T-Mobile will deploy 2.5GHz 5G on thousands of cell sites in 2020

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One week after T-Mobile flipped the switch on its 2.5GHz-based 5G in New York City, T-Mobile President of Technology Neville Ray has talked a bit on how quicly T-Mo will be deploying 2.5GHz 5G to other parts of the country.

Speaking during the MoffettNathanson 7th Annual Media & Communications Summit, Ray said that the 2.5GHz 5G will be rolled out at a “furious pace”. He added that he thinks the speed of the deployment will surprise the competition who may think it’ll take T-Mobile 2 to 3 years.

This speed will enable T-Mobile to roll out its 2.5GHz 5G across thousands of sites this year, Ray teased. He expects that T-Mo will be building out this 2.5GHz 5G at a rate of almost 1,000 overlays per month as we move into May and June, adding that a lot of major metro areas will be lit up with 2.5GHz this year.

Ray touched a bit how T-Mobile prepared for its 2.5GHz rollout, too. He said that last year, T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter gave him the go-ahead to begin getting leasing and permitting to roll out 2.5GHz on existing sites ahead of the merger’s completion, which could help get the 2.5GHz 5G deployed more quickly.

And of course, Ray couldn’t talk about T-Mobile’s 5G coverage without taking a shot at one of his competitors. The T-Mo exec said that the 2.5GHz 5G coverage that was launched in Philadelphia last month is 2.5 times larger than Verizon’s entire mmWave footprint to date.

Lastly, Neville Ray dropped some info on T-Mobile LTE and Sprint roaming. He said that an average of 10 million Sprint customers per week are taking advantage of their ability to roam on T-Mobile’s LTE network.

Via: FierceWireless
Source: T-Mobile

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  • afazel

    Any chance at all T-Mobile users will get access to Sprint’s 2.5GHz 4G before it’s shut down? My phone supports it…

    • Joe

      Probably not since they are most likely going to refarm all sprints spectrum for 5G.

    • Shaun Michalak

      I would not count on anything in Spints current 2.5ghz range to start off with, since they really did not use it barely anywhere to start off with.. Sprint really only had their band 25, 1900mhz in use on their towers.. Their 2.5 was really only used on 5G, not 4G..

      • afazel

        It was heavily deployed where I am. I had excellent speed and coverage when I was a Sprint customer

        • Shaun Michalak

          I live in a city with about 100k people, plus towns all around us in suburb type areas,and there was none deployed here..

        • Will

          Same here bro. I noticed that where Sprint has towers in Georgia they deployed LTE Band 41.

  • marque2

    At this point I think TMobile should work a bit on getting a few mid-level phones with 5g capabilities.

    • riverhorse

      Yes, un-Chinese & without overtly skimping in other areas as compensation.
      Something Galaxy A70-ish could do.

      • marque2

        LG also doesn’t make phones in China. They do South Korea and Vietnam.

        • riverhorse

          Yes. But it’s now so far behind Samsung, disappointingly.
          It’s falling even further behind the past neck & neck battle with Samsung as we speak-err post. I call it Samsung Jr.
          LG had & has all the same necessary tools from the Stylus to LGPay with MST… + even more with IR & removable battery for those who value those. I realize I’m in the minority re the last two items BUT they differentiate & add value, avoiding having to underprice & downgrade other features in order to compete.
          I’m particularly disappointed LG is seemingly scaling back IR- they could really go to town interfacing with all the other LG appliances & electronics; heck, just the tv guide & remote software alone could become humongous & an additional affiliate revenue stream. I’m puzzled Google or someone else hasn’t jumped on this… just the remote within the phone is so convenient.

          LG Stylo started as a huge potential and faded into years upon years of mini-minimally improved upgrades.
          It could make something decent with a Plus Ultra variant but it likely won’t even have UFS.
          Plus now… Samsung supports crypto and its PAY is upping the game way beyond
          Rewards- the full shebang with MST has come to mid-range models PLUS is getting later this year banking with debit card, Mint-type wallet capabilities and brokerage w free & fractional trading.
          Phones like the A50 & 70, which TMO puzzedly never got, are helping Samsung pull way out in front. And further stretch out the lead if next versions upgrade their present UFS 2 1
          IMHO they’re worth switching carriers- esp. for those who only like to use a model with the specific carrier firmware.

