T-Mobile expands 600MHz 5G to new cities, teases standalone 5G launching soon

tmobile-magenta-tower-clean

Today T-Mobile gave us an update on its 5G network and shared a couple of tidbits of new info in the process.

Neville Ray, T-Mo’s president of technology, today reaffirmed that the 39-month 600MHz spectrum transition was completed this month, a process that included relocating TV broadcasters so that T-Mobile can use the 600MHz airwaves for its network.

What’s more, T-Mobile is lighting up its 600MHz 5G in a few new parts of the country. They include Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Richmond, VA; Topeka, KS; and Sussex County, DE. And soon, Buffalo, NY will be getting 600MHz-based 5G as well.

T-Mobile’s 600MHz 5G is available in nearly 6,000 cities and towns. There are several T-Mo phones that support this coverage, including the OnePlus 8 5G and OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren, the Galaxy S20 series, the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, the LG V60 ThinQ 5G, and the Galaxy A71 5G. Additionally, Sprint customers with a Galaxy S20 device can access 600MHz 5G.

In other 5G news, Ray has teased that T-Mobile is getting ready to launch standalone 5G this quarter. “Standalone 5G will expand our coverage and bring with it improved latency and faster uploads,” Ray explained.

Source: T-Mobile

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  • Joe

    Oh so this is why 5G on 600 mhz has not actually expanded coverage, because the upload is LTE.

    • slybacon

      Everyone should know that current 5G networks are non-standalone (NSA). Nobody (at least in the US) has standalone (SA) 5G.

      • AA-Ron

        They dont have the time to take a few minutes and research

        • Shaun Michalak

          I personally am curious as to where he got this info that there was no SA 5G anywhere in the US.. Especially since T-Mobile went on record a year ago saying that they made the first SA 5G connection that did not rely on LTE a year ago??

        • IGx89

          To quote that 2019 article: “To complete the successful data session in its Bellevue, Washington lab”. It was in a lab. If they bragged about doing it in a lab, you can bet they’ll brag as soon as they do it on a tower too :)

        • Mike

          Simple radio wave testing in a lab is easy to do… now testing out in the terrain will become the real deal.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Correct.. I never stated that they did have it on the actual network.. I thought I read an article that they did, but after looking up that other article, it said it was in a “production network”.. That one was from may of this year.. There is another article out that says “T-Mobile says it’s hard at work getting ready to light up standalone (SA) 5G this quarter”.. Either way, I was thinking that the May article stated that they did have it installed, which I was wrong about..

        • Mike

          I hope stand alone will encompass more than just the 600 mhz band.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Yea.. they are doing the same thing with band 41 too.. From what I have read, they are only putting up band 41 as 5G.. I am not too sure about Sprints band 25, aka 1900mhz though.. my guess is that one, they will just add to their existing band 2 on 4G..

        • Mike

          I don’t blame them for using b41 for only 5g, it makes sense so they don’t have to add it to LTE. I’m curious what they will do with b2 and b4? They need to leave LTE on something.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I would guess leave it as is.. If Sprint was any indication of things, Sprint had slower speeds on band 41, and they claimed it was because they split band 41 up to use on both, 4G and 5G at the same time.. It may be just how they have it configured, but if that is the case, then it is best to leave each band on its own generation of technology.. Meaning leave bands 2 and 4 for 4G, and band 41 for 5G, and split band 71 up for constant coverage for both..

          From what I read, I think I read somewhere where T-Mobile has no plans on taking down 4G for 10 years, or something like that.. and since most of their customers are on 4G, they would kill their customers experience taking away any 4G frequency right now.. I would guess that they will not be able to touch it for at least 5 years, before they could reliably say, there is enough people on 5G, with 5G phones, to support taking anything down.. I think they said that right now, something like 9% of all their customers are still using 3G phones.. and that is from what?? 10 years ago?? So that should say something in itself.

      • Shaun Michalak

        To quote

        “Bellevue, Washington — July 31, 2019 — Add
        another one to the win column. T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) just pulled off
        the first standalone end-to-end 5G data session in North America – and
        the first in the world on a multi-vendor 5G next generation radio and
        core network.”

        Yea, so that was a year ago.. So do you have some evidence to prove that no handset, and no 5G that is installed on the towers is SA 5G??

        • slybacon

          You need a Qualcomm X55 or X60 modem, or a Exynos 5123 for SA. Some phones have those already, but there are no SA 5G networks to connect to. T-Mobile has stuff installed, for launch soon as they confirmed, but it’s not live. Verizon said they will go live on SA 5G by the end of 2020, and full commercialization will happen in 2021. And AT&T just wants to confuse everyone on what 5G is.

