T-Mobile launches its nationwide 5G network

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T-Mobile previously said that its nationwide 5G coverage would go live on December 6th, but it looks like T-Mo just couldn’t wait until then to flip the switch.

T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network is now live. This coverage uses 600MHz low-band spectrum and covers 200 million people and more than 5,000 cities and towns. You can view T-Mo’s 5G coverage map below, with an interactive and zoomable version available right here.

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T-Mobile’s 5G coverage is available to everyone  on T-Mo, including postpaid and prepaid customers, and it doesn’t cost anything extra to access. Metro by T-Mobile customers will be getting access to T-Mo’s new 5G network, too. Prepaid 5G on Metro will go live on December 6th.

In order to access this 5G coverage, you’ll need either a OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren Edition or Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G. You can pre-order both phones right now, and they’ll launch in T-Mobile stores on December 6th. The OnePlus 7T Pro 5G is priced at $37.50 per month for 24 months or $899.99 full retail, while the Note 10+ 5G is $36.12 per month for 36 months or $1,299.99 full retail.

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T-Mo is also launching special deals for both of its 5G phones. Customers who switch to T-Mobile and trade in a qualifying device can get the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren Edition for free with 24 monthly bill credits. Here are the devices eligible for trade-in with this offer:

iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, Samsung Galaxy S10, Samsung Galaxy S10e, Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy Note 10, Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Google Pixel 3, Google Pixel 3 XL, OnePlus 7 Pro, LG G8 ThinQ

If you’re already a T-Mo customer, you can get up to $300 off the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren Edition when you trade in a qualifying device. You’ll get trade-in credit based on the fair market value of your device and the balance of the promo value via a virtual prepaid gift card.

Customers who buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G can get a second one for free when they buy a second Note 10+ 5G and add a line. T-Mo will cover the cost of your second Note 10+ 5G with 36 monthly bill credits.

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T-Mobile also tells PCMag that it plans to launch 15 new 5G-compatible phones in 2020, so if these OnePlus and Samsung models don’t appeal to you, then you should have plenty of options next year.

One thing to be aware of is that the 5G that’s launching today is different than the 5G that T-Mobile deployed in six cities earlier this year. That coverage is based on millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum and is only compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, which doesn’t support the 600MHz-based 5G that T-Mo is launching today. The OnePlus 7T Pro 5G and Note 10+ 5G do not support T-Mobile’s mmWave-based 5G. T-Mobile has told PCMag that the first devices that support all three “layers” of 5G — low-band, mid-band, and mmWave — are expected to arrive “in the Q1 timeframe”.

After the smaller mmWave-based 5G launch earlier this year, it’s exciting to see T-Mobile’s 5G going live in more than 5,000 cities and towns. While the speeds on this low-band 5G network likely won’t be as fast as those on the mmWave 5G, they should give you a little boost over 4G LTE, especially right now when there won’t be many people using the 5G airwaves. And while the 5G network is still young, T-Mo will be improving and expanding it in the coming years. For example, as the 600MHz spectrum previously used for TV gets repacked, T-Mo can use those airwaves to grow the reach of its network.

Now that T-Mobile’s low-band 5G is live and we’ve got pricing and launch info for the first two phones, are you going to move to 5G?

Source: T-Mobile

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  • Mike Menard

    Does this mean that Band 71 will be lit up everywhere for 4G LTE too or will it only work for 5G at this time?

    • none

      Band 71 is available for LTE right now. In fact, that’s what I have at my house…

    • dl_crash

      This will vary tower to tower. Having Band 71 5G doesn’t mean a site will have Bandk 71 LTE or vice versa. Some sites will have both.

