Bad news, customers of T-Mobile: you will have to wait a little longer than expected for the 5G.
T-Mobile has postponed the launch of its 5G network in the second half of 2019. Originally scheduled for the first half, T-Mobile's CTO, Neville Ray, explained to CNET T-Mo had hoped that the phone companies and chip makers would have 5G devices compatible with the 600 MHz spectrum, but it turns out that this is not the case.
T-Mobile plans to use both the millimeter wave spectrum (mmWave) and 600 MHz for its 5G network. mmWave offers faster speeds but reduced range, while 600 MHz offers better coverage but lower maximum speeds. T-Mobile has announced plans to have 5G nationwide coverage by 2020 and will use a 600 MHz spectrum to do so.
While T-Mo will sell the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G this summer, this phone will run on the mmWave spectrum of T-Mo. Ray says that T-Mobile might not even market the benefits of the device because its mmWave deployment is so limited.
This news is probably disappointing for some T-Mobile customers, but it is likely that T-Mobile does not want to advertise its 5G network and 5G smartphones only to allow customers to find 5G coverage because they can use that mmWave spectrum of T-Mo. Instead, T-Mobile will wait until the second half of its official launch of the 5G, when 5G phones capable of accessing the 600 MHz spectrum and T-Mobile's broader 5G coverage will be available.
UPDATE: A T-Mobile spokesman said the T-Mo 5G network was not really delayed. Today's report refers to T-Mobile's 600 MHz spectrum, and 5G devices supporting 600 MHz are not expected before the end of the year. T-Mo plans to launch 5G on other spectrum bands in the first half of 2019, as soon as 5G devices are available for customers.
Sorry, Roger. It's wrong. We always said that we would launch when the phones would be available and that they would be in H1. H2 is right when it becomes more meaningful … but there is no delay and no change of plans.
– Neville (@NevilleRay) February 25, 2019