Earlier this week, T-Mobile's CTO, Neville Ray, posted to Twitter that the company was the first in the nation with 3GPP standards based millimeter wave, over the air uplink/downlink 5G data transmission. However, Verizon did this in February of this year. But it's a bit different. Verizon placed a call over 3GPP standards based millimeter wave technology, while T-Mobile did a data transmission. Two totally different things, and obviously data needs more resources than a simple phone call. So while Verizon's vice president of corporate communications, Jeffrey Nelson was partly right, he wasn't completely right.
This isn't the first time that Verizon has clapped back at T-Mobile over claims that the Magenta carrier has made, and it definitely won't be the last. It is definitely entertaining to see the two going at it, on Twitter though. So far, Ray has not responded to Nelson's Tweet, but the replies to Nelson's Tweet all appear to be on T-Mobile's side. Nelson called the claim by Ray "Baloney", but all that matters is who gets 5G out there first, and who does it the best. That is still going to be a few years away.
Verizon has been pretty adamant about being first to offer a nationwide 5G network in the US. The carrier was also first to offer up a nationwide 4G LTE network in the US as well, so there is precedent here. However, since 5G is based pretty heavily on LTE – in laymans terms, it is basically adding more capacity to LTE – being first isn't as big of a deal. But providing a good 5G network that is fast and can handle the capacity, is what's going to matter. Verizon, T-Mobile and other carriers know that, and that's why all of them are using a variety of different tech. From millimeter-wave, to unlicensed spectrum and even high-band spectrum, like the 2.5GHz spectrum that Sprint has – and that's a big reason why T-Mobile is trying to merge with Sprint.