T-Mobile detailed in a presentation to the Federal Communications Commission how the New T-Mobile will deploy its 5G network using the combined assets and spectrum holdings of T-Mobile and Sprint. T-Mobile claims that the New T-Mobile can build a 5G network that offers faster data speeds and wider coverage compared to the standalone 5G services separately deployed by the two carriers. For example, the New T-Mobile’s 5G service could offer an average throughput of 451 Mbps by the year 2024, which is around four times faster than the average data speeds of 100 Mbps and 116Mbps that could be offered by T-Mobile and Sprint’s 5G networks respectively. Furthermore, the New T-Mobile’s 5G service can offer peak data throughput of 4.2 Gbps in 2024, while T-Mobile and Sprint’s separate 5G networks can only provide peak data speeds of 2.8Gbps and 0.7Gbps respectively, and it could also offer data speeds of more than 100Mbps to 293 million people and transfer rates of more than 500Mbps to 209.2 million individuals.
To offer these data speeds, the New T-Mobile will take advantage of the mmWave and low-band spectra currently held by T-Mobile and the mid-band spectrum presently used by Sprint. The carrier will use mmWave bands for 5G services in dense urban locations, while the mid-band and low-band frequencies will be used in metropolitan and national 5G deployments respectively. T-Mobile’s current network will mostly comprise the New T-Mobile’s infrastructure, although it is expected to keep around 11,000 Sprint cell sites as well as the 2.5GHz and PCS frequencies for capacity and coverage. After the merger is completed, the New T-Mobile will shut down the remaining Sprint cell sites, although there is no clear timeline for the decommissioning process.
Aside from mobile broadband applications, the 5G network of the New T-Mobile could also be utilized for Fixed Wireless Access services. T-Mobile claims that its fixed wireless offerings will be cost-competitive compared to rival services. However, the regulator will not only look on the possible network performance improvements and the services that will be offered by the New T-Mobile, but it is also expected to study how the merger of the two carriers could impact the overall competition between America’s key national service providers.
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