But it's just not device support that is needed to bring 5G to the masses; there also has be backend support from wireless carriers to deliver the increased speeds to customers. Third-place U.S. wireless carrier T-Mobile today announced that it has signed a multi-year agreement with Nokia to provide hardware solutions, software and services for its 5G rollout.
This will be an end-to-end technology partnership that will incorporate 600MHz and 28GHz millimeter wave 5G connectivity that is fully compliant with the GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standard. Nokia plans to provide to T-Mobile with AirFrame hardware and AirScale radio platforms along with CloudBand software and 5G acceleration services.
"Every dollar we spend is a 5G dollar, and our agreement with Nokia underscores the kind of investment we’re making to bring customers a mobile, nationwide 5G network," said T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray.
“This is a testament to our companies’ strong and productive working relationship, one which has produced several important technological milestones in recent months, and which now allows us to make 5G a commercial reality,” added Ashish Chowdhary, Chief Customer Operations Officer for Nokia.
T-Mobile is hoping to begin its initial 5G rollouts in 2019, and by that time, it's hoping that its planned merger with fourth-place Sprint will have passed regulatory muster so that it can emerge as powerful third-place competitor to Verizon Wireless and AT&T.
Both Verizon and AT&T announced back in late February that they would begin commercial rollouts of 5G wireless in late 2018, starting first with 5G mobile hotspot “pucks”. Not surprisingly, T-Mobile CEO John Legere fired back, stating, “Dumb and Dumber are in a meaningless race to be first. Their so-called 5G isn’t mobile, and it’s not even on a smartphone. It’s a puck?! You gotta be pucking kidding me!
“While the Duopoly focus on bragging rights, we focus on customers. T-Mobile has massively bigger plans for a truly transformative 5G experience on your smartphone nationwide. We’re playing the long game ... the only game that matters.”