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Monday, June 27, 2022

Millimeter Wave The Fastest 5G But Poor Coverage

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Millimeter Wave The Fastest 5G But Poor Coverage: Long an underdog, T-Mobile is now positioned to take advantage of the so-called “super-cycle,” where customers will upgrade to a new iPhone in droves.

Those upgrades mean an opportunity for customers to switch carriers, and T-Mobile has a good story. It’s the only carrier to have a widespread midband 5G presence thanks to Sprint.

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One of the three flavors of 5G, midband has noticeable speed improvements compared with low-band 5G while still working indoors and over large areas.

And it’s the type of 5G favored by carriers around the world.

Millimeter-wave, the fastest version of 5G and the one that has been frequently touted by Verizon, offers the most impressive speeds that can top well over 1Gbps, with Verizon claiming this week that in some areas of the country it has reached download speeds of 4Gbps.

The problem with this signal is that it doesn’t penetrate into buildings and has the weakest range that often is limited to only a handful of select city blocks as opposed to blanketing a whole area with coverage.

Verizon’s investment in covering stadiums and city centers also comes in a period where millions of Americans are still staying at home and apart from each other.

Neville Ray, T-Mobile’s president of technology, said in an interview with CNET that his company’s midband network reaches 25 million people, with plans to cover 100 million people by the end of the year and 200 million people by the end of 2021.

As more spectrum is allocated to the service he expects the average download speed on T-Mobile’s midband 5G network to be 400Mbps with peaks of 1Gbps by the end of the year, or nearly eight times faster than speeds on the company’s low-band 5G network, which had average speeds of 49.2 Mbps, according to a June report from wireless tracking firm OpenSignal.

It would also be nearly two-and-a-half times as fast as the average US home internet speed as reported by Ookla in August.

“We believe that’s a complete game-changer with the iPhone and the other 5G smartphones,” Ray said.

Others seem to agree.

“T-Mobile is the best positioned because it has a legitimate midband 5G network,” said Greengart. “Verizon is pretending it is in the best position with 5G.”

He adds that Verizon’s marketing efforts on 5G got a big boost from being on stage at the iPhone event.

Apple’s Cook referred to Verizon as one of its “closest partners” when introducing Vestberg.

AT&T, Greengart said, is “realistic” in that it knows its current low-band network is not materially faster than 4G LTE and “like other carriers, it also has limited millimeter-wave deployment.”

This position is why the carrier is offering “the most aggressive promotions” for Apple’s newest iPhones.

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