T-Mobile promised its nationwide 5G network was coming before the end of the year, and now we have a launch date: Dec. 6. The carrier announced today during a live stream dedicated to its upcoming merger with Sprint. According to CEO John Legere, 200 million customers will have access to the network on day one, with 5,000 cities and towns.
The company plans to market the initiative as “5G for Good,” likely in an effort to drum up additional support for its merger with Sprint. That’s because the launch is dependent on the deal going through since T-Mobile needs access to Sprint’s spectrum to make such a wide initial rollout possible. Legere went on to claim that 90 percent of Americans would get access to 100Mbps speeds by 2024 thanks to its potential 5G network.
“This deal has taken longer to close than we thought it would. Some people are still asking questions — the right questions. But these people have yet to realize that what they want is what we want,” said Legere by way of trying to sell the merger. The FCC formally approved the merger on Tuesday, as did the Justice Department earlier this year. However, the merger still faces