T-Mobile calls out Verizon for its 5G speeds and coverage

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T-Mobile has never been one to shy away from calling out its competition, and today the carrier decided to focus on Verizon and its recently launched 5G Nationwide network.

Neville Ray, T-Mobile’s president of technology, explained today that in order to launch its 5G Nationwide network, Verizon is using Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) technology to share the same spectrum for its 4G LTE and 5G networks. And while this enables it to expand its 5G coverage in a hurry, its overall 5G speeds have taken a hit.

Verizon used to have extremely fast 5G speeds thanks to its mmWave-based 5G Ultra Wideband coverage, which Ray notes is “still available just 0.6% of the time.” But in using DSS to split the spectrum and capacity for its 4G and 5G networks, Verizon’s average 5G download speeds plummeted, according to T-Mo’s analysis of Ookla speed test data in October 2020.

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“Without adding new spectrum, Verizon’s nationwide 5G is going to perform very similar to LTE. If you don’t believe me, just ask Verizon’s CTO who said their nationwide 5G speeds are “most of the time, on par” with 4G,” Ray explained. “DSS has its place in 5G, but it should be used in limited scenarios — not to provide an entire nationwide footprint. Our analysis of the Ookla data shows this: Verizon now has the slowest median 5G download speeds in the industry since October 2020.”

T-Mo also posted a new video in which it “fact checks” a recent Verizon ad about 5G. This one’s all about 5G coverage. In it, Verizon says that it’s “turning on 5G across the country”, and T-Mobile notes that that’s 311 days after it activated its own 5G nationwide coverage. “Congrats on 3rd place!” T-Mobile says in its ad.

T-Mobile then calls out Verizon’s ad for first talking up its 5G Nationwide network and then switching to its 5G Ultra Wideband, which it calls “the fastest 5G in the world.” But the fine print in the ad notes that Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband is available in “parts of select cities.”

“Confused? That’s how Verizon likes it,” T-Mobile says.

Getting back to Ray, he touts that T-Mobile has been talking up its “layer cake” 5G strategy since early 2018. And right now T-Mobile offers 5G coverage to 270 million people and is in the process of expanding its mid-band 5G coverage, which is already available in 410 cities and is expected to continue expanding through the end of 2020. Average download speeds in places where mid-band 5G is available are reaching 300Mbps.

The FCC is hosting a C-band spectrum auction starting next month, and it’s expected that Verizon will be a major participant in it. That move could help Verizon to improve its 5G network and close the gap with T-Mobile, but T-Mo has gotten itself a headstart with its 5G layer cake strategy and it won’t be sitting still over the coming years.

Source: T-Mobile

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  • Shaun Michalak

    Does anyone know what ever came of that letters to the government asking them to not let T-Mobile go to those spectrum auctions?? Is T-Mobile still allowed to go, or did Verizon / AT&T win, and was T-Mobile banned??

    • Zerovanity

      T-Mobile is listed as a qualified bidder for Auction 107 (C-band). They will still have to go through the spectrum screen if they buy a lot of spectrum. T-Mobile does not have that much money to spend at the auction. T-Mobile will most likely be bidding in locations where they do not have much 2.5 GHz, or for spoilers. The 2.5 GHz band is a license minefield with odd license geographies, inconvenient channel sizes, and most of the spectrum leased from non-profits and not owned by T-Mobile.

      • marque2

        The 2.5 gighz basically has “holes” in it from the other users of the spectrum. Tmobile might have 100mhz of it, but can’t use it fully for 5g because 5g needs to use contiguous blocks. If there is a gap due to one of the nonprofits that is where the 5g spread spectrum must end.

