Neville Ray: T-Mobile Testing 5G, Ignoring Fixed Wireless

5G is blossoming in many forms, and while T-Mobile is on board with the new technology, their chief technology officer, Neville Ray, made it very clear that they are not getting on board with one of the most popular forms, fixed wireless. Instead, Ray says that T-Mobile is largely favoring high-traffic situations in outdoor settings with their 5G testing, and they are using small cells to make it happen. Even with small cells and 28 gigahertz spectrum on their side, however, Ray makes it clear that T-Mobile does not expect to be able to harness the full capabilities of 5G for another decade or so, on the grounds that every possible solution at this point in the technology's development has too many cons to be feasible.

Fixed wireless is a popular technology in 5G because of its stability, ease of deployment, and ideal qualities for enterprise users, making it a promising profit driver, but offering little to the average consumer in most use cases except for their carrier of choice having a bit more experience working with 5G technologies. Fixed wireless can be used to serve crowds of consumers, but is far from ideal for that purpose. Small cells, on the other hand, are another popular vehicle for 5G, and one of the most conducive for a consumer-forward 5G network. T-Mobile is not the only one embracing small cells for 5G; Sprint has stated that small cells are an integral part of their plans for 5G deployment, and all four major carriers are currently using or planning to use small cells in some form, 5G or otherwise.

Ray went on to lay out T-Mobile's plans and his own estimations for how the industry will approach 5G. According to Ray, 5G is going to eventually overtake other network technologies and eventually propagate across all spectrum bands. He talked a bit about Sprint's plans to predominantly use their low-band, 2.5GHz spectrum holdings to build out a 5G network, saying that the Now Network simply won't be able to cover the whole nation with such technologies. He also took a shot at Verizon's claim that they currently have the largest deployment of small cells in the country, and called the cable industry's upcoming bid to join the wireless world "interesting".

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