T-Mobile slows US 5G launch, postpones some frequencies until late 2019 [u]

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 25
The U.S. branch of T-Mobile is delaying its 5G launch from the first half of 2019 until the second, owing to a lack of compatible phones, its CTO said in a Monday interview. [Updated with correction by T-Mobile]

T-Mobile on iPhone XS


The hope was originally that phone makers would already be in a position to ship devices with 600-megahertz band support, Neville Ray explained to CNet. One of the first 5G phones, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, relies on higher-frequency bands that mostly limit it to AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.

T-Mobile's focus on a lower band is deliberate, since while the millimeter wave technology used by AT&T and Verizon has faster speeds, its range is short. T-Mobile has a small number of millimeter wave towers.

"You can't go to a U.S. consumer and charge them a big premium and it works on three street corners," Ray commented.

One of the carrier's rivals, Sprint, will likewise skip millimeter wave when it deploys 5G in May. Even without it, devices may be able hit speeds as high as 430 megabits per second -- considerably faster than most 4G connections. Sprint CEO Michel Combes said that if a merger with T-Mobile goes through, Sprint will be able to deploy 5G faster and with wider coverage. That deal faces opposition from parties concerned about shrinking competition in the U.S. telecoms industry.

Apple isn't expected to add 5G to iPhones or iPads until 2020. That's probably because of its ongoing legal battles with Qualcomm, slow modem development at Intel, and the fact that general 5G coverage should remain small by the time this fall's iPhones are ready.

5G is considered crucial to the advancement of technologies like self-driving cars and augmented reality, both of which Apple is known to be working on.

Update: T-Mobile tells AppleInsider that the CNET piece is inaccurate, and that only its 600-megahertz deployment is coming in the second half of 2019. 5G on other bands is still coming in the first half.

"Everything is still on track as originally planned," a spokesman said.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    There is no rush, there are literally NO phones that work on this network yet.
    dws-2MplsP
  • Reply 2 of 19
    My iPhone Max’s Intel modem is clearly inferior to all of my previous iPhones which had QUALCOMM modems.  I really hope that the two companies arrive at a settlement sooner rather then later, so that the 2020 and beyond iPhones have QCOM modems. 
    muthuk_vanalingamlkrupp
  • Reply 3 of 19
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,149member
    bluefire1 said:
    My iPhone Max’s Intel modem is clearly inferior to all of my previous iPhones which had QUALCOMM modems.  I really hope that the two companies arrive at a settlement sooner rather then later, so that the 2020 and beyond iPhones have QCOM modems. 
    I do have to say the same. It's not as good as the modem that was in my iPhone 6 that my iPhone XS replaced. Not that going back to Qualcomm is the answer. Just that Intel needs to better it's game and/or Apple needs to start making their own instead.
  • Reply 4 of 19
    Good that my decision for the new smartphone was driven by its 5G capability. 
    Not ;)
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 5 of 19
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,176member
    vukasika said:
    There is no rush, there are literally NO phones that work on this network yet.
    There is no rush, but this is a situation where the network needs to be in place before the devices since a single tower does not a network make.
  • Reply 6 of 19
    Soli said:
    vukasika said:
    There is no rush, there are literally NO phones that work on this network yet.
    There is no rush, but this is a situation where the network needs to be in place before the devices since a single tower does not a network make.
    Wrong.
    Apple seems to be one of the very few not rolling out devices.  And that's only because they can't find a supplier for the modems.  Meanwhile, 5G will be up and running in major cities and on Android phones at the time of the next iPhone release.   Embarrassing for Apple unless they can come up with something before then.
    edited February 25
  • Reply 7 of 19
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,176member
    Soli said:
    vukasika said:
    There is no rush, there are literally NO phones that work on this network yet.
    There is no rush, but this is a situation where the network needs to be in place before the devices since a single tower does not a network make.
    Wrong.
    Let's get a billion devices with expensive 5G radios on the market with nary a tower in place, not even in areas where short-range, high-bandwidth towers both makes sense and can be put place with ease for testing devices across carriers in a real world setting, because that makes perfect sense. Even now with a company as successful as Apple we still see cellular radio issues crop up because of the complexity of real world testing, but you keep putting the cart before the horse because that seems to be working out well for you. /s
    edited February 25 bestkeptsecretn2itivguyllama
  • Reply 8 of 19
    Soli said:
    vukasika said:
    There is no rush, there are literally NO phones that work on this network yet.
    There is no rush, but this is a situation where the network needs to be in place before the devices since a single tower does not a network make.
    It's a chicken-and-egg problem, with carriers saying "no phones" and phone-makers saying "no carriers."