  • Willie D

    Neville and TMo should probably stop while they can. They don’t even have DSS and share spectrum, instead on B71 they have SPLIT the spectrum. Limiting LTE and 5G by not giving spectrum to be used by both as a big block. At least with Verizon they can get robust 5G coverage and speed but TMo is basically artificially limited because they just don’t wanna do the same as the 2 leaders VZ and ATT. They also claim to use dedicated spectrum for 5G, but SURPRISE, B71 is split with LTE, B41 is used for LTE as well and mmWave may as well not exist at all. So if you’re counting split spectrum where 10mhz is for 5G and 5Mhz is for LTE then sure I guess you could say “dedicated” for use only by each technology but that’s a real shady very misleading measurement to go by. Just sayin

    • slybacon

      T-Mobile will never use DSS. They will never share spectrum. They have too much spectrum to need to do that. And they barely have any 2.5GHz in use for LTE. Nearly all of the 2.5 GHz used by T-Mobile is for n41. Anything Sprint had on B41 LTE will be decommissioned and refarmed for n41. B71 will be quickly switched over to n71-only when 5G-capable phones are the norm.
      Verizon doesn’t have robust coverage or speed right now. They are limited by Physics.

      • marque2

        By quickly, what do you mean? Most of us see that Tmobile has done the same thing as Verizon. They might claim 5g everywhere and make my phone show 5g – but they really only have the service running at any kind of real way in a few key stadiums and a few blocks in New York city.

        They tell tech writers exactly where to stand and then the tech writers dutifully report 300meg speeds, But if the writer stand exactly 5″ from a particular lamppost on the other side of town while crawling on the knees they find Verizon gets 600meg speed – oh boy Tmobile is slow.

        It is just all stupidity at the moment. I don’t believe ANYONE has real 5g.

        • slybacon

          By “most of us,” who do you mean?
          By quickly, it would just be a software update to change from 4th Gen protocols to 5th Gen protocols since the antenna is broadcasting both. If everyone had a phone capable of connecting to 5th Gen networks, then they could upload the firmware to all towers within a few days. But it’ll be a few years before everyone has a 5th Gen capable device, obviously.
          Can you quantify what “real 5G” is? I feel like you’re having a reality crisis. Lol. Maybe start with quantifying what “real 4G” is and then build from there. I haven’t found anyone that can define 5G.

        • marque2

          What real 5g is, is not, is going places with a 5g symbol on the phone and getting the exact same ping time and speeds as 4g. And then switching the 5g off to verify this is true. When I get 6mb/s “5g” speeds they should leave the symbol at “4g” on the phone, because either they are lying to me, or “5g” is a total embarrassment.

          Tmobile claims they put out new spectrum for 5g so this shouldn’t be happening. It is obvious, we are on the 4g channel, and they just program the phone to display the 5g symbol to fake us out. At least now the “5g” isn’t slower than 4g – whatever happened with that was corrected.

          So Tmobile is very obviously doing the exact same thing as Verizon and AT&T. Claiming a lot of coverage, but in reality they only have a few blocks here and there in key cities and a handful of stadiums covered. the we have 220 million people covered with “5g” is total BS.

          We should actually demand refunds for our 5g phones. And for everyone else, unless your phone is on its deathbed, don’t bother upgrading to “5g” for at least a year.

        • slybacon

          You keep telling me what 5G is not. I want to you tell me exactly what 5G is!!!!!! Give me a definition, not examples.

        • marque2

          Why don’t you figure it out for yourself instead of badgering me. My opinion is “5g” IS marketing hype. If you think it is something else well that is great. Let us know what you find.

          Thanks,

        • slybacon

          Gotta love opinions without specifications.

        • marque2

          So you have no idea what 5g is either. Well lets explain. 5g is a spread spectrum communication protocol that if actually implemented provides considerably lower latency, as low as 4ms vs a low of 20ms for LTE as currently implemented and an increase in efficient use of bandwidth by 15 to 50 depending on the frequency (basically low 600Mhz will be 15% your 38ghz will be 50%) when compared to 4g. Note that technologies that aggregate separate signals can make the speed even faster, but 4g, and 5g both provide MIMO as part of their algorithms.

