Big Game Changing 5G

By Neville Ray, President of Technology, T-Mobile

There’s a lot of talk – and hype – about 5G. Wireless companies are spending gobs on futuristic ads, video games and fancy demo videos … most of which showcase solutions that don’t exist – and may never – or aren’t accessible to most people. This does consumers – and the technology itself – a disservice. That’s why, for our Super Bowl ads, we chose to focus on a real scenario ALL of us have probably experienced this past year – the glitchy video call. We’ve all experienced the jitter, drops, garbled voices, frozen faces.

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That’s a REAL problem 5G can solve, delivering higher quality video calls! (Now if 5G could just teach Carl how to unmute.)

The truth is that ONLY T-Mobile is building a broad and deep and Real 5G network. A network capable of delivering actual benefits like an amazing video calling experience… AND all of the other cool futuristic things 5G will unlock.

We saw it on display in Tampa Bay on Sunday. While Super Bowl was different this year, we still made permanent network upgrades throughout the area, and it’s a perfect case study of our 5G build strategy rolling out all across the country.

The majority of Tampa, St. Pete and Clearwater were already covered with far reaching 5G coverage. We then deployed super-fast Ultra Capacity 5G in and around Tampa Bay and in surrounding areas like St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and Dade City. At Raymond James Stadium, we deployed the full layer cake of 5G (low-band Extended Range, Ultra Capacity mid-band and Ultra Capacity mmWave) inside.

This is how you build a 5G network – with great coverage, capacity and speeds – across the city and surrounding area (and not just in a few parts!).

This weekend in Tampa there was only one clear winner on overall 5G performance as T-Mobile delivered the fastest average speeds across the Tampa Bay area as well as speeds at the stadium averaging north of 1Gbps!! And if you didn’t have a 5G phone – well the fastest LTE speeds were from T-Mobile too.

Nationwide, we saw 40% more traffic than during last year’s Super Bowl and we saw customers with 5G devices use 25% more data than other customers.

Research firm umlaut put this 5G experience in Tampa to the test, and found T-Mobile delivered the fastest performance. In just the last week, umlaut tested an area spanning more than 1,000 square miles both by car and on foot, taking nearly 2,000 test samples for each wireless provider. Using a 5G capable SamsungS20+ smartphone, they measured the customer experience with downlink and uplink performance. T-Mobile came out on top with the fastest 5G speeds and our overall average download and upload speeds, combining LTE and 5G, were more than 1.2 times faster than AT&T and Verizon. Not only that, but Ultra Capacity 5G download speeds in Tampa were over 1.6x faster than the  typical 5G speeds from the other guys, and Umlaut found that our Ultra Capacity 5G was available in almost half of all samples, while Verizon‘s Ultra Wideband could be found less than half of one percent of the time. Oof. This is what Verizon means when they say “parts of some cities” – less than half a percent of that city. And remember that TMO covers more than 40X the city count compared to Verizon.

This is the 5G experience we’re rolling out nationwide!

So, yea, there is a lot of talk, but what’s the reality when you look at the overall coverage and speed of the networks? 

Does this map surprise you? 

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And it’s more than just coverage. Here is how 5G networks compare by the numbers:

The truth is, from the moment we launched 5G, T-Mobile became the 5G coverage leader, and now according to Opensignal we’re also fastest, as we pile on the speed with Ultra Capacity 5G. And we’re not just adding 5G speed and coverage – we’re continually enhancing 4G LTE too.

Plus, T-Mobile is completely unique in that we’re building 5G using dedicated airwaves. That means we can deliver both coverage and speed to create a truly transformative 5G network. And we are still the only US wireless provider offering Standalone 5G which routes traffic to a dedicated next generation core that can unlock the full potential of 5G.  The other guys just can’t match this…

To showcase this completely unique strategy and unique network, and because not everyone loves maps the way I do, we’re using some unique tactics. In December, we introduced “If 5G Were…” with three snowpeoplebuilt to the scale of T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon’s 5G networks.

Today, I’m happy to present the second installment in this series: If 5G Were… Ice Sculptures. For this one, we head to Rochester, MN and the Improv-ICE festival for one massive ice sculpture representing T-Mobile, measuring 5 ft x 3 ft, and a second representing Verizon, a mere 2 ft x 2 ft. Or about one-quarter the size… the difference between both company’s 5G networks.  

You can see these works of art live – along with all of the other ice creations at Improv-ICE – at https://www.downtownrochestermn.com/events/improv-ice.

And get ready, because we got loads and loads of great ideas for things we could build for “If 5G Were…” Stay tuned to see a few of the best come to life!

Because we aren’t stopping. We’ll keep expanding the biggest and fastest 5G network. And we’ll keep telling people about it in new and different ways – and in ways that not only grab attention, but in ways that show how 5G can make a real difference. THIS is the kind of game changing 5G America deserves. This is the kind of 5G we are building.