    The only way to break this stalemate is for the regulators to provide some rules of the road (and for Congress, at a minimum, help speed along the T-Mobile/Sprint merger).
  • Reply 9 of 19
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,002member
    They should just skip 5G and go with 6G as soon as possible /s
    cornchipmac_128GeorgeBMacn2itivguy
  • Reply 10 of 19
    "You can't go to a U.S. consumer and charge them a big premium and it works on three street corners," Ray commented.

    So how big is the big premium for 5G that won’t be deployed in a manner that is consistently useful, beneficial to a U.S. consumer?

    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 11 of 19
    bluefire1 said:
    My iPhone Max’s Intel modem is clearly inferior to all of my previous iPhones which had QUALCOMM modems.  I really hope that the two companies arrive at a settlement sooner rather then later, so that the 2020 and beyond iPhones have QCOM modems. 
    That’s interesting, because my XS is superior to every iPhone I had prior which had a Qualcomm modem. In fact, I’m regularly with someone who uses Verizon with an S9 and a Qualcomm modem and the reception and performance is pretty much equal to my XS on T-Mobile with an Intel modem.

    We can’t make a blanket statement based on our own experience and the loud voices of select people where we can’t be sure how well they represent the public overall.
    llama
  • Reply 12 of 19
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,546member
    "You can't go to a U.S. consumer and charge them a big premium and it works on three street corners," Ray commented.

    So how big is the big premium for 5G that won’t be deployed in a manner that is consistently useful, beneficial to a U.S. consumer?

    As I see it, the potential costs of putting a 5G modem in 'now' (i.e. being among the first on the market)
    • immature 5G standards may limit compatibility or performance in the future
    • performance of modems usually improves significantly over the first few generations, so a 1st gen modem likely will not give the best performance
    • 1st gen products are often less efficient/optimized, increasing battery draw
    • 1st gen devices are generally more expensive

    Benefits include -
    • better performance (this is of dubious value in the near term; the true performance gains won't be seen until the network is widely available)
    • being on the cutting edge. This is more a benefit of perception than a true benefit, but there is definitely a cost to being seen as 'behind the curve.'
    When 5G will be consistently useful in the US remains to be seen. It's defiantly a chicken and egg type problem - we won't see widespread development of services that leverage 5g until there is reasonable network coverage, but the network rollouts that have been announced are still relatively limited and keep getting pushed back. On top of that, there are virtually no actual smartphone uses for 5G currently or in the near future (some will disagree with me on this point.) 
  • Reply 13 of 19
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,546member

    Soli said:
    vukasika said:
    There is no rush, there are literally NO phones that work on this network yet.
    There is no rush, but this is a situation where the network needs to be in place before the devices since a single tower does not a network make.
    It's a chicken-and-egg problem, with carriers saying "no phones" and phone-makers saying "no carriers."

    The only way to break this stalemate is for the regulators to provide some rules of the road (and for Congress, at a minimum, help speed along the T-Mobile/Sprint merger).
    I don't think regulations would necessarily be a good idea here - congress moves infinitely slower than technology and they are even slower to update regulations that are outdated. I'd be afraid the regulations would end up compromising things more than helping.

    All of the networks are pushing towards 5G and I think market competition will be enough to push the rollout. Having good 5G coverage will be an important selling point, just like 4G/LTE coverage was a few years ago.
  • Reply 14 of 19
    MplsP said:

    Soli said:
    vukasika said:
    There is no rush, there are literally NO phones that work on this network yet.
    There is no rush, but this is a situation where the network needs to be in place before the devices since a single tower does not a network make.
    It's a chicken-and-egg problem, with carriers saying "no phones" and phone-makers saying "no carriers."

    The only way to break this stalemate is for the regulators to provide some rules of the road (and for Congress, at a minimum, help speed along the T-Mobile/Sprint merger).
    I don't think regulations would necessarily be a good idea here - congress moves infinitely slower than technology and they are even slower to update regulations that are outdated. I'd be afraid the regulations would end up compromising things more than helping.

