5G Network to be Available in Over 5,000 Cities through T-Mobile in 2019…
Recently, T-Mobile announced that they are set to launch their 5G network nationwide in over 5,000 cities next month on December 6th. This comes after a successful trial period in select cities where their millimeter wave 5G was deployed for testing. For their official launch, they plan to use a 600MHZ band spectrum, which will slightly affect its 5G internet speed, but with the benefit of being able to cover more space and penetrate buildings.
The widest increase in coverage to date by T-Mobile, the new, slightly slower version will increase the initial overall coverage to over 200 million subscribers. In optimal conditions the network is predicted to ultimately reach speeds of up to 10 times the current LTE network at 450 mbps.
China’s carriers, China Unicorn, China Telecom and China Mobile all recently announced accelerated plans to launch 5G services in 2019, ahead of initial projections of a 2020 time frame. Services are currently available in 50 cities across the Middle Kingdom, and 130,000 5G base stations are planned to be activated by the end of the year, according to a government press release.
Currently, however, there are only a couple of smartphones that can take advantage of 5G. Models made by Samsung (Galaxy Note 10 ) and OnePlus (7T Pro 5G) are currently available. Naturally, this entire transition will be a multi-year affair, with 2024 being a date for eventual transition to a majority of users.
Network Build-out and Consumer Adoption could hit Initial Peak in 2021
This gradual, yet sooner than expected, expansion of 5G coverage comes at an interesting time for iPhone users as Apple continues to develop their 5G iPhone technology for their future launch in September 2020, after recently acquiring Intel’s smartphone modem unit for their upcoming 5G push back in July.
Although much has been made of the race to 5G and the battle between the U.S. and China for leadership in the area, it will likely be the adoption by consumers, dependent on the investment by same in the associated costs, that will ultimately determine the speed of the transition. The improvements to all forms of online communication, particularly when coupled with the planned rollout of global satellite systems, such as SpaceX’s Starlink, have the potential to spur major changes in the coming decade.
As 5G internet coverage becomes more widespread through the various carrier roll-outs, it has the potential to revolutionize audio and visual technology by making high-quality sound and video more accessible to the general public. Once this 10x optimal speed and bandwidth become “standard”, all forms of online media will become more viable, hence the current steaming wars.
Interestingly, this nationwide 5G coverage could possibly be even greater if T-Mobile and Sprint are able to merge successfully, especially after considering that they obtained the Federal Communications Committee (FCC) approval for the merger in the midst of anti-trust concerns and a multi-state lawsuit against it.
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