    • Jay Holm

      I’m sure they will, there is still 7mo left in the year. Society needs to stop living life in fear, and get back to work, another words open the stores back up!!!

  • Glenn Gore

    This is good news for major metro areas. However, for those areas outside the major metros there is cause for concern since T-Mobile has completely paused its 600 Mhz 5G expansion since its launch back in December. There have been precious few additional sites added since that initial launch, only a couple of press releases about a few sites, and no more monthly press releases about bandwidth or LTE upgrades.

    • Shaun Michalak

      I am hoping that they upgraded all of the band 71 towers as they installed them..

      Personally, I do not expect them to upgrade any sites, that they do not currently own, which includes Sprint’s new towers, this year.. I bet that they will concentrate on upgrading all of them, and getting them all over to T-Mobile this year.. But on that note, if they do, then if there is a new Sprint tower to T-Mobile in your area, that could be considered increased coverage and 5G too.. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

      • Glenn Gore

        I do too. I know they installed all new antennas and radio units when they did the 600 Mhz install around here a few years ago, hopefully they are easily upgrade-able for additional bands. They now own the spectrum, all they have to do is deploy it.

        As for Sprint sites, both carriers had common coverage in a lot of the same places already but T-Mobile has lots of sites across the country in places where Sprint had never built anything. Here in Oklahoma, Sprint only covered I-35 N/S and I-40 E/W, while T-Mobile covers virtually the entire state. Those T-Mobile-only areas are the places that might take longer to upgrade since they aren’t getting anything that Sprint owned.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Actually, I would say no.. T-Mobile is selling off all the duplicate sites to Dish for them to get started with.. So if anything, the duplicate sites would be decommissioned for Dish use, not upgraded..

        • Glenn Gore

          Right, I guess I wasn’t clear in what I meant. There really is no reason for T-Mobile to keep Sprint sites operational where they just duplicate coverage, those will be shuffled off to Dish or whoever.

        • slybacon

          Sprint probably owned spectrum in those T-Mo only areas, but just didn’t deploy it for one reason or another. Those areas sound like a “clean slate” to start implementing Sprint’s spectrum right away. No junk to clean up.

        • Glenn Gore

          Right, Sprint owned nationwide spectrum and lots of it, but only built out a tiny bit of it and relied on roaming on regional carriers and Verizon for the vast amount of their service area. Verizon did the same thing, but at least they allowed those regional carriers to put the unused spectrum to actual use through things like the LTE in Rural America program. Sprint kept the spectrum to themselves and it is unused to this day. I expect T-Mobile to put really get with it and put it to actual use in short order.

    • bkat11

      Ummm TMO has not paused it’s 5G low band rollout at all

  • Jay Holm

    It’s so exciting how much is going on change in just the next 7 months!!!

  • Mike

    We can’t even get a good B4 signal now in Crestview Fl., so I dont expect that 2.5ghz will work at all. More towers are needed in areas that have poor B4, and if that happens then maybe 2.5 ghz will be useful.

    • GeoGuy17

      Working in Florida, it seems more towers are needed in many areas. South of South Bay on US-27, there is a large dead area (or unusable signal) on T-Mobile. Sprint seems to have a tower as my phone shows a strong Sprint signal. Just can’t use it. I hope T-Mobile put their equipment on the tower…soon. I have been leaving red traces on CellMapper in that area. B12 and B71 don’t seem to exist in the area. On the plus side, I have a work Verizon phone which works flawlessly in that area that I can tether to with my T-Mobile phone.

  • Mike

    Where is the extra bandwidth that TMobile got to borrow from Dish? Here in Crestview FL. It’s still 5 mhz wide for band 2 and 12 and all the new Sprint users are jamming up the few towers located here. Please get the extra bandwidth going for LTE.
    Side note: I can’t believe that 5 wide of 600 Mhz is called 5g…the download speeds of 5g should have a set point. Something like 200 meg and higher. Not just 100 meg.

