Skip to main content

T-Mobile Ultra Capacity 5G expansion will cover 300 million people by 2023

The American version of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show began on Tuesday in Los Angeles, with T-Mobile’s president of technology Neville Ray as a keynote speaker. During his speech on Wednesday, Ray discussed T-Mobile’s overall 5G strategy, build numbers, marketing strategy, and rate of adoption among its customers.

Following up on T-Mobile’s dominance in the most recent Opensignal report, Ray noted that the company’s Ultra Capacity 5G now covers over 185 million people, which is up 20 million from the numbers T-Mobile released this past July. The company says it’s well on the way to reaching its target of 200 million covered by the end of this year, and T-Mobile’s target is to reach 300 million people overall with Ultra Capacity by the end of 2023.

“Opensignal’s latest report validates what our customers already know — T-Mobile’s differentiated approach to 5G is delivering meaningful 5G experiences now with ever-increasing speeds and expanding coverage,” Ray said. “Our two-year lead on building 5G will continue as we add even more Ultra Capacity coverage and expand it to reach 200 million people nationwide this year. T-Mobile customers benefit from a real 5G network that today can power immersive and transformative experiences.”

He also reported that T-Mobile’s standalone 5G network is still the only one in operation in the continental U.S., with over 20 million compatible smartphones connected to it, representing over 25% of its post-paid (under contract) customers.

Graph showing 5G coverage and spectrum depth among mobile carriers.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Ray also noted that T-Mobile plans to roll out a “broader deployment” of 5G carrier aggregation at an unspecified point in the current business quarter. This combines T-Mobile’s licensed 600Mhz and 2.5Ghz frequencies into a broader, more accessible signal.

Another planned deployment that’s currently being tested in the field is Voice over New Radio (NR), which is one area in which T-Mobile lost out to Verizon in the Opensignal report. While Ray cited no specifics, T-Mobile’s Voice over NR is planned for launch “as soon as we meet our own stringent performance targets.”

While T-Mobile isn’t without its overall weak spots, such as its data prioritization on its home Internet services or Verizon’s significant lead in mobile gaming, it’s currently got a healthy lead on actual 5G deployment. As the industry warms up for a variety of new product/service launches this December, the race to 5G appears to initially be T-Mobile’s to lose.

Editors' Recommendations

Thomas Hindmarch
Contributing writer
Thomas Hindmarch is a freelance writer with 20 years' experience in the gaming and technology fields. He also writes for…
Here’s how fast 5G on your Samsung Galaxy S23 really is
Samsung Galaxy S23 cameras against greenery

If you’ve been on the fence about picking up one of the latest Galaxy S23 phones, some new research from Ookla may help tip the scales in Samsung’s favor.

In a new speed test report, Ookla tcompared the 5G performance specs of the Galaxy S23 models to last year’s Galaxy S22 in several countries — with some surprising results across the board.
A worthwhile 5G upgrade

Read more
What is 5G UW? The real meaning behind the icon on your phone
Woman holding up smartphone with speed test results on Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband network.

You've probably noticed that there's been much more hype around 5G than for any of the wireless technologies that came before. Some of that is just marketing, of course; we are living in an increasingly connected era, and there are far more people toting smartphones now than there were in 2012 when 4G/LTE was just beginning to go mainstream. However, it's also not an exaggeration to say that with considerably faster speeds and the ability to handle many more devices, 5G is a much bigger step into the next stage of global connectivity. You've also probably noticed it yourself with a "5G UW" icon at the top of your phone.

As with most new technologies, 5G comes with some new challenges for both carriers and consumers. One of the most significant of these has been working out the best way to deploy 5G services across the much wider range of frequencies that it's capable of operating on. This wasn't nearly as significant a problem in the days of 3G and 4G/LTE services, which all operated in a much narrower range of radio spectrum.

Read more
What is 5G? Speeds, coverage, comparisons, and more
The 5G UW icon on the Samsung Galaxy S23.

It's been years in the making, but 5G — the next big chapter in wireless technology — is finally approaching the mainstream. While we haven't yet reached the point where it's available everywhere, nearly all of the best smartphones are 5G-capable these days, and you're far more likely to see a 5G icon lit up on your phone than not.

There's more to 5G than just a fancy new number, though. The technology has been considerably more complicated for carriers to roll out since it covers a much wider range of frequencies than older 4G/LTE technology, with different trade-offs for each. It's also a much farther-reaching wireless technology, promising the kind of global connectivity that was once merely a dream found in futuristic sci-fi novels.

Read more