We know that T-Mobile is aiming to launch its 600MHz 5G coverage in the second half of 2019, and today the magenta carrier got one step closer to achieving that goal.
T-Mobile says that it teamed up with Qualcomm and Ericsson to achieve the world’s first low-band 5G data session on a commercial 5G modem. The data session used 600MHz spectrum and a mobile test device using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 5G modem, and it was completed at a T-Mobile lab in Bellevue, WA.
“This is a key step toward achieving our vision of 5G for All,” said Neville Ray, T-Mobile’s CTO. “This modem will power devices that tap into the 600 MHz low-band spectrum we’ll use to blanket the country with 5G.”
T-Mobile currently offers 5G coverage in parts of Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York City, but that network uses millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum. 600MHz spectrum has a much farther reach than mmWave, so T-Mo’s 5G coverage should expand greatly once it goes live.
The Snapdragon X55 5G modem is important because it’ll be the first chip to support T-Mobile’s 600MHz 5G coverage. The Galaxy S10 5G that T-Mo sells includes a Snapdragon X50 5G modem, which only works with T-Mobile’s mmWave coverage. There haven’t been any devices announced with the Snapdragon X55 modem, but it’s expected that phones with the X55 will begin appearing in the second half of 2019, which is also when T-Mo’s 600MHz 5G coverage is expected to go live.