          So what does that have to do with 4g and 5g speeds being indistinguishable on Tmobile, in terms of both speed and latency, basically proving that they are really giving us 4g even though they claim to have 220 million people covered by 5g. What does that have to do with the apparent lack of “fill” that the 600mhz was suppose to provide. Tmobile is lying to us. But that doesn’t mean that Verizon and AT&T are any better.

          So now you have the answer, but you are still a D*mb@$$. That hasn’t changed. Instead of being a troll come up with real point of your own. Tell us why you think we really are getting 5g services/connections when it is rather apparent we are not.

        • slybacon

          I don’t have an opinion on 5G services. I’ve never tried them out, but I at least know the tech specs behind the next generation of wireless (hint: it has nothing to do with DL/UL speeds. That’s up to spectrum used). I’m not dumb enough to jump to new tech early.
          I’m a former Naval Nuclear Engineer and currently a Seismic Engineer. I’m not a dumbass. Stop being a loser. I feel really bad no one else will respond to your other comments. Must be lonely.

        • marque2

          Oh spectrum usage, like the 100megd of spread spectrum they have with 2.5ghz or the 40 they have with 600mhz. Again you are saying stuff to be obnoxious without knowledge of what Tmobile has acquired or promised. Tmobile is claiming 5g coverage but the overwhelming evidence is we are getting LTE even when the little 5g icon appears on our phone.

          Anyway you still keep your Dumb@$$ hat for make stuff up on the fly, and ignoring obvious evidence.

        • slybacon

          You sound like a miserable Republican…

        • marque2

          Interesting observation, is that because you presume Democrats just live with and even enjoy poor service and being lied to? Your logic needs improvement.

        • kanakamaoli

          Instead of getting into this technical/specification fight.
          I see marques2 point and it is probably the same for many others whom have purchased a 5G phone from T-Mobile myself included.
          The point marque2 is making? Is that when you toggle between 5G and 4G on your phones it is pretty much the same Speed/Latency/Jitter.Heck ,even in some instances the speed test
          list that it is still on a 4G LTE signal thats it connected to while the signal icon is 5G.I realize that the initial 5G roll out was anchored to LTE.
          However, I know that T-mobile on their website claims 5G vs 4G. “Greater Reliability,Enhanced Capacity,Faster Speeds”.Like you have mentioned you haven’t even invested into the newer technology.So I’am confused at why are you bringing up all these technical aspects of what is 4G and what is 5G? marque2 is talking about real world experiences which includes myself.Simply put you are talking Apples to marque2’s oranges.I would rather have T-Mobile keep their 5G equipped phones 4G lte icon on,until it is fully connected to a n71,n41,etc,etc 5G stand alone signal or at least with C.A have the majority of the signal connected to a 5G sa band.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I think the big problem is that people see 5G and expect better.. The problem is, 5G is just a version of the technology.. it is a protocol, and nothing more.. It just says how things need to work.. It sets limits on how things are done, and what the limits are or can be.. But the problem is, people look at those limits, and not at reality.. Reality states that you are still limited by resources.. Just how you can not get the power of a V8 engine out of a little 4 cylinder engine, you can not get those high speeds without the spectrum to back it up for them to work on..

          Verizon has only installed 5G on their band 13 spectrum, and most of T-Mobiles 5G is on their band 71 spectrum.. Both are low band spectrum’s which means limited speeds.. T-Mobile does have some band 41 installed, but it is still limited to the areas where it is installed, which is probably only 5% coverage right now.. and while T-Mobile could put all of their band 71 for 5G use, when it comes to when everyone has a 5G phone..

          Well, that probably will never happen until they shut down 4G service, and people are forced to go over.. I know someone right now that is still using a 3G phone that is 10 years old.. 4G will be even worse because at least with 3G to 4G, you get major improvements, including more coverage, faster speeds, etc.. But 4G is sufficient for most people, so that will really limit them being hyped up to go to 5G, even when it is in full use.. at least until they are forced to.

