Wednesday, 24 April 2019 05:38

T-Mobile official trashes 5G debuts by Verizon, AT&T

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T-Mobile official trashes 5G debuts by Verizon, AT&T Pixabay

The chief technology officer of US telco T-Mobile has taken a swipe at the company's competitors, Verizon and AT&T, both of which have launched 5G offerings in the US ahead of T-Mobile.

Neville Ray said in a blog post that mmWave, which Verizon and AT&T have concentrated on in delivering their solutions, would not benefit many people as it would not travel very far.

"Our 5G goal is not headlines or buzz or bragging rights," Ray wrote. "No, we're going to do this right... when it's ready for our customers. And in a way that allows us to bring the benefits of 5G to the whole country."

He criticised Verizon's launch of a 5G service in Minneapolis and Chicago, saying: "They claimed their second 5G 'first', essentially acknowledging that their first 5G 'first' with made-up 5G (W)TF technology last year was not, in fact, a 5G first of any kind.

"Not to be left out of the empty-first-claim party, AT&T quickly reacted to Verizon’s news by trotting out more cities where they have 'launched' 5G... but nobody can use it and they’re not selling any 5G devices. They want us to just trust them that 5G is launched."

T-Mobile is waiting on a merger with the US' fourth provider, Sprint, to be approved by US authorities and, according to industry publication Fierce Wireless, its "5G for all" mantra will need the merger to work as Sprint has planned its 5G solutions around mid-band spectrum. Compared to Verizon and AT&T, T-Mobile has a comparatively smaller number of mmWave spectrum licences.

"Verizon’s mmWave-only 5G plan is only for the few. And it will never reach rural America. Meanwhile, AT&T has rolled out a '5GE' icon to customers phones to dupe them into thinking their same-old 4G LTE service is something new and different (spoiler alert: it’s not)," Ray wrote.

He said mmWave had great potential as far as speed and capacity went, "but it doesn’t travel far from the cell site and doesn’t penetrate materials at all. It will never materially scale beyond small pockets of 5G hotspots in dense urban environments".

T-Mobile chief executive John Legere and Sprint executive chairman met the Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel last week to push for the US$26 billion merger to be approved. A decision on the merger is expected by June.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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