T-mobile on Tuesday unveiled plans to build out its next-generation wireless network using the radio airwaves it just purchased in a government auction. The focus for its 5G network isn’t necessarily speed, but instead broader coverage.
It’s a surprising move given those airwaves operate on a lower band, which is great for covering long distances but won’t give you tremendous speeds. The move goes against the conventional thinking about 5G, which has spurred excitement because of its ability to give you a seemingly supersonic connection to the network. Instead, T-Mobile is stressing a better signal everywhere and the ability to manage multiple devices beyond the phone.
“There’s a certain irony in T-Mobile taking an approach which could see it lead in coverage but lag in speed over time, given that it has until now been known for the opposite — a fast but far from ubiquitous network,” said Jan Dawson, an analyst at Jackdaw Research.
The plan would put T-Mobile in the pole position in the deployment of 5G, with the company able to claim the first nationwide 5G network.
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