        • Zerovanity

          Actually, Verizon is not using band n13 for 5G. Verizon has failed to even get band 13 into the 5G standard! It is the only US LTE band that is still missing from the 5G NR standard (other than band 4, but band n66 has that handled). Verizon is using bands n2, n5, and n66 for DSS. Where Verizon owns band n5 spectrum, coverage should be nearly the same as the band 13 LTE signal, if they are both deployed on the same towers. Where Verizon owns no band n5 spectrum, Verizon has to resort to shorter ranged bands n2 and n66.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I stand corrected on one thing.. When i first looked it up, they only talked about low band use.. Looking it up now, they are saying

          “The carrier is using several of its airwaves currently devoted to 4G for
          5G through DSS, though most areas will be using 850Mhz low-band
          spectrum (some markets will have 700Mhz low-band while others will use
          some of Verizon’s existing midband spectrum holdings known as PCS and
          AWS).”

          So I guess that makes us both right and wrong.. They are using band 13 for 5G, which makes your comment incorrect.. But at the same time, they are using mid band spectrum which makes my statement incorrect..

        • marque2

          It may just be a protocol, but I am 100% sure I am using LTE bands whenever it says 5g on my phone. It seems more like a marketing gimmick – or they just turn it on for certain test phones.

        • Shaun Michalak

          If you were still getting 4G speeds on 5G, and they had band 41 installed everywhere, then I might agree.. But the fact that they are very limited on speeds on band 71 because of the low frequency, and that is really all they have much installed with for 5G, I would guess that since you can use both 4 and 5G at the same time, you are probably connected to 5G as a base connection, but are connecting to 4G for speeds.. So the base connection is 5G, but since you get 4G connections for speed, then that would explain the high latency numbers while connected to 5G..

    • Shaun Michalak

      Since the newer modems and processors will allow someone to use both, 4 and 5G at the same time, for faster connections, it is not really that big of a deal that they have them separated.. I think that the more important thing to mention here is that T-Mobile has enough spectrum that they can do just that.. Right now, verizon is sharing their spectrum because that is what they are limited to doing.. If they take 4G down, then that lowers speeds for 4G users, but makes things better for 5G, and vise versa.. T-Mobile is not relying on band 71 for their total coverage.. They are going to be using it as a secondary distance line for distance once they get their band 41 in full use and fully installed.. But that is going to take time, and right now, their band 71 is there more for show, and to start the process, then anything more..

      The problem is, right now, Verizon is using their mmWave for bragging rights, and nothing more.. They are using their coverage the same way.. T-Mobile is using their 71 coverage for bragging rights in coverage and who got there first, and are using their band 41 for speed bragging rights over larger areas.. But until they get everything figured out, they get the bugs worked out, get things installed, etc.. Unless you are in one of the 5%?? of the areas that actually have band 41 installed, no one has any real bragging rights about being great.. neither AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile.. Not until they get things going right, at least mostly installed, and the spectrum to back it up..

    • Federal

      Enjoy prison Trumptard. Just sayin

  • Glenn Gore

    T-Mobile does indeed have a vast amount of 5G coverage, far more in total than either Verizon or AT&T, but the vast majority of that coverage is low-band, and data rates are pretty much the same for all the carriers with low-band spectrum. Each carrier has good spots and bad spots with data rates, depending on the back-haul capacity installed and the spectrum activated on each individual site, but low-band limitations exist for all of the carriers. That’s just a fact of life with that spectrum.

    T-Mobile has some millimeter-wave 5G in a few places, like Verizon and AT&T do, but those places are so miniscule in coverage area and capability that they are not really worth considering in any discussion of 5G coverage. For any carrier.

    T-Mobile’s ace in the hole is the mid-band spectrum that they got from Sprint once they get it built out, which will take years to do. Once that mid-band is available truly nationwide, then they will have something to really brag about in relation to the other carriers.

