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The race is on for the first US wireless service provider to deploy “true” mobile 5G technology, aaaaand it’s… already over? Not so fast, says T-Mobile CEO John Legere in typically dismissive fashion, highlighting the “Un-carrier” is playing “the only game that matters” when it comes to next-generation network rollouts. Namely, “the long game.”
More specifically, T-Mo sees no reason why its commercial 5G deployment should be rushed, considering that the first actual 5G-ready smartphones will merely hit US stores in 2019. “Dumb and Dumber” (that’s Verizon and AT&T) are said to be engaged in a “meaningless race to be first”, preparing 5G technology supported exclusively on “pucks” this year. Legere is referring to portable hotspots colloquially known as pucks due to their shape, which various Verizon and AT&T execs indeed confirmed for late 2018 launches several times recently, including just this week at MWC 2018.
Instead of concocting such “nomadic” devices or fixed routers providing limited signal, T-Mobile is fully focused on delivering a “truly transformative 5G experience.” We’re talking infrastructure currently being built in a whopping 30 cities, with customers in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Las Vegas looking at availability on 5G-enabled phones “early next year.”
For its part, Sprint is staying mum on pucks, as well as pulling its punches in the race to 5G, simply announcing customers in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles will soon begin experiencing “5G-like capabilities.” No “Dumb and Dumber” mocking, no criticizing other carriers’ strategies.
Powered by something called “Massive MIMO” technology, the Now Network’s subscribers in the three aforementioned cities can expect “significant increases in data speed and capacity.” The 5G-like service will be “aggressively” expanded to Atlanta, Houston and Washington later in the year before Sprint can transition to true 5G in the “first half” of 2019. So, yeah, the race to higher wireless data speeds, “brand new IoT experiences”, as well as better coverage and network reliability, is still very much on.