T-Mobile says "the world is on the verge of a 5G revolution," and to prove it, the company teamed up with Intel and Ericsson to make the world's first 5G data call and video call on 600Mhz, both on a live commercial network. In doing so, the trio of tech companies provided a glimpse of future communication.
The 5G tests included successful uplink and downlink communications. During the tests, the teams generated a 5G signal that a single tower is capable of beaming out over more than a thousand square miles.
"The tests represent a step forward for the multi-band spectrum strategy the New T-Mobile will use to blanket the country with transformative next-generation 5G technology," T-Mobile says.
T-Mobile began testing 5G on its live network in the 600MHz spectrum late last year, in partnership with Nokia. The company views the low-band spectrum as being key to building a nationwide 5G network, in part because it reaches much farther than other frequencies.
"The Un-carrier is focused on delivering 5G for everyone everywhere, while the other guys focus on 5G for the few—reaching just a few people in small areas of a handful of cities," John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, said last November. "We’re building truly mobile 5G so everyone can benefit from the 5G revolution. And with Sprint, we’ll be able to supercharge 5G with incredible capacity and speed!"
These latest tests are a continuation of that effort. T-Mobile's goal is to provide 5G to customers on multiple spectrum bands, including low-band, mid-band, and millimeter wave, in order to serve as many people as possible
This won't happen overnight, though. It's more complicated than just flipping a switch. T-Mobile says it's on track to deliver nationwide 5G in 2020, so realistically it's going to be at least another year before it's available to users at large. That said. T-Mobile has already deployed 5G-ready equipment as it rolls out what it calls 600MHz Extended Range LTE, which is live in more than 1,500 cities in 37 states, plus Puerto Rico.