Lots of people are excited for 5G and the faster speeds that it’ll bring, but today T-Mobile cautioned that speeds may not be as ultra-fast as some people expect at the start.
T-Mobile estimates that its 5G network will start at around 25-50 percent faster than its 4G LTE network. “Initially, we didn’t see gigabit speeds on LTE; we saw very low speeds. But today we see much higher than that,” said Karri Kuoppamaki, VP of radio network technology development and strategy at T-Mobile. “It’s kind of irrelevant what [the speed] number is going to be on day one, as it will improve over time.”
Kuoppamaki also touched a bit on millimeter wave spectrum, which is one of the types of spectrum that T-Mo will use for its 5G network. “900 feet. If that’s your cell radius, that’s about 0.1 square miles, and the continental US is over 3 million square miles.”
In addition to the mmWave spectrum, T-Mobile has said that it’ll use 600MHz spectrum for its 5G coverage. The 600MHz spectrum is better for covering great distances while the mmWave goes shorter distances but allows for faster speeds. The good news is that even though T-Mobile’s 5G may not be as fast as some people expect it to be initially, it will still be a bit speedier than the 4G LTE network, so it’s definitely still worth looking forward to.
T-Mobile has said that it plans to begin building out its 5G coverage in 30 U.S. cities in 2018. Some of those cities include New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Las Vegas.
Kuoppamaki also reiterated today that T-Mobile will continue to develop its 4G LTE network while it rolls out its 5G coverage. “LTE and 5G, they’re conjoined technology twins that will happily coexist in the foreseeable future.”