc support that standard.

      ‘The New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas networks will be built out using Ericsson’s 5G New Radio (5G NR) radios and baseband, with support via its 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) commercial software based on the recently set 3GPP 5G standards.’ That’s from Ericsson yesterday. So yeah, it is ‘real 5G’.

      • marque2

        Tmo in Vegas is horrible. Even though they have a Tmo stadium there. Not surprised Vegas would get first upgrade.

        • Erik

          Wow. Im surprised that you’re having issues with the service in Vegas. I now ppl who live there and ppl who visit there in a regular basis, have no problems with the tmobile service there. They actually love their service even more when they go there.

    • marque2

      The 4g standards committee decided to base 4g on speed. When Tmo and ATT claimed 4g Version wasn’t really offering 4g either. Download speeds we’re about the same. Upload was better on Verizon but few care about that.

  • Sharti24

    Will 5G require new cell tower antennas?

  • Bo Kimble

    Good, maybe the 4G LTE will finally work in downtown Pittsburgh.

  • the martian ambassador

    Interesting article about the rising popularity of refurbished and used phones. This will affect consumer consumer access/utilization of 5G.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/your-love-of-your-old-smartphone-is-a-problem-for-apple-and-samsung-1519822801

    • superg05

      phones getting expensive

  • Phil

    Hmm wonder how much 5G data plans will cost.

    • Lawrence Ferreira

      its t-mobile so its going to be freeeeeeeee