        • Shaun Michalak

          You are correct.. T-mobile did tests on a SA 5G connection a year ago.. Then in May, they commented about doing it again, which is why I was thinking that they did have one up and running.. I went back and took a double look at that article, and it was stated that they did do it, and over multiple vendors.. But it was in a “production network”, not a live network, which is where I got things a little mixed up.. But T-Mobile has come out and said that they plan to be live, with a SA 5G network setup this quarter.. So it is not too far off before they do..

          PS.. Are you sure that AT&T even really knows what 5G actually is?? As for Verizon.. I will wait and see.. Are they talking on the towers, or their mmWave setups.. If it is just their mmWave setups, then that is not very impressive..

        • slybacon

          I agree with what you said. Verizon claims SA in 2020 sometime using DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing) with 4G (since Verizon has no 5G coverage with mmWave).

          No, AT&T doesn’t know! Haha

    • Glenn Gore

      Since its launch back in December, T-Mobile has not expanded the 600 MHz 5G service much at all, there are still huge holes and gaps in coverage across the country. For example, only 2 additional sites have been upgraded in the western half of Oklahoma since December. I know this because I cover that area with work and run Cellmapper while driving. There are rural areas with very little population served with 5G while leaving out cities of 15-20,000 people. At this rate it will take many years to fill in the 5G holes in their coverage.

      I keep looking for another mass turn-on of low-band 5G to fill in those gaps since they already have LTE in operation in those places, but it hasn’t happened yet. T-Mobile made a huge deal out of turning on 5G across the country to all sizes of cities, towns, and rural areas back in December, so this announcement of new Band 71 5G in just these 6 new big cities does not bode well.

      • Shaun Michalak

        One thing that I have noticed, from my personal experiences, and what I have seen, is that T-Mobile installed band 71 where it was needed the most.. Not places that wanted it the most.. Places where it would greatly expand coverage, places where there was poor speeds, etc..

        Around here, the small towns that have decent coverage with what is already there, got no band 71 coverage.. But those rural areas where you got a couple miles of better coverage, or that filled in gaps in coverage, those towers got band 71 on them.. Where I live, high congestion, before they added more bandwidth, and band 71, I was lucky to be able to do a speed test on, but now get an average of about 3 or so megs down.. band 71 added on that tower.. North East, Haborcreek, Fairview, Girard, ect.. all small town that were not having a major data crunch problem, and have overall decent coverage.. None of them got band 71..

        • Glenn Gore

          T-Mobile upended the traditional mantra of “urban first” in the Uncarrier days, when they rolled out Band 71 all over the country to rural areas and small to mid-size cities and towns at the same time and before it was put into all the major urban areas. They proved that ALL their customers were important to them and all deserved to have access to the latest technology, no matter where they lived. I will always applaud the company for that. I watched many heated arguments in website forums such as Howard Forums where T-Mobile fanboys berated other T-Mobile customers for their desire to have access to LTE and being told they did not deserve it, the place they lived did not deserve or merit its installation and would never see the technology. It was pure pleasure to see those idiots proven wrong.

          Now that the big first wave of Band 71 has been completed, the one in December of 2019, T-Mobile should be continuing the process, but they have seriously slowed down instead, hopefully temporarily. There are plenty of big holes left over where they need to fill in the gaps.

        • Mike

          They are still working on a budget.. Nothing is gonna to be built out fast, they have to keep the cap x expenditures in line or the share holders will get all mad. One thing I can say, they sure know how to hype up minimal news.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I agree.. But I think the reason that they slowed down is because they had anticipated the merger, and wanted to put all their resources into getting things upgraded on those towers, and converting them over to the T-Mobile network.. At least, that is what I would do.. Because then they only have to support one network instead of two.. and since they own all these new towers that they got from Sprint, this will allow them to expand their current coverage, and probably even fill in some of those holes in coverage, where Sprint has towers that can do just that.. Once they get those towers upgraded, then they can have a better picture of just where they actually need those new towers.. Because lets be honest.. I would be mad if I installed a new tower, then got one from Sprint that would fill in that coverage, and installed that new one for no reason..

          I liked the response.. It was a pleasure to see those idiots… That made me laugh.. and I will bet that all those people that did that, all shut up and did not respond when that happened too.. Well, at least that is usually what happens with me.. lol

  • riverhorse

    Very nice, all those Virginia cities really needed it.