    All of the networks are pushing towards 5G and I think market competition will be enough to push the rollout. Having good 5G coverage will be an important selling point, just like 4G/LTE coverage was a few years ago.
    I wasn’t thinking of the Congress, but rather, FCC and the US telecom authority. 

    I brought up the Congress in relation to the springt-TMobile merger. 
  • Reply 15 of 19
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    vukasika said:
    There is no rush, there are literally NO phones that work on this network yet.
    There is no rush, but this is a situation where the network needs to be in place before the devices since a single tower does not a network make.
    Wrong.
    Let's get a billion devices with expensive 5G radios on the market with nary a tower in place, not even in areas where short-range, high-bandwidth towers both makes sense and can be put place with ease for testing devices across carriers in a real world setting, because that makes perfect sense. Even now with a company as successful as Apple we still see cellular radio issues crop up because of the complexity of real world testing, but you keep putting the cart before the horse because that seems to be working out well for you. /s
    Still wrong.
    The networks and the 5G phones are rolling out together starting with this year.   Apple apparently won't be one of them only because they can't find a supplier rather than any technical reasons.
  • Reply 16 of 19
    Soli said:
    vukasika said:
    There is no rush, there are literally NO phones that work on this network yet.
    There is no rush, but this is a situation where the network needs to be in place before the devices since a single tower does not a network make.
    It's a chicken-and-egg problem, with carriers saying "no phones" and phone-makers saying "no carriers."

    The only way to break this stalemate is for the regulators to provide some rules of the road (and for Congress, at a minimum, help speed along the T-Mobile/Sprint merger).
    Not really,  All three major U.S. carriers are planning to start rolling out 5G this year and there will be plenty of 5G phones available.   Apple won't be one of them only because they can't find a supplier.

    The only thing the government could do to speed it up would be to drop this silly anti-Huawei / MAGA stuff.  They seem to have the cheapest and best 5G equipment.
    edited February 26
  • Reply 17 of 19
    MplsP said:
    "You can't go to a U.S. consumer and charge them a big premium and it works on three street corners," Ray commented.

    So how big is the big premium for 5G that won’t be deployed in a manner that is consistently useful, beneficial to a U.S. consumer?

    As I see it, the potential costs of putting a 5G modem in 'now' (i.e. being among the first on the market)
    • immature 5G standards may limit compatibility or performance in the future
    • performance of modems usually improves significantly over the first few generations, so a 1st gen modem likely will not give the best performance
    • 1st gen products are often less efficient/optimized, increasing battery draw
    • 1st gen devices are generally more expensive

    Benefits include -
    • better performance (this is of dubious value in the near term; the true performance gains won't be seen until the network is widely available)
    • being on the cutting edge. This is more a benefit of perception than a true benefit, but there is definitely a cost to being seen as 'behind the curve.'
    When 5G will be consistently useful in the US remains to be seen. It's defiantly a chicken and egg type problem - we won't see widespread development of services that leverage 5g until there is reasonable network coverage, but the network rollouts that have been announced are still relatively limited and keep getting pushed back. On top of that, there are virtually no actual smartphone uses for 5G currently or in the near future (some will disagree with me on this point.) 
    The same arguments were likely made for the horseless carriage.  Thankfully they were ignored.

    As for the iPhone, 2-3 years from September a phone limited to 4G will be quite obsolete.  But that is what Apple will likely be selling -- not for any of the reasons you sited -- but because they can't seem to find a supplier.  Qualcomm is off the table.  Intel can't.  And Huawei is being attacked by our president. 
  • Reply 18 of 19
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,988member
    What's Rush ? Why I pay for 5G when I live in suburban area of USA with having so called LTE for over 4 years but I still can't get consistent LTE signal. I will ignore all this 5G hoopla and visit in Spring/Summer of 2021. That time, we will have consistent coverage of 5G and some may even refer 5G+
    edited February 26
  • Reply 19 of 19
    wood1208 said:
    What's Rush ? Why I pay for 5G when I live in suburban area of USA with having so called LTE for over 4 years but I still can't get consistent LTE signal. I will ignore all this 5G hoopla and visit in Spring/Summer of 2021. That time, we will have consistent coverage of 5G and some may even refer 5G+
    In the spring of 2021 your iPhone XI will be a year and a half old.  Do you intend to buy a new one in order to play catch-up?   THAT is the issue.
    edited February 26
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