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T-Mobile covers nearly as many people as Verizon and will commit to 5G in the future

For several years, T-Mobile has had no problem propping up its own features and services while knocking down the competition. That did not change much with its end-of-year wrap-up, but it at least contains a few nuggets of information worth stowing away for the coming year.

In terms of networks, most of the hype surrounds 5G — even though the standard remains undefined, and it will require all-new infrastructure. Most mobile networks and manufacturers have circled 2020 as the year 5G will take off. T-Mobile was not that specific in its wrap-up, though the self-described “Uncarrier” admits it will take “several more years until we see a proper 5G roll-out of some kind.”

Even so, T-Mobile commits to being ready for 5G when it is available for commercial use, though the carrier is quick to remind us that it is the only one in the U.S. to feature 1 Gbps speeds on its network. Granted, that was achieved with an “un-released handset” — and who can say how T-Mobile’s gigabit LTE will hold up when more devices are hogging the network?

The Uncarrier also announced it covers 313 million people in the U.S., one million shy of Verizon’s coverage. This isn’t the same as the number of people that are served, and one million people is a huge chunk to be left out. That said, the figure is still impressive when you consider where T-Mobile is positioned relative to Verizon and AT&T.

Finally, based on data provided by Ookla, T-Mobile touted that its LTE network download speed (24.4 Mbps) is faster than Verizon’s (24.3 Mbps), AT&T’s (23.9 Mbps), and Sprint’s (15.2 Mbps).

Overall, T-Mobile has plenty to be happy about going into 2017, but the company’s zero-rating with its music and video streaming gives it some reason to pause, since the Netherlands already called it out for the practice.