    • Shaun Michalak

      From my experience, since they are also fixing their coverage with band 71 too, they are installing a small amount of it to be used for 4G LTE use, and the rest is used for 5G. As they do that, the 4G was being lit up as it was installed, but they waited until today to flip the switch for the 5G part of it. I have been in a lot of places where their existing 4G coverage sucked, but when they put in band 71 there, service got much better.. It is like down in Cambridge Springs PA.. Their service down there for 4G has sucked for years.. 1, maybe 2 bars of coverage if you were lucky.. Other spots you would loose all signal.. I was just down there 2 days ago, and I never got below 2 bars anywhere down there now, on band 71. In fact, half of the time, I had 4 bars. I have noticed this same thing in many other towns and areas too.

    • SirStephenH

      T-Mobile can’t deploy band 71 everywhere yet do the the FCC’s TV repack schedule. Full deployment will be possible after the last phase of the repack ends July 3rd of next year although it’ll still take time to do the required work.

      T-Mobile originally said it would reserve 10+10MHz (20MHz total) of low-band spectrum (bands 12 and 71) for LTE. Band 12 would stay with LTE and band 71 would make up the difference. This means that if you’re in one of the very few areas with 10+10MHz or greater of band 12 then you won’t get band 71 LTE, if you’re in a 5+5 MHz band 12 area like most of the U.S. you’ll get 5+5MHz of band 71 LTE, and if you’re in one of the areas without band 12 then you’ll see a full 10+10MHz of band 71 LTE. This all could have changed since then although I haven’t seen anything that says it has.

  • Richld

    Funny….. through 3g and 4g Tmo was always the one with super fast coverage in large cities only and Verizon and Att had it’s a bit slower coverage everywhere and then worked on making it faster. That plan by the other 2 really allowed them to make fun at Sprint and Tmo. So it’s funny that it’s all switched around and Tmo is covering everyone and them inceasing speed and Yes you can get super fast speed from Verizon in a select few locations on a sunny day while standing on one foot while dangling your arm out your window. no… red light at the corner and there is a truck blocking my 5g.

    I’m looking forward to Tmo new 5g…

  • Jay Holm

    Based on the bottom of this article, it appears it is better to wait for Q1, when “all 3 layers of 5G” are supported.

    Secondly, why would anyone want to pay $400 more for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, than the OnePlus 7T McLaren Edition, that is a really, really big price gap difference!!!

    • SirStephenH

      Samsung has developed a consumer base full of sheep just like Apple. These people won’t even consider another brand even if it provides more of what they want at a lower price.

      • Jay Holm

        So true…

  • NardVa

    This is a joke right? A map that doesn’t let you put in address or zip code to check your area.This is almost as worse a Verizon screaming 5G but not letting the public see where it is as.

    • James B

      It seems to only in well covered areas. Pin dropped down to my house here in suburbia. But checking family in rural IL, couldn’t zoom in.

    • Shaun Michalak

      I just tried too.. I would only give you general area info for me too. But I would not take that map as complete truth.. As they were installing 5G, they put some of it up for use as 4G too.. I was just down in Spartansburg, PA within the last couple of weeks, and there was NO band 71 coverage there when I was down there, but yet according to this map, they have 5G there. So unless they only installed their band 71 coverage there as 5G only, which is not my experience anywhere else, then this map is only partly accurate.

    • SirStephenH

      In general it should be wherever band 71 LTE has been deployed.

    • J.J.

      Stop by retail stores, they have tools can show you 5G coverage street by street in details.

  • Chuan Ren

    I don’t think this is real 5G, most likely it should be called 4G LTE+. But who cares anyway, 4G is fast enough right now and we only care the improved coverage.

    • SirStephenH

      T-Mobile is adhering to the 5G standard so this IS real 5G. Many people think that mm wave or a minimum speed are required for something to be 5G but that’s just not the case. It’s the technology that makes it 5G.

      If you want to see fake 5G then look at AT&T’s 5GE (E = Evolution) which is simply LTE with some the advanced features deployed. It’s also something that its competitors have already been using and not seeing the need to lie to their customers about.

  • Sharti24

    How much spectrum are they utilizing for low band 5G 600mhz and what will the speeds be?

