T-Mobile this week achieved another milestone on its journey to deploying a mobile 5G network.
T-Mobile and Nokia have completed what they say is the world’s first 5G data transmission on 600MHz spectrum. The downlink transmission tests were completed using global 5G standards on T-Mobile’s live commercial network in Spokane, WA.
T-Mo has said that it plans to use millimeter wave (mmWave) and 600MHz spectrum for its 5G network. The higher-band mmWave spectrum will be useful for capacity, but its reach is much lower than 600MHz. T-Mobile says that while 5G mmWave sites cover less than a square mile, 5G 600MHz sites will cover hundreds of square miles. This will be important as T-Mobile works to deploy its 5G network, especially in rural areas, as it hopes to have nationwide 5G coverage in 2020.
The first 5G smartphones from T-Mobile are expected to launch in 2019. T-Mo has said that it’s building out 5G in six of the top 10 markets in the U.S., including New York and Los Angeles, and hundreds of cities across the U.S. in 2018.