It’s 2020, things are wild. Like, a wireless-company-teaming-up-with-an-iconic-cake-mix-brand-wild. Today, T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) announced a culinary confection you need to eat to believe: the magenta Supercharged 5G Un-carrier Layer Cake. Since the beginning, T-Mobile has pioneered a distinctive ‘layer cake’ strategy to deliver a transformative, nationwide 5G network for all: dedicated spectrum across all three layers of 5G — low for far and wide coverage indoors and outside, mid for broad coverage and blazing fast speeds and high for super-fast speeds over shorter distances— for the best 5G experience. Now, to celebrate that winning strategy, Betty Crocker and T-Mobile are making a cake. A real Betty Crocker official, delicious Un-carrier layer cake mix.
And though it’s wild, it’s really no surprise, because the Un-carrier is ripe with 5G firsts: first to launch a 5G nationwide network, first to launch standalone 5G, first with 5G coverage in all 50 states, first 5G carrier aggregation on a commercial device call … and now, of course, the first wireless company ever to make a cake. And what a tasty looking cake it is:
“We said it first and we’ll say it again … T-Mobile’s ‘layer cake’ approach to 5G is the ONLY way to #5GForAll. Hell, we’ve even bake a cake with Betty Crocker to celebrate it,” said Neville Ray, President of Technology at T-Mobile. “When it comes to 5G, you’ve got to have layers — low band, mid band and high band make for a tasty cake. Unfortunately for them, AT&T and Verizon’s 5G networks don’t have the right ingredients, like clear 5G spectrum in all three bands.”
Okay, but WHY layer cake?
5G comes in three different spectrum layers — low, mid and high-band 5G — each important for the best 5G experience. The right mix of layers is the secret to T-Mobile’s winning 5G recipe. And only T-Mobile has the dedicated spectrum for it, while AT&T and Verizon bet on the wrong … cake. Let’s break it down:
- Low band (600 MHz 5G): The firm base layer. It travels far and wide to bring 5G speeds to more places across the U.S.
- T-Mobile has the first and largest nationwide 5G network, covering over 250 million people across 1.3 million square miles — that’s bigger than AT&T and Verizon’s 5G networks combined.
- Mid band (2.5 GHz): The tasty mid-cake layer. It covers a broad area with fast speeds. It’s the sweet spot for 5G.
- The Un-carrier has a major supply of ideal mid-band 5G spectrum (2.5 GHz), building on that nationwide 5G foundation with even more speed and capacity. Its super-fast download speeds average around 300 Mbps — that’s 7.5x faster than LTE today — with peaks of up to 1 gigabit-per-second. And this faster 5G experience will be in thousands of cities and towns by end of year.
- High band (mmWave): The flashy cake topper. It has super-fast but super limited data transmission.
- Great for small, dense city blocks, but doesn’t travel far and gets blocked by things like trees, windows and buildings…even the occasional umbrella.
AT&T and Verizon: 5G Recipes for Failure
T-Mobile is the only wireless company building 5G with clear, dedicated spectrum across low, mid and high bands. And that’s important because 5G devices will use a lot of capacity. Verizon and AT&T’s path to broadening 5G is to steal bandwidth away from other smartphone customers through Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS). The other guys will split their low and mid-band spectrum between 4G and 5G, effectively sharing lanes from their current 4G smartphone highway. Meanwhile, T-Mobile is adding 5G lanes to its network with our dedicated low-band 600 MHz spectrum and mid-band 2.5 GHz from Sprint. While Verizon bet (wrong) on super-fast but super-limited mmWave spectrum for 5G, T-Mobile always believed 5G would live in all spectrum bands with its “layer cake” multi-band strategy.