    • none

      Supposedly, 600MHz band will be enough to provide 450Mbit/sec speeds

      • Sharti24

        Range on 600mhz 5G should be the same as 600mhz 4G, correct?

        • Shaun Michalak

          Yup.. I believe that they just use the same antennas, and by using the same frequency, there should be no difference between the 4G and 5G version in coverage.

    • dl_crash

      That’s hard to say, Band 71 spectrum utilization and speeds will vary widely site to site and depend on spectrum owned in that area, device software, chipset, battery power, distance from site, site backhaul, how many users are on the site, surrounding buildings, terrain, and foliage, among other factors.

    • SirStephenH

      T-Mobile owns different amounts of 600MHz spectrum in different areas so it really depends on where you are. T-Mobile originally said it was reserving 10+10MHz (20MHz total) of low-band (it lumped together bands 12 and 71 for this) for LTE and everything left over is going towards 5G. Band 12 will stay with LTE and T-Mobile will make up the rest of the 10+10MHz with band 71. Most of the U.S. has 5+5MHz of band 12 so another 5+5MHz of band 71 would be added. If this holds true then most of the U.S. should see a minimum of 10+10MHz of 600MHz for 5G. This all could have very well changed since then though.

      • Sharti24

        It would of been nice to see tmobile wait and use all their 600mhz for low band 5G only and not deploy LTE on it.

        85% of the country is currently covered with 700mhz so running 600mhz and 700mhz simultaneously on LTE doesnt really make sense.

        • SirStephenH

          It supplies more capacity for low-band which is where carriers get their coverage and both bands could be tied together utilizing carrier aggregation. Almost everywhere band 12 is found it’s only 5+5MHz which is wholely inadequate, especially considering quickly growing data usage. Most users will be on LTE instead of 5G for a long time and T-Mobile will refarm the spectrum when that changes.

        • GeoGuy17

          Band 12 doesn’t have enough capacity to serve most areas where it is deployed. That is why B12 and B71 are deployed together. B71 also helps a bit with in building coverage. Not a huge frequency difference but the building where I work only B71 works…sometimes. B12 is basically useless due to aforementioned capacity constraints of that band.

  • $1200 for a 5G phone? As this become more widespread and more phones as an option, I imagine the “5G premium” for the phone itself will go away. I am glad they are making great progress with 5G – I just dont need a point right now when everything doesnt work together yet.

    • SirStephenH

      This is Samsung you’re talking about. This is pretty typical for its top of the line phones now and days.

      • dcmanryan

        Samsung’s are losing their value as quick as LG anymore. There were some insane deals on eBay this weekend.

  • argenys

    JOD?

    • Matt Macaluso

      $77.99 down and $36 per month for 18 months.

  • Glenn

    I don’t know if it’s just me, but my lte data has been significantly slower than usual today. Like, speedtests are showing 1-2 Mbps in my area, when it’s normally around 30-50. Is it possible that “flipping the switch” to 5G could slow down everything else, or is it just coincidence that it’s so slow on this particular day?

    • Richld

      cyber Monday??… everyone getting there shopping fix in…

    • Shaun Michalak

      Did they already update your area?? If not, maybe they are starting to update the tower in your area.. I just did a speed test here, and my speeds are pretty average.. I usually get speeds of anywhere from about 3mb down, to up as high as 15mb down in my area. and the past few speed tests, with a bit of time between them, I have been averaging about 4mb down here.. Or maybe it is as Richld stated.. Cyber Monday congestion??

    • Glenn

      Hmm, I didn’t think about Cyber Monday congestion. It’s still just as slow today, though, but maybe there’s still a lot of congestion for other reasons.

      According to T-Mobile’s 5G map, I am indeed in a 5G area (Overland Park, KS, near Sprint headquarters.) Could still just be coincidence, but when I’m in a non-5G area, it’s perfectly fine.

  • Matt Macaluso

    Just ordered the McClaren on JoD and overnighted.

