T-Mobile Just Made Some Big 5G Promises

Illustration for article titled T-Mobile Just Made Some Big 5G Promises
Photo: Alastair Pike/AFP (Getty Images)

T-Mobile laid out some bold plans regarding the expansion of its 5G network during a virtual event with analysts today.

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According to The Verge, those plans include covering 90% of Americans (roughly 300 million people) with faster mid-band and mmWave service by the end of 2023, and 97% with slower low-band 5G by the end of 2022. Currently, 125 million T-Mobile customers are covered by its Ultra Capacity plan, which includes mid-band and mmWave, and 287 million are covered by its Extended Range plan, or low-band 5G plan.

Those who are already on T-Mobile’s Ultra Capacity plan will see their speeds increase from 300 Mbps up to 400 Mbps this year, thanks in part to the spectrum T-Mobile acquired when it merged with Sprint. But the mobile carrier is about to acquire more spectrum from the FCC’s recent C-band auction. T-Mobile bid more than $9.3 billion to acquire 142 spectrum licenses, while AT&T and Verizon bid billions more. But T-Mobile already had a vast 5G infrastructure in place going into the auction.

T-Mobile will focus on bringing 5G on the C-band to more suburban and urban areas, but it says it’s not neglecting smaller and rural markets either. The mobile carrier wants to increase its share in those areas by 20% over the next five years with its mobile, home broadband, and 5G products. The carrier also recently announced a new business broadband plan for companies with remote employees, and it will officially launch its in-home broadband for consumers later this month. T-Mobile plans to expand its in-home broadband service, which is currently in a pilot phase, to 7-8 million customers in five years.

Last month, T-Mobile announced it would be offering true unlimited data plans for both 4G and 5G with its new Magenta and Magenta Max plans. The Magenta Max is the more expensive of the two, $57 per line as opposed to $47, but Magenta Max is aimed at customers with 5G phones who also want access to unlimited data. All of this seems to be in preparation to entice more consumers to switch or stick with T-Mobile as their mobile or home-broadband carrier. We’ll see if it works, as the telco has a lot of lofty goals to reach in a short amount of time.

Staff Reporter, Reviews at Gizmodo. Formerly PC Gamer, Maximum PC.

DISCUSSION

First off, I didn’t realize that T-Mobile was stopping at 300. I was wondering where my 1Gbps speeds were. So no more FOMO there.

As for the rest, I hope the plan includes adding cells. I’m technically getting 5G coverage, but 1 to 2 bars equates to speeds of 10Mbps, well below the 60 I would get from 4G and full bars.