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Analyst Firm Says T-Mobile Will Be First In US With Real 5G

In a research note, analyst Walter Piecyk said T-Mobile’s network investments had generated traction in markets where its market share was low.

“New, unused spectrum has historically been a necessary building block for rolling out new technologies. It’s even better if the spectrum is low-band, which provides a superior coverage solution,” Piecyk wrote.

“This was clear during the technology transitions to 3G and 4G. Remember that Verizon purchased 20 MHz of nationwide low-band spectrum at a 2008 FCC auction for the express purpose of rolling out LTE before all of their major competitors. Sprint and T-Mobile skipped that auction due to their lack of funding.

Those without unused low-band or mid-band spectrum believe that millimeter wave spectrum is the answer, but we, like many in the industry, are skeptical about that approach for mobile 5G.”

He pointed out that T-Mobile owned 30 MHz of low-band spectrum which it had bought in 2017 for US$8 billion.

“We believe T-Mobile is uniquely positioned to use this clean, low-band spectrum to roll out 5G-NR faster than its peers who:

  • “have used most of their existing spectrum for LTE;
  • “are hoping mmWave spectrum can provide mobile coverage; or
  • “are waiting for more mid-band spectrum to become available from Dish, CBRS, or C-Band,” Piecyk said.

“We do not believe that any of those spectrum alternatives can match the speed at which T-Mobile could deliver 5G to the market on its existing low-band spectrum.

“T-Mobile should be the first to market with real 5G and, if the Sprint deal is approved, will have the mid-band spectrum to further solidify their lead.”

The analyst firm’s parent, BTIG LLC, is an institutional brokerage and fund services company.―iTWire

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