T-Mobile, fresh off spending $8 billion for access to new radio spectrum in a federal auction, said it will use its new frequencies to anchor its next generation of mobile coverage.
On Tuesday, the company said that 5G, or fifth-generation wireless technology, promises to zip data far faster than even some of the most robust home internet today.
The company said that Kansas City would ultimately be covered by the service, but it’s unclear when the market would get the service or at what point in its rollout T-Mobile’s 5G signals would reach Kansas City.
Any true 5G coverage is likely years away. The industry has yet to agree on a definition of what 5G will mean. AT&T came under fire in April for touting what it called “5G” — a service that would double the carrier’s current data speeds but something less than the industry has in mind for a coming revolution in mobile connections.
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Building any new network to accommodate dramatically faster wireless signals likely won’t come until 2020 and beyond, and it will require consumers to swap out their smartphones for new devices.
Even as 5G remains a concept, T-Mobile has already taken a combative approach with what its competitors might offer. In a blog, T-Mobile’s chief technology offer, Neville Ray, lashed out at what he called “myths” advanced by other carriers.
“Carriers are fueling the hype to create tons of confusion,” he said on the blog.
T-Mobile boasts its version of 5G will be more truly mobile than that contemplated by other carriers, which tend to focus on beaming high-speed signals to fixed areas and working similar to wi-fi.
Instead, T-Mobile boasted in its news release that its 5G signals will be more ubiquitous.
“Their ambitious vision for Fixed 5G to replace home internet will never provide mobile 5G coverage,” said T-Mobile John Legere in the release. “It makes no sense.”
Sprint announced in March that it’s ready to launch a “gigabit class” of mobile service with successful tests of phones — not yet available on the market — achieving downloads of 700-900 megabits per second.
The Overland Park-based carrier said that services part of its push toward a 5G-like service, although it will lack some other key features of true 5G it will sell in the years to come.