T-Mobile completes first 5G video and data calls on 600MHz

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T-Mobile US, working with Intel and Ericsson, this week carried out the first 5G data and video call on the 600 MHz spectrum band, with successful uplink and downlink communication on a live commercial network.

During the tests, the teams generated a 5G signal capable of covering more than 1,000 square miles from a single tower. T-Mobile also made a tri-band 5G video call with three users on different spectrum bands – 600 MHz, 28 GHz and 39 GHz.

New T-Mobile

The carrier, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, says the tests represent a step forward for its New T-Mobile multi-band spectrum strategy to roll 5G out across the US and make it available to everyone. The New T-Mobile is how company refers to the new entity that will be created by its merger with Sprint. The deal was announced in April but has stalled, pending review, due to the government shutdown in the US.

The New T-Mobile will provide 5G to customers on multiple spectrum bands, including low-band, mid-band and millimetre wave. T-Mobile notes that while low-band 600MHz spectrum delivers a broad layer of 5G and provides balance to millimetre wave (mmW), it has limited coverage and is unable to pass through most objects, like walls.

John Legere, Chief Executive Officer of T-Mobile, said, “This is a huge accomplishment for Neville [Neville Ray, T-Mobile’s CTO) and his team, who had a vision for nationwide 5G and are building it out the right way – across multiple spectrum bands.

“While the other guys focus on 5G millimetre wave on a handful of blocks in a handful of cities, we’re building 5G for everyone, everywhere. And together with Sprint, we’ll add much-needed spectrum depth, creating a truly transformative 5G network.”

5G in Germany

Deutsche Telekom group sees its US subsidiary and home market of Germany as the twin engines of growth, pledging the capex investment necessary and not scaling back on opex, in contrast to its approach to the other opcos in the group.

In October, Deutsche Telekom announced it will spend €20 billion to bring 5G to 99% of the German population by 2025.

It set up a 5G testbed in September last year, which now covers a 5km area of Berlin.