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The State of 5G : T-Mobile

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Bob O’Donnell, President and Chief Analyst of TECHnalysis Research states that ” It’s hard not to notice how much attention 5G has been getting lately. It’s been the lead story on the evening news, the top story on major news sites, and the subject of a lot of discussion recently. Unfortunately, a lot of it has been confusing to those outside the wireless industry, in large part because of concerns raised by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and the aviation community.

What’s really going on is that two of the big three US telco operators just turned on the usage of some important new mid-band frequencies for 5G called C-Band that promised to finally bring them into the modern era. In the meantime, T-Mobile has been using a different set of mid-band frequencies (which they acquired via their merger with Sprint two years ago) to continue building out a speedy 5G network of their own. (As numerous recent comparative speed tests from companies like Ookla and OpenSignal have shown, that strategy has been working quite well for T-Mobile—but we’ll get into the details a bit later.)

To really make sense of all this, you have to understand a few basic principles about how cellular networks work. All wireless networks use radio waves at different frequencies to send and receive signals. To avoid interference with one another—as well as with other devices—companies acquire the exclusive rights to use different frequencies from the FCC, who oversees and manages that process for the US.”

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