Home Business Telecommunications Analyst firm says T-Mobile will be first in US with 'real 5G'
Analyst firm says T-Mobile will be first in US with 'real 5G' Pixabay

T-Mobile is best positioned among US telcos to deliver "real 5G whenever that reality actually materialises", the analyst firm BTIG Research says, adding that its deep and unused low-band spectrum should enable it to launch real 5G before any other firm.

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 millimetre wave spectrum is the answer, but we, like many in the industry, are sceptical 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.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.


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