The 5G phones are finally coming fast and furious. For example, Samsung's newly-announced Galaxy A90 5G brings some of the best of Samsung's smartphone know-how and 5G at a much more palatable price point. There's just one little catch: it's probably not going to be compatible with the majority of 5G networks in the US. And it definitely won't be the last such 5G phone that doesn't end up in the US this year or next as a result.
For a variety of reasons, most US carriers (T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon) have chosen to bank a significant part of their 5G efforts on a technology called millimeter wave, which is commonly abbreviated in the industry as 'mmWave.' This type of 5G works in an extremely high part of the RF spectrum (in excess of 24GHz, and up to 60-70GHz), and has been pushed primarily by modem and chipset developers Qualcomm as a key part of 5G's promise. Read More
The rise of 5G is exciting, but taking full advantage of its potential is going to require carriers to expand their coverage into new parts of the RF spectrum. The FCC has been auctioning off the rights to some of these frequencies and has just completed the process for the 24GHz band while also announcing the winners of its 28GHz band auction. As was expected from the outset, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon were the largest bidders and winners of the processes. Read More
The $26 billion Sprint and T-Mobile merger has been through a regulatory rollercoaster in the past several months. The pair had thought they could push through the transaction while preserving all of their spectrum and wireless service brands — but even with favorable political conditions, this didn't prove to be the case. This past week, we learned that the two have promised the FCC that they would sell prepaid carrier Boost Mobile and that the Department of Justice would require the two to divest enough spectrum to create a tenable "fourth carrier" replacement. Now, according to Reuters, Amazon has come into the dealer's circle with its offers. Read More
Rakuten, the increasingly diversifying Japanese e-commerce giant, is looking to establish its own independent mobile network. The company intends to apply for part of the 1.7GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum rights in Japan when the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications opens applications for those frequencies early next year. Presently, Rakuten operates an MVNO using leased capacity from market leader NTT Docomo. Alongside second and third-place carriers au and SoftBank, the three companies effectively hold control of the Japanese mobile network. Read More
T-Mobile spent big on the FCC's 600MHz spectrum auction earlier this year, and it's already putting those new licenses to use. The carrier reports that it's flipped the switch on 600MHz LTE in Cheyenne, Wyoming using new Nokia equipment. Residents of Cheyenne can't do anything with that fancy new network yet, though. No current phones have support for the latest network technology, but that'll change in the coming months. Read More
Back in February, T-Mobile announced that it would begin using unassigned portions of the 5GHz spectrum to offer more bandwidth and coverage to its customers. The company called this 'LTE-U,' and said that it would start rolling out to customers in the spring. Well, it's a bit past spring, but we're now starting to see LTE-U go live in select cities. Read More
We learned a few months ago that T-Mobile spent big in the FCC's recent 600MHz spectrum auction. The carrier dropped $7.99 billion on the spectrum licenses, which it has now officially been granted. It's wasting no time putting them to use. T-Mobile says it will begin rolling 600MHz coverage out to select markets over the summer. Read More
United States carriers are spending big bucks to acquire more wireless spectrum, especially with 5G on the horizon. T-Mobile recently won a bidding war for a large chunk of the 600Mhz spectrum, and AT&T was preparing to buy Straight Path Commutations last month. However, it turns out that Verizon will be buying Straight Path instead, after winning a bidding war against AT&T. Read More
Is that the sweet sound of the FCC's auction hammer striking? After bidding closed March 30th it looks like T-Mobile has picked up almost half of the frequencies that were up for sale, acquiring big chunks of the 600MHZ spectrum for future LTE deployment. Read More
It's easy to forget, but T-Mobile USA is still owned by German firm Deutsche Telekom. In a recent speech given at the DLD conference in Munich, Germany, DT CEO Tim Höttges said that T-Mobile's un-carrier promotions won't be enough to keep T-Mobile going. The only long-term solution, apparently, is a merger.