    • Shaun Michalak

      It depends on where you are at.. I can name places in Virginia that need it much worse then where they installed it at.

    • Hampton Roads area doesn’t “really need it” (cant comment on Richmond). It will be a nice thing to have but “need” is such a strong word.

      There’s certainly other parts of the common wealth that need it far more than here.

  • Willie D

    Once again the TMobile Train of Hype… announcing something they already told us a month ago regarding 600Mhz being freed up. So hype over a few more cities? Jesus, who’s doing the marketing for this company?

    • Jason Caprio

      That’s how it’s been for years. Always bragging about what they’re going to have, and never on what they already have available. Comparison:

      Verizon – Our coverage is the best
      T-Mobile – Our coverage will be amazing soon

      • slybacon

        That marketing sure has flipped with 5G. Was definitely true with 4G.

        • Jason Caprio

          At the current time, whether one has a 5G signal or not is meaningless. 4G LTE has more than enough bandwidth for just about everything you can do on a phone right now. I do not believe 5G will become mainstream for another couple years at least. LTE is not dead yet. T-Mobile and other carriers still run some flavors of 3G and 2G.

          The latest iPhone doesn’t even support 5G.

        • slybacon

          You mean the latest iPhone that’s almost a year old?! The 2020 iPhone will have 5G connectivity.
          Also, 5G will go beyond the handheld mobile device.

        • Jason Caprio

          I’ll believe it when I see it. I don’t go by rumors. The first iPhone to have LTE was in 2013, 2 years after LTE was initially released. I hate predictions and promises. Show me real world performance and numbers, not this marketing hype lol

        • slybacon

          History doesn’t write the future. LTE sucked so hard on battery life when it first came out. Apple didn’t want to sacrifice with a poor device. And like you said, 5G won’t even become mainstream for another 2-3 years. So in your opinion it doesn’t even matter if iPhone gets 5G this year. It doesn’t matter if any phone gets 5G for 2-3 more years.

        • Mike

          I agree 4g/LTE will be around a while. After all it will make a good back up for 5g whenever that gets rolled out properly. Tmobile has to many towers to upgrade before 5g stand alone.

  • Mike

    Spin the wheel…looks like it landed on Virginia.. so when will the wheel be spun again? Oh btw, get a new over priced 5g phone while the wheel is spinning.

    • WONDROUS5000

      Sounds like you’re going through something, Mike. I hope it gets better. ✌️

      • Mike

        Lol, I just laugh at cell phone prices and how 5g is being hyped up so much. I’ve actually read about 6g already.

        • slybacon

          Stop using the dark web!

        • Mike

          You mean, the non net neautrailty web, don’t know anything about another web?

        • slybacon

          Hm okay. I’m just glad the US is not net neutral. Europe’s internet has been struggling during Covid since every piece of data is treated equally, even that Nigerian payment scam email. Video/audio quality was greatly reduced in Europe to prevent the web from crashing there.

        • Mike

          Well the spin that net neutrality is bad, is wrong. Shame that a partisan congress ever got involved. I don’t like to pay for access to internet just to have businesses prioritize and throttle my data speed. I don’t like to pay to see video at 480p only unless you pay more a month to have higher. Thats the part I’m talking about. I’m for the users not the billion dollar companies that treat data like it there’s only and they will do as they please with it. Not to mention selling our data to earn more profit.

        • slybacon

          I hope you never drive in the carpool/toll lanes as that’s a form of non-lane neutrality. Haha
          Non-net neutrality has seen tremendous investments in infrastructure in the US, which has greatly boosted speeds over the last couple of years. Europe cannot say the same, which is where you’d have 480p right now.

        • Mike

          First off, toll roads and carpool lanes are a choice to use, they are actually wrong because we pay taxes on gas that are meant for roads. Now I disagree on the non net neutrality.. my speeds in Florida has actually gotten slower over the years. Once congress did that,.it gave power to the oligarchy, to do whatever.. The only hype we get now is 5g, but that will be throttled and controlled as well once the hype is gone. Look at cellphone plans before non net neautraiity, they were simple, (remember simple choice), now you read any of these new plans, and they have so many parts to it. Taxes or no taxes, 3g tethering or normal speed tethering, 480p versus 1080p. Unlimited data, oh but don’t go over an amount or you will be prioritized. Even new cell phones are out of hand. They have been getting away from the un-carrier lately. (Just an opinion).

