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T-Mobile completes the first 5G data and video call using 600MHz spectrum

T-Mobile is well on its way to finally implementing 5G. At CES 2019, the company, in partnership with Ericsson, announced that it had completed the world’s first 5G data call and video call on 600MHz. On top of that, the company also completed a 5G video call on multiple bands — 600MHz, 28GHz, and 39GHz.

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Both of the announcements are significant steps forward for T-Mobile’s implementation of 5G. 600MHz, for example, will be important for 5G considering it’s a lower frequency, and as such can cover much larger distances than the “millimeter wave” frequencies that 5G may be more famous for. In fact, according to T-Mobile, 5G engineers were able to generate a signal on the 600MHz spectrum that covered 1,000 square miles from a single tower — which is pretty huge.

According to T-Mobile, the test is significant because of the fact that it shows how different wireless spectrums will play into 5G development. Low-band, mid-band, and millimeter wave frequency bands will all deliver 5G services. Most of T-Mobile’s competitors, including AT&T and Verizon, have stuck to demonstrating the use of millimeter wave. It makes sense — millimeter wave will likely be responsible for delivering the super-fast data speeds many are expecting from 5G. The problem with them, however, is that they can only cover short distances, which is exactly where low-band and mid-band frequencies come in.

“This is a huge accomplishment for Neville and his team, who had a vision for nationwide 5G and are building it out the right way – across multiple spectrum bands,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a statement. “While the other guys focus on 5G millimeter wave on a handful of blocks in a handful of cities, we’re building 5G for everyone, everywhere! And together with Sprint, we’ll add much-needed spectrum depth, creating a truly transformative 5G network!”

Once 5G is fully rolled out and available to consumers, it could deliver speeds of up to 100 times today’s typical data connection. T-Mobile’s 5G network probably won’t be fully rolled out until 2020, but once the tech is in place, T-Mobile says it will deliver a full nationwide network — while competitors will likely start in a few select cities and build out from there.

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