T-Mobile completes world’s first 5G call on 600 MHz

Wireless carrier T-Mobile, along with Intel and Ericsson, recently completed the world’s first 5G data and video call on 600 MHz on a live commercial network. The teams created a 5G signal that was capable of covering more than a thousand square miles from a single tower during the tests in Las Vegas, according to a company release.

Additionally, T-Mobile accomplished a tri-band 5G video call with three users on different spectrum bands that included 600 MHz, 28 GHz, and 39 GHz. The tests represent a step forward for the multi-band spectrum strategy the New T-Mobile plans to use in order to cover the U.S. with its next-generation 5G technology.

When the New T-Mobile is approved, the company plans to provide 5G to its customers on numerous spectrum brands including low-band, mid-band, and millimeter wave so everyone can enjoy the benefits 5G can offer. Currently, low-band 600 MHz spectrum provides a broad 5G layer and brings balance to millimeter wave—a critical aspect of the 5G puzzle. However, that spectrum only covers less than a square mile and can’t pass through most objects. When T-Mobile merges with Sprint, however, the new company says it will have the mid-band spectrum needed to enable broad and deep 5G coverage across the country.

“This is a huge accomplishment for (T-Mobile CTO) Neville (Ray) and his team, who had a vision for nationwide 5G and are building it out the right way – across multiple spectrum bands,” T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere said in a statement. “While the other guys focus on 5G millimeter wave on a handful of blocks in a handful of cities, we’re building 5G for everyone, everywhere!  And together with Sprint, we’ll add much-needed spectrum depth, creating a truly transformative 5G network!”

“We share the vision of T-Mobile to make 5G services available to everyone across the United States,” Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks at Ericsson said in a statement. “We will continue to work closely together as 5G partners, testing possibilities and reaching new milestones.”

“5G will power vibrant new use cases that span across network, client and cloud—spurring the convergence of computing and communications that will enable exciting use cases ranging from virtual and augmented reality and gaming, to smart cities, connected cars and intelligent data analytics,” added Sandra Rivera, senior vice president, Network Platform Group, Intel. “This collaboration with Ericsson and T-Mobile conducted over low-band spectrum and using the Intel® 5G Mobile Trial Platform is a major milestone on the path to enabling the first wave of these types of 5G experiences.”

T-Mobile will display its future 5G network at its booth at CES (Westgate—1013) this week in Las Vegas, as well as its Future of Wireless Truck. CES attendees will see a live 5G demonstration on how low-band spectrum can move through barriers like windows and doors while mmW cannot.

T-Mobile is currently on its way to delivering nationwide 5G in 2020. The carrier is deploying 5G-ready equipment such as 600 MHz Extended Range LTE that’s live in more than 1,500 cities and towns in 37 states and Puerto Rico.

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