T-Mobile network begins combining with Sprint, 2.5GHz 5G goes live in Philadelphia
T-Mobile’s Neville Ray teased earlier this month that the carrier had begun deploying mid-band 5G spectrum the same day that the Sprint merger closed, and now that spectrum is officially live.
T-Mo has confirmed that its mid-band 5G is now live in parts of Philadelphia, using 2.5GHz airwaves to give T-Mobile’s 5G improved depth and speed. T-Mobile’s Neville Ray says that he’s already seen peak speeds of 600Mbps in Philadelphia.
Phones that can access this 2.5GHz-based 5G include the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren, Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, Galaxy S20 series, LG V60 ThinQ 5G, and the upcoming OnePlus 8 5G.
You can see a coverage map of T-Mobile’s 600MHz and 2.5GHz 5G coverage in Philadelphia below.
What’s more, T-Mobile says that it plans to light up New York City with 2.5GHz 5G soon. The coverage map below shows you what T-Mobile’s 600MHz, 2.5GHz, and mmWave 5G will look like in NYC.
In other 5G news, T-Mobile says that it’s low-band 600MHz 5G is now live in Detroit, St. Louis, and Columbus, OH. This network launched in December 2019 and covered 200 million people at the time, and it’s been expanding to even more cities since then.
T-Mobile also announced today that Sprint customers will soon be able to access T-Mobile’s existing network. Starting later this month, Sprint subscribers with a Samsung Galaxy S20 5G will have access to T-Mobile’s 600MHz 5G coverage.
Sprint customers with first gen 5G phones like the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G will continue to have access to Sprint’s 5G network that’s live in nine metro areas: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, and Washington, DC. But Karri Kuoppamaki, T-Mobile’s vice president of radio network technology, tells PCMag that those phones will become 4G devices as T-Mobile takes over the 5G airwaves. T-Mo added that Sprint customers with those devices will get a deal to help them move to new T-Mobile 5G phones.
T-Mobile is also enabling Sprint customers with compatible 4G LTE phones to roam on T-Mobile’s LTE network when they leave an area with Sprint LTE coverage. This gives those Sprint customers access to more than double the LTE sites of Sprint’s network alone.
Throughout the merger process, T-Mobile regularly talked up how the merger with Sprint would help “supercharge” its 5G network, and now it’s showing what it was talking about. The process to fully integrate Sprint’s network into T-Mobile’s is going to take some time — T-Mo estimates that it’ll take around three years — but T-Mobile and Sprint customers are getting a taste of what the combined T-Mobile-Sprint just a few weeks after the deal closed.