T-Mobile completed its Sprint merger less than three weeks ago amid a pandemic, but the carrier isn't letting the coronavirus put its plans on hold. After announcing on April 1 the first use of its newly acquired midband spectrum in Philadelphia, T-Mobile now plans to redeploy airwaves in parts of New York in May as part of the latest expansion of its 5G network.
In turning on the 2.5GHz spectrum in New York, T-Mobile will have a first city to showcase its 5G vision. The carrier turned on higher-frequency millimeter-wave 5G in parts of the city last summer before adding its low-band, wider-reaching 5G network nationwide in December.
On Tuesday, T-Mobile will also expand the low-band footprint to include the Detroit, St. Louis and Columbus areas.
Whereas the millimeter-wave network has fast download speeds but severely limited outdoor coverage, and the low-band much better coverage but not noticeably improved speeds compared with 4G LTE, the midband spectrum allows for a combination of both with significantly faster speeds compared with 4G for service that works both indoors and outside.
Karri Kuoppamaki, T-Mobile's vice president of radio network technology and strategy, said the carrier is seeing download speeds of nearly 600Mbps in Philadelphia in early testing of its midband 5G deployment.
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