T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) has set live its 5G network across the US in areas that cover over 200 million people. Although the network is live, the company has indicated that people can start using it from December 6.
However, it is too early to purchase a 5G phone, but T-Mobile is already taking orders for the first two 5G phones. The phones supposedly supporting the network include OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+, which reportedly will go on sale later this week.
T-Mobile launches lower band 5G
The 5G network that will cover most of the country relies on the 600 MHz spectrum, which is a lower band of the network. The 600 MHz spectrum uses airwaves like the ones that LTE employs and bundles them together using new tech to offer faster speeds. The company indicates that this will increase speed up to 20% over the LTE network, but with time they will increase the speed.
The carrier has not specified the kinds of speeds users will experience in different locations because there will be many variations. A T-Mobile spokesperson indicated that in some areas, the 600 MHz 5G will be faster than LTE. T-Mobile has been able to deploy the network in a wide area because it is using an LTE-like spectrum that travels far.
Faster mmWave 5G limited to densely populated areas
Nevertheless, the company has not claimed to be offering the fastest 5G network in the form of millimeter-wave (mmWave). mmWave is only available in select cities, and it relies on faster airwaves to offer faster speed. Interestingly the signal travels shorter distances, and its path is easily blocked by anything.
So far, the company is deploying mmWave in some cities, but it has not indicated whether that could be expanded to other areas. Because of physical limitations, they will likely limit mmWave deployments to densely populated areas such as cities and sports stadiums.
Various carriers have been on the race to deploy 5G this year. Already they have deployed in various locations with select technologies.