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T-Mobile becomes the first carrier to create a nationwide U.S. 5G network

Looking forward to a future connected by powerful 5G networks? T-Mobile has brought the future to us today by launching the U.S.’s first nationwide 5G network, trumping the efforts of other U.S. carriers.

The Un-carrier’s new 5G network is massive by 5G standards, covering more than 200 million people in more than 5,000 cities and towns across the U.S. — an area of more a million square miles, much of it belonging to more rural parts of America. This approach stands in strong contrast to the efforts of other carriers, which have concentrated their efforts into mostly urban areas, with small pockets of 5G available in some of the U.S.’s largest cities. The difference between the two approaches was commented by T-Mobile CEO John Legere, in his usual acerbic style.

“5G is here on a nationwide scale. This is a HUGE step towards 5G for All,” Legere said in a press release. “While Dumb and Dumber focus on 5G for the (wealthy) Few, launching in just a handful of cities — and forcing customers into their most expensive plans to get 5G — we’re committed to building broad, deep nationwide 5G that people and businesses can access at no extra cost with the New T-Mobile … and today is just the start of that journey.”

A big part of T-Mobile’s confidence comes from the fact that this is so-called “real” 5G. Legere has previously been critical of competitors Verizon and AT&T, and boasts of T-Mobile’s dedication to real 5G. However, outside the corporate spin, the reality is a little different. T-Mobile specializes in “low-band spectrum” 5G — a band of 5G that’s excellent for covering large areas and penetrating walls.

On the other hand, Verizon and AT&T have focused their efforts on “high-band spectrum”, which has a much smaller range — but has the advantage of being tremendously faster, with peak speeds up to 10Gbps. T-Mobile’s low-band spectrum 5G will probably top out at around 100Mbps. Still, that’s pretty darn fast by most standards.

Best of all, T-Mobile hasn’t finished yet. In an amusing Twitter video published by Neville Ray, T-Mobile’s president of technology, a second button marked “New T-Mobile 5G” can be seen at the end — hinting there’s yet more to come. What could boost T-Mobile’s 5G network beyond what it’s already achieved? It’s likely the merger with Sprint will add a new layer to T-Mobile’s 5G efforts, as Sprint has been experimenting with “mid-band spectrum” 5G — and as you might have guessed, this tech would fall somewhere between T-Mobile’s and Verizon/AT&T’s efforts. If these two technologies were brought together, the effect could be rather impressive.

As a celebration of the launch of the nationwide T-Mobile 5G network, two new 5G devices will be available for pre-order from T-Mobile from today: The OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G. Both phones will be available in-store on December 6, and customers will also be able to get the OnePlus phone for free if they switch to T-Mobile and trade in an eligible device, or the Note 10 Plus for free when they buy another and add a new line (two for new customers).

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