Today, T-Mobile in the US has announced that its new lower frequency 600MHz 5G network has gone live throughout the United States, for those customers who have compatible phones. T-Mobile has said that this is the first nationwide 5G network to go live in the US.
“T-Mobile lights up the first nationwide 5G network, first nationwide prepaid 5G with Metro by T-Mobile and first 5G devices that work nationwide, ushering in a new era of 5G accessibility and affordability in first step toward 5G for All with New T-Mobile.”
At the moment, the amount of phones which support 600MHz is pretty limited. No current iPhone models do, only the OnePlus 7T 5G McLaren and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G do. Both of these phones are launching on Friday, with T-Mobile.
Lower frequency = more range
Like anything wireless, the lower the frequency means you get more range. WiFi works this way, 2.4GHz is lower, therefore it propagates better than the higher 5GHz. But higher frequencies means more theoretical bandwidth.
T-Mobile’s new 600MHz 5G network is pretty low in the spectrum, which means the range should be pretty good in rural areas. The main reason AT&T and Verizons networks are better suited in the cities, is that it is much higher frequencies, in the millimetre wave level, which will give near gigabit speeds, which we have seen but propagation is much lower.
T-Mobiles new 5G network is faster than its 4G network, but no where near the speeds millimetre wave.
“5G is here on a nationwide scale. This is a HUGE step towards 5G for All. While Dumb and Dumber focus on 5G for the (wealthy) Few, launching in just a handful of cities — and forcing customers into their most expensive plans to get 5G — we’re committed to building broad, deep nationwide 5G that people and businesses can access at no extra cost with the New T-Mobile … and today is just the start of that journey.”
T-Mobile CEO, John Legere