        • slybacon

          I’m okay with rules to control the 1% who are out of control and hog the bandwidth. IMO.
          In 2018, US internet speeds rose 35%.
          In 2019, US internet speeds increased another 19%.
          Not sure what Florida you’re living in.

        • Mike

          Well speeds have slowed here, but I’m sure they will upgrade the towers soon and that will change. I agree with you about bandwidth hogs, but I think video streaming is a big part of that. I do believe that the word unlimited shouldn’t be used if any form of throttling or prioritizing occurs. Maybe data caps were better? It still comes down to profit.

  • Jay Holm

    Expanded coverage is good…but I’m far more interested in 2.5ghz Band 41 5G!!!

    • Shaun Michalak

      Unless there is no band 71 coverage in the area, and they installed it, do not expect more coverage from 5G, just faster speeds at best.. and that will depend on what they have installed in the area..

      • Sharti24

        Will Tmobile be using HPUE technology on band 41?

        • Shaun Michalak

          Doubtful.. From what I understand, HPUE is only used for people on safenet, etc.. First responders.. Since T-Mobile has no actual contract for that, only AT&T does, I highly doubt that they will be using it.. Not only that, but HPUE is for coverage.. Band 41 is not about coverage, but speed.. So there is that too.

  • Dave Slater

    I’m a big fan of T-Mobile and excited with what’s to come. Recently I’ve noticed changes in coverage and signal strength at times. I’m assuming this is due to future upgrade plans.

  • John Bates

    sweet! tested my upload speed in Williamsburg, VA last night 107 mbps, I rarely see that kind of speed on my home internet with fiber optic…bring it!

    • Mike

      Oh, so your lucky to be near a tower.. was that speed for upload? If so, what download speed did you get?

      • Shaun Michalak

        It is not about being near a tower, it is about not having too much congestion to really drag the speeds down.. I am close to a T-Mobile tower.. Just a block away, and here, there is soo much congestion that speeds are bad.. I go to another tower about a mile away, and I have done speed tests on that tower in excess of 80mb down.. It is all about congestion..

        • Mike

          Well distance plays into as well. But I agree with you that certain towers are loaded down to much.. And in most cases they have extra bandwidth to put on, but they dont.

        • Shaun Michalak

          That is probably because they hold some back for the next version.. But once they had it figured out, and pretty much knew that they were going to get all that frequency from Sprint, there was no reason to hold back on that extra frequency any more, because now they have all that band 41 to replace it..

        • Mike

          That is quite of bit having 150mzh of band 41. I’d guess it is easy for them to add to towers as long as the antennas are proper. The auction for 3 gig will be something good as well, if they want to take advantage of that? They may get to a point not worrying about mmw.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I could be wrong, but considering that they use the same antenna for band 4 up and down, which is 400mhz apart.. 1700 to 2100 mhz, I would guess that the antenna’s that they use for 2.5ghz would work on 3ghz too, since they are so close together in frequency..

          I think that the only places that they will rely on mmWave will be in big cities / highly congested area, like stadiums, or places that they compete with cable companies for high speed data access, where people need that high bandwidth.. Other then that, unless you want a gig down, considering that in places where they have band 41 installed, they are getting average speeds of 200mb + down in speeds.. and that is not even a fully worked out 5G SA system, or even half of their band 41 installed to be used, that would make me think that mmWave is not going to be as big of a thing as they first made it out to be..

        • Mike

          If they can get band 41 to work well and buy enough of the 3gig auction, that could possibly be all they need to cover 5g. MmW is just to much cost to deploy everywhere, it don’t even make sence to have it in stadiums for just random use. To think the merger was to get band 41 and customers.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I really do not think that they “need” to get more at the 3ghz auction.. But if I was them, I would get it in case they did need it in the future.. Lets be honest.. They may be having these auctions now.. But a year from now?? who says that they will have many more after that for a while?

    • Mike

      John if your on fiber your speed should blow past 107 mbps. You might want to check your router speed. Something slowing you down.

  • Harlimus

    what do they mean by standalone 5g?

    • Shaun Michalak

      Standalone is just that.. By itself.. When 5G first came out, they were using it based on the LTE technology, or core of the technology.. They found a way to remove the LTE part of it in the core, so you can use 5G as just 5G, and not have to rely on LTE for the core.. The other thing is, because it was using LTE as the core, when you connected to 5G, it used both, 5G and 4G LTE connections for faster speeds. Since it was using a LTE core, it jumped off of both.. Now that they got 5G to use its own core, and not using the LTE core any more, 5G will just use 5G frequencies, and not have to rely on the LTE core any more..

