T-Mobile, the third largest telecom operator in the U.S. behind AT&T and Verizon, has deployed its first inter-vendor 5G network.
Nokia’s 5G commercial AirScale solution and Intel’s 5G Mobile Trial Platform (MTP) have assisted T-Mobile to achieve the milestone in 5G trials. Nokia said the milestone is a first step in moving 5G development from labs into the field, expanding 5G mmWave radio performance and propagation testing into real world environment.
A 28 GHz outdoor 5G commercial radio system on air in the downtown of Bellevue in Washington state of the US for conducting a data session on a 28 GHz radio in a field test environment was the key milestone from the partnership.
The testing also allows T-Mobile and Nokia to understand howmmWave based 5G can be integrated with existing networks and how it co-exists with LTE.
Spectrum in all ranges from 600 MHz to mmWave will be required for 5G to meet its vision. Wide-area coverage to support mobility must be an integral part of any nationwide deployment strategy as 5G is anticipated to create enhanced broadband experiences and connect everything.
Neville Ray, CTO of T-Mobile, said: “We’re focused on building a nationwide 5G network for mobility, one that uses multiple spectrum bands, and launching field trials for mmWave spectrum is an important step forward.”
Nokia, a leading telecom equipment maker from Finland, will demo 5G on the AirScale platform at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 in Barcelona, Spain from February 26 to March 1.
T-Mobile earlier said its LTE network has reached 321 million people in 2017. The Un-carrier has nearly tripled its LTE coverage since 2015 and now covers 99 percent as many people as Verizon. T-Mobile’s LTE network ranked fastest for the 16th quarter in a row – four straight years – according to Speedtest by Ookla.
T-Mobile said its 600 MHz spectrum is already live in 586 cities and towns. 600 MHz spectrum will expand T-Mobile’s LTE footprint, while laying the foundation for the country’s first nationwide 5G network. T-Mobile owns 31 MHz on average of 600 MHz spectrum, which travels twice as far and is four times better in buildings than mid-band spectrum.
T-Mobile will launch more than a dozen new 600 MHz capable smartphones, ranging from budget-friendly phones to superphones, in 2018.