T-Mobile has rolled out high-speed, mid-band 5G in over 80 cities as it continues to utilize the spectrum it acquired with Sprint.
Mid-band 5G is widely considered to be the sweet spot for 5G spectrum. It provides faster performance than T-Mobile’s low-band nationwide 5G network, reaching speeds up to 1 Gbps. At the same time, it offers better range and penetration than high-band 5G, which requires repeaters and base stations every couple of hundred meters.
One of the driving factors in T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint was the wealth of mid-band, 2.5 GHz spectrum Sprint had. Since the acquisition was completed, T-Mobile has been integrating the spectrum as fast as possible, with today’s news being the biggest gain yet.
“T-Mobile has the competition in the rear-view mirror on 5G, and they’re only getting farther behind. While the other guys are playing catch-up, we’ve had nationwide 5G since last year, and we’re now adding faster speeds across the country with mid-band 5G,” said Neville Ray, President of Technology at T-Mobile. “This is our 5G strategy in action. Mid-band is the 5G spectrum, and T-Mobile has more of it than anyone. We have nearly twice as much low and mid-band spectrum as AT&T and nearly triple that of Verizon. And that means T-Mobile is the only one capable of making the world’s best 5G network a reality.”
At this pace, T-Mobile’s competitors will be playing catch-up for some time. This is likely why Verizon has recently appealed to the FCC to prevent T-Mobile from gaining access to additional 600 MHz spectrum. Never mind the fact that Verizon chose not to bid on any 600 MHz spectrum when it was up for auction, believing they didn’t need the additional spectrum.
Suddenly Verizon is changing its tune:
“As shown above, it is T-Mobile that has the most substantial total low- and mid-band spectrum holdings of any provider at the national level,” Verizon stated in its appeal.
Verizon goes on to quote T-Mobile’s Neville Ray on the status of the company’s advantage:
“T-Mobile’s President of Technology, Neville Ray, recently boasted that, even before these arrangements take effect, T-Mobile’s low- and mid-band spectrum holdings give it such a ‘material advantage’ in the marketplace that its ‘competition doesn’t have a path to match [it] for some time.’ Indeed, Mr. Ray claimed that T-Mobile has a ‘2x’ or ‘3x multiple’ in the ‘mid- and low-bands’ over AT&T and Verizon.”
It appears Verizon may now be regretting its decision to not purchase more spectrum when it had the opportunity.