T-Mobile achieved a significant milestone in New York, passing the gigabit speed threshold with mid-band 5G.
This is significant because, generally, high-band mmWave is viewed as the flavor of 5G that offers the best speeds. Unfortunately, mmWave has notoriously short range, requiring towers, repeaters or base stations every couple of hundred meters. This makes it logistically impossible to widely deploy it across the country.
In contrast, low-band 5G has the best range and penetration, even better than 4G LTE in some cases, but offers only modest speed improvements over the older technology.
Mid-band spectrum, in the 2.5GHz range, is generally considered the sweet spot for 5G, offering the best blend of range, penetration and speed. According to Ookla Speedtest’s Milan Milanovic, however, T-Mobile’s mid-band may be giving mmWave a run for its money.
Well that was unexpected… Just two weeks after the 2.5GHz NYC launch, @TMobile upgrades the NR bandwidth from 40 to 60MHz!
NR spectral efficiency further improves… 1.2Gbps. 😳
— Milan Milanović (@milanmilanovic) May 19, 2020
The mid-band spectrum was one of the primary reasons T-Mobile worked so hard to merge with Sprint. Sprint had been sitting on a wealth of the spectrum for years, but had never been able to deploy it to maximum benefit.
It appears T-Mobile’s investment is paying off for the company and customers alike.