T-Mobile originally announced it was unveiling its nationwide 5G network on December 6. It seems the carrier has beat expectations, unveiling 5G today, four days ahead of schedule.
According to Engadget, the network T-Mobile has turned on is its 600 MHz low-band spectrum. Unlike millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G, which offers speeds measured in gigabits instead of megabits, low-band spectrum offers speeds similar to 4G LTE.
The benefit of low-band spectrum is that it has far better range and building penetration. In contrast, mmWave 5G has extremely limited range and doesn’t penetrate windows or buildings very well. While T-Mobile’s new network doesn’t offer the speeds of Verizon’s, it will have far better coverage.
Coinciding with the network’s launch, TechCrunch is reporting T-Mobile has opened pre-orders on two 5G-capable phones.
“The OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren Edition, at least, is a T-Mobile exclusive here in the States.
“It’s a premium as far as OnePlus goes, but still arrives at the (relatively) low price of $900. Compare that to the $1,300 Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G. Both are officially going on sale on Friday, and should be able to connect to the new network at launch.”
As the 5G battle heats up, it will be interesting to see what advantages—speed vs coverage—customers prefer.