T-Mobile says it has 5G in 30 cities just awaiting devices

Telecoms giant T-Mobile has quietly announced it has 5G live in 30 cities and is now just awaiting devices which support it.

Speaking to Light Reading, the operator confirmed the launches after making a promise at the start of last year. At the time, T-Mobile said it would have 30 cities supplied with 5G by the end of 2018.

The company says it’s yet to offer commercial 5G services as no smartphones on the market are compatible. Samsung and OnePlus, among others, are expected to launch 5G phones early this year – so it won’t be long to wait.

Back in October, Telecoms reported T-Mobile was downplaying what to expect from 5G services at launch.

Karri Kuoppamaki, VP of Radio Network Technology at T-Mobile, said:

"Initially, we didn't see gigabit speeds on LTE; we saw very low speeds.

Today we see much higher than that. It's kind of irrelevant what [the speed] number is going to be on day one, as it will improve over time."

T-Mobile is using 600MHz spectrum for its rollout – in order to cover a large distance – but at lower speed than competitors to begin with.

AT&T and Verizon are opting for smaller hotspots using millimeter waves that are often associated with higher speeds, but shorter range. T-Mobile believes this will slow its rivals’ 5G rollouts with the continental US being over three million square miles.

Post-launch, T-Mobile plans on boosting the speed of its 5G network by supplementing its 600MHz network with millimeter waves.

T-Mobile is yet to confirm whether the 5G services it has live are citywide or just a couple of cell sites per city.

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