In short: Mere minutes after Verizon announced the launch of the world’s first commercial 5G service, T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere took to Twitter to continue his years-long tradition of mocking the wireless carrier’s largest rival by subscribers. The industry veteran expressed befuddlement with the fact that Verizon’s 5G service is only available in “tiny pockets” of neighborhoods across four U.S. cities and can be crippled by certain appliances, foliage, and a number of other everyday items. He also argued the technology powering the solution isn’t scalable and is based on a proprietary standard, meaning its future development will likely be limited. “Do you have a better chance of getting Verizon’s 5G if you wrap your house in tinfoil,” the CEO asked while laughing at Verizon’s 5G Home FAQ page.
Background: Verizon claims its 5G Home service is the start of a new era of connectivity, though the network itself is only a broadband alternative whose availability will be expanding gradually in the coming months. The fact that the solution uses a proprietary standard means that it likely won’t be the backbone of Verizon’s “true” 5G network that allows for cellular connectivity and is planned to start being deployed in early 2019. T-Mobile itself has a long history of mocking both Verizon and AT&T, with the tradition being started by Mr. Legere after he took over the Deutsche Telekom-owned firm in 2012. Mr. Legere, the former CEO of AT&T Asia, recently likened his previous employer to the Empire from Star Wars with an image depicting its logo as the Death Star and frequently refers to AT&T and Verizon as “dumb and dumber.”
Impact: Despite T-Mobile’s PR campaign and Verizon’s 5G Home launch, AT&T is still expected to deliver the first stateside 5G solution that’s both cellular and based on the 3GPP’s 5G New Radio standards. That network is said to be launching later this year but as first 5G-enabled smartphones won’t be released in the U.S. prior to early 2019, early adopters will have to rely on 5G “pucks,” or hotspots, to take advantage of the next-generation service. 5G itself is presently even being hyped up by the White House and is largely expected to be a massive force for a new economic boom that will allow for new technologies and create millions of jobs globally.
I cannot begin to explain how important 5G is going to be for this country, so I have to say congrats to Verizon on delivering its 5G* Home Service today. It doesn’t use global industry standards or cover whole blocks and will never scale… but hey, it is first, right?! 🤷♂️
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) October 1, 2018