T-Mobile Commits To 5G Testing & Plays Down Verizon 5G Claims

February 17, 2016 - Written By John Anon

Earlier today, T-Mobile announced their latest quarterly report and in doing so confirmed the company saw a net income for the fourth quarter of 2015 totaling $297 million. That was along with announcing they had secured 108-percent of the postpaid phone growth for last year. Following the initial announcements and during the company’s Q4 2015 earnings calls, T-Mobile execs were commenting on what lies ahead for the company and especially in terms of 5G.

In terms of the company’s own 5G ambitions, both Neville Ray and John Legere made it clear that T-Mobile will begin testing 5G in 2016. A move which sees them confirming the same stance as both AT&T and Verizon who had both also recently confirmed their intention to begin testing 5G. In fact, in Verizon’s case, they were recently noted stating that they will be the first company to roll out a consumer usable 5G network.

However, both Ray and Legere also took the opportunity to comment on the wider 5G issue and the claims made by AT&T and Verizon. Firstly, Ray notes that although, T-Mobile is committed to beginning testing, consumers on any of the carrier networks should not be expecting 5G to arrive in a workable state anytime soon or even before 2020. Adding that the expectations for 5G are ones which need to be managed carefully. Following on from this point, Ray and Legere both state that the reason AT&T and Verizon are talking up 5G so much at the moment, is that it is a way to divert attention from the current carrier landscape and specifically how T-Mobile have caught up with the two big carriers in terms of 4G coverage. Adding to this, Ray made a point of completely downplaying Verizon’s claims of being ‘the first’ by stating that “it’s kind of BS, to be honest.” In typical fashion, Legere took the use of language a little bit further when describing Verizon’s CEO, Lowell McAdam’s recent comments that thanks to 5G consumers can expect to see increased speeds of a factor of 50. Legere, argued that McAdams either does not know or is attempting to “call it 5G way before the standards or the handset capabilities are available“.