    • marque2

      Please let me know where the Tmobile 5g sweet spot is. I travel a lot and haven’t found it.

      • Glenn Gore

        I’ve been to a few spots, even in small and larger towns and rural areas far from any town where I’ve seen 180 Mbps on T-Mobile’s low-band 5G, but the truth is, data rates on LTE were exactly the same at those locations. And I have been to places where LTE data rates are 180 Mbps and 5G has only 12 Mbps. It’s a total crap-shoot, no consistency at all. Just another illustration that 5G is just not a “thing” worth worrying about right now and won’t be for a very long time. Your statements in your other comments are pretty much spot-on.

  • Eddie Vazquez

    Hi,
    At this this is a waste of money buy a 5g phone. Most of the coverage are very limited in all cellular companies. Maybe in one or two years more.

  • James Symmonds

    Got my Pixel 4a 5G and finally got to test the network around here. I suspect my area was recently switched on not that long ago. I noticed my 4G speeds dropped a fair bit at some point and I can’t say if that was 5G switch on or all of the Sprint people being piled on the network. Either way it sucked to watch the speeds drop. Now I’m seeing closer to those old 4G speeds on the 5G network but it is still hit or miss.

  • Randall Lind

    T-Mobile need to STFU when I get 5G on my Oneplus 7t pro 5g Mclaren it is slower then 4g LTE I get 8-50mbits where 4g is 100+. At my house ever since T-Mobile brought Sprint 2-3 days a week I have issues connecting and making calls. WTF? I miss John Legere now T-mobile sucks.

  • marque2

    The problem is tmobile isn’t much better. My phone almost always says 5g but I get the same 4g speeds and ping times as 4g. This is on two different brands of phone as well. I don’t know how they figure 5g is everywhere but I don’t notice a speed difference for 5g.

    This all over, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco. The only place where I seem to get 5g like speeds is Phoenix but then the 4g phone gets the same speeds.

    This 5g has been a crock for all three networks. If any of you are looking for a 5g phone – don’t bother until at least next December.

    • Omar Cardenas

      It’s pretty much the same with at&t also I have both TMobile (work phone )and at&t personal phone . I live in los Angeles . On at&t with a 5G Icon it’s the same speeds and ping than on 4G . Same exact thing in my TMobile phone it always shows a 5G Icon and speed is the same as 4G. I never ever experienced what real 5G speeds should be on both at&t and T-Mobile. I been to Chicago and miami and same thing same speeds on both networks on both 4G and 5G.

      • marque2

        Yeah, I think all three networks are overpromising. Also, I get Tmobile is doing 600mhz for the “range” but my dead spots haven’t changed one iota since I got a 5g phone. So something is wrong.

        • Zerovanity

          If you already had a band 71 phone, 5G will not add any range. If your 5G phone does not support standalone 5G, 5G will not add any range.

        • marque2

          The problem is my phone says 5g but when I look the band is obviously an LTE band. Whenever I find a spot with fast speeds I am on an LTE band, and turn off the 5g and the data rate and latency is the same.

          It is possible that they have 5g installed but are not allowing use for some reason. But yes most of us are wondering about this 220 million person 5g coverage.

        • Joe

          That’s because most of t-mobiles 5G network is still reliant on lte core, so there is no additional coverage where this is the case. They say they have stand alone 5G but it’s not in a ton of places yet. Reality is no carriers 5G is anything special.

        • marque2

          That is probably it. The LTE core. They made such a big stink about SA that maybe we all assumed they had SA coverage.

  • Jay Holm

    2020 is not the year to be getting excited about 5G, it just isn’t. This is being promoted so prematurely, like 8K tv is. Hopefully by spring next year 5G will START to be something to be excited about.

  • David D

    T-mobile is one to talk, 5G is a joke in a lot of places.