    • Jay Holm

      Please report back with where you live, and speed tests when you get it.

    • Bailey

      Zero down with no taxes?

      • Matt Macaluso

        Lol. They want everyone off JoD. $77.99 down and $36 a month.

    • Nionx

      I just asked about this device with jump on demand. I thought the downpayment would be hire

  • SirStephenH

    In general it should be everywhere band 71 LTE (600MHz) has been deployed and Puerto Rico was one of the first.

    • Glenn Gore

      Not all Band 71 areas will get 5G, see my post above.

  • SirStephenH

    Wait a minute… The map shows part of Puget Sound in Washington with 5G coverage but 600MHz deployment is blocked there due to the TV repack.

  • lsuisme69 .

    My note 10 plus already gets 150 to 200 downloads already in southern Louisiana…. wondering if I should jump to the note 5g Friday , would it be worth it? Yup I’m getting it just saw that it will have the snapdragon 855+ and it’s already on Android 10…… hope it’s correct

    • Jay Holm

      Please report back with speed tests!

  • Glenn Gore

    Just as I suspected, western Oklahoma and southwest Kansas were among the very first places in the US to get 600 MHz spectrum put into use, 2 years ago, but they are not getting 5G service. Way to go, T-Mobile. The TV stations moved out a year ago so that’s not the problem. They do offer 85 Mbps LTE+ service across that area, which is plenty good for most anything one would do on a phone.

  • mikeZo6

    4G LTE speeds dropped big time since launch 5G yesterday

  • scruff317

    For the past 2-3 months I have noticed horrendous LTE speeds. Sometimes almost unusable. I have noticed Band 66 20 mhz. All the updates I see about mid and low band upgrades are useless. Especially 5 mhz of low band.

  • Nionx

    Is jump on demand available? I’d jump this iPhone in a heart beat

    • Andrew Singleton

      yep

  • steadymobb

    yeah now THAT coverage map is some BS…4G LTE literally everywhere? uh-huh…I have the worst service with Tmo sometimes. I know that ish ain’t true!

  • tendoboy1984

    OnePlus phones are a great deal. $900 for the 7T Pro McClaren instead of $1200 for the Samsung.

    Samsung needs to lower their prices to compete.

  • Glenn Gore

    My 2-year contract came up for renewal at an opportune time, so I picked up a OnePlus McLaren last week. With trade-in, it was only $500, an acceptable price. Only 600 MHz 5G is available around here and millimeter-wave probably never will be, so this phone was the obvious choice.

    There is no 5G here in northwestern Oklahoma, a big hole where the first Band 71 was launched 2 years ago, so when I had the chance to go down to Weatherford, OK yesterday for a meeting I did get a chance to check out T-Mobile’s new 5G. The signal was very strong, full-strength as I figured it would be since Band 71 has been working great everywhere I have been.

    But, and this is a BIG but, the 5G performance was pathetic, to put it mildly. Only 12-31 Mbps down max on any Speedtest I ran over the course of my time in town. Regular Band 71/Band 2 LTE+ here at home where there is no 5G gives 120+ Mbps. I realize these are VERY early days, but if this is what we are supposed to expect from 5G on Band 71, this will be the biggest bust in cellular history. And forget all about self-driving cars cross-country and all the other pipe-dream potential uses that are being bandied about.

  • CC

    LOL in Mason Ohio suburb of Cincinnati – 5g gets 5 mgb of download speeds –

    • Glenn Gore

      I have been to several different cities and towns since I got my phone, running Speedtest in each of them to get an idea of what T-Mobile’s 600 Mhz 5G is like, and in each and every one, data has been ridiculously slow, far less than on LTE. I am beginning to think this “nationwide” launch of 5G was merely a publicity stunt, something to influence the outcome of the Sprint merger case. I really hope that this is not verifying my long-standing suspicion that none of the carriers has the capability, backhaul capacity, or spectrum to offer anything close to what they have promised for 5G.