      • Mike

        What frequencies and how much spectrum do you suspect they will use for this stand alone? And I’m sure in turn it will lessen the frequencies and bandwidth for LTE?

        • Shaun Michalak

          No, it will not lessen 4G.. T-Mobile has part of their band 71, 600mhz set for 5G and part for 5G.. I do not see that changing much.. But from what I know, and have read, they have no plans on taking any 4G down to put it on 5G.. They are going to rely on the 2.5ghz band 41 that they got from Sprint for that.. Last I heard, where they had it installed, they are currently only using 40 to 60 mhz of the 150 mhz of band 41 that they have..

          Also, they have auctions coming up at the end of the year for the 3ghz range too.. My guess is if they wanted to put more on for 5G use, they would get some of that and use that to put it in addition to what they have.. But since they are only using about 35% of the spectrum that they currently have on band 41, I see no reason why they would even consider taking any 4G service down to put it on 5G..

          If anything, my guess would be that they will install all of Sprints band 25, aka 1900mhz, on T-Mobile towers to boost their 4G more then what they already have done..

        • Mike

          I believe they are going to take this opportunity to have two separate networks. A LTE and 5g. That way there will actually be a back up.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Well, I do not think it is so much about a backup.. Because lets be honest.. If it was about a backup, then they would have installed 3G on their towers 6 years ago when they started expanding, and not just 4g.. Not only that, but since most people do not have a 5G phone, nor will they for some time, it fails the purpose of a backup if people do not have the equipment to use it.. This is not to say that it is not good to have a backup.. It is.. But having a backup that most people can not use, does not really fit the qualifications of being a backup..

        • Mike

          I agree, until most have a 5g device, and that’s the only way I would say that. But if 5g is so awesome then not having a back up may be Ok? I like what Verizon does, having that separate layer for phone calls, but since they are probably doing VOLTE who knows how they are set up now?

        • Shaun Michalak

          for verizon, I would say that since the standard is the same for pretty much all VoLTE service, I would guess that all companies run them about the same..

          The thing is, even with 5G, since right now, it still relies of the LTE core, and will until they get a true stand alone service for 5G in place, then it really does not leave 5G as a backup, or 4G in this case, until they can fully separate them, and get it installed.. Because no matter how you look at it, if 5G has to rely on 4G, or the LTE core on 4G for authentication, then if LTE goes down, there goes both 4 and 5G at the same time,,

        • Mike

          I believe Tmobile will do a 5g stand alone, but I believe they will also keep LTE on for band 2 and 4. This would be a good point for them to set up a backup, mostly because 4g ain’t going away, actually as they shift people to 5g, 4g LTE will be left for home broadband, or car sync and drive.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I can only halfway agree with that.. As they get the bugs worked out, and providers for the equipment, then yes, they will get SA 5G installed.. and I agree with the part of bands 2 and 4.. But why would they keep LTE for home broadband when 5G is where they have all their speed and spectrum?? Not to mention, it usually takes 10 years, and kicking people off to get a lot of people to upgrade their equipment.., With that being said, there will be a LOT of people, for a long time, that will stay on 4G for phone service.. and cars.. Well, things built into cars that rely on 4G.. I highly doubt that people will upgrade them, if they even can, to 5G, so I will agree with car syncing..

          I will also be that there will be a LOT of towers, especially in really rural areas, that they will not upgrade to 5G for a while.. I am talking stretches of roads where there is no houses, in mountains, etc where high speeds really are not greatly needed.. and since 4G is not really slow, like 3G was, it would be suffice for a while yet.. In places like that, it would be the only way to connect..

        • Mike

          Well if they keep LTE around for a while it will be used for something. Guess time will tell on that. Maybe LTE will handle most of the hd calling? And 5g for most of the data. If they do that then they will have two networks LTE and 5g. The phone will work on both.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Maybe.. I guess in a year, we will find out better how they work things out..

      • Mike

        Some aspect of that would indicate that speed could actually be slower if you take away the LTE and just have a 5g, I know it will come down to the proper bandwidth for increased speeds beyond LTE. You ain’t gonna see alot of stand alone unless these companies are ready to do away with LTE. And if they do, there will be no back up to 5g.

        • Shaun Michalak

          It all depends on how you look at it, and where you are.. If you take away all 4G bandwidth, and the only bandwidth that they have is on band 71, then yes.. It definitely will be slower.. But in places where they have band 41 installed, I would say it would be the other way, and 5G by itself will be faster..