    • Glenn Gore

      It’s really a delicate balance, you can brag you have 5G, but since there really aren’t a significant number of devices trying to access that 5G yet, you don’t want to waste valuable data on something that no one is trying to access. Until 5G becomes just another normal baked-in feature of every single phone T-Mobile sells, they really do not have any incentive to make their 5G any better than it is. Right now it just isn’t worth worrying about.

    • DominiMMIV

      5G is a technology not a speed

      • slybacon

        Thank you! Amen.

      • marque2

        Technically true – however phone companies and techies made it seem that we would all be able to watch our cat videos at 3-6gigabit per second speeds.

        So now we are looking at what 5g is really delivering and are all a bit disappointed. It was grossly oversold.

        For me I’m waiting for the Bieber 6g fever.

    • slybacon

      They only borrowed Band 71 from Dish. Nothing new with Bands 2 and 12.

  • Greg Victor

    How long might it take for magenta to cover the 5 boroughs of NYC and not just Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn with 2.5 GHz NR goodness?

    • marque2

      122 years ago the boroughs should not have voted to be subservient to Manhattan.

  • David

    Is there any apps or ways to check to see what 5g band you are using. I have used LTE discovery in the past but it just shows LTE band for me (Band 4) even though I am on 5g.

    • Terry Whitt

      I’m not a big user, but recently installed Network Cell Info Lite which seems to do the job.

      • David

        It tells me band 66 which I don’t believe would be the 5g band. So I think it’s doing the same thing as the other ones, only showing the lte not 5g bands.

        • Terry Whitt

          I am also on Band 66 which shows as LTE. I know that 5g is not yet available where I am. I have picked up 5g in nearby communities, but I don’t recall checking the band I was on. ( I have a LG V60 ThinQ dual screen.)

        • David

          Ya I am on the OnePlus 8 and I have 5g every where I go pretty much but it is slower on download than LTE. I assume I am only on band 71. But I would like to track to see when my city has 2.5 GHz. But there’s no way that I know of to check what band I’m on.

        • HotInEER

          How are you liking that phone?

        • Terry Whitt

          I like the phone a lot, with a couple caveats. First, there seems to be an issue while using the speakerphone in that my voice seems to be muted from time to time. I am hoping a software fix comes down the line. Second, the outside cover of the dual screen is glass and susceptible to cracking. Due to a drop, the cover has a slight hairline crack, barely noticeable. The crack does not affect the phone’s operation or even change how it feels, but is concerning enough that I have put a screen protector on it to, hopefully, keep the crack from getting worse. Some users have expressed irritation with the dongle which is required to charge the phone when in the cover, but I like the magnetic connection.

          The phone has great battery life. I get two to three days on a charge with light to moderate use. The phone charges quickly. With the dual screen, it can stand independently like a small laptop or be held like a book. The ability to have two apps visible at once in full size is greatly appreciated from time to time. The phone is rather heavy (12.5 ounces) and is on the bulky side, noticeably bigger in my pocket than the LG V30 it replaced. (Most of the weight and bulk is in the phone itself, a byproduct of the phone’s size and battery size.) A relatively few apps (like Excel and Google Maps) can make use of the dual screen as long as you don’t mind a 1/2 inch gap in the view. The dual screen is attached to the cover which the phone slips into. The phone can be used without the dual screen and cover which reduces the bulk, but the dual screen is nice to have. The phone is not perfect, but as a flagship phone and for the price I got it (buy one get one), it is well worth the money. I think it is pretty slick and am pleased with the purchase overall.

    • GeoGuy17

      Might check to see if cell mapper does the job.

      • David

        It does say I get an NR signal but isn’t saying the band

    • Crkz

      Download G Net Track from the play store. It tells you what band you are on.
      Additonal 5G bands for the T-Mo network are:
      • Band N71 (600 MHz)
      • Band N260 (39 GHz)
      • Band N261 (28 GHz)
      • Band N41 (2.5 GHz)

      • David

        Tried it still showing band 66. But I have 5g

  • WZ HEEL

    Lets be real

    None of you tmobile people with your ancient refurbished iPhones are even ELIGIBLE to get 5g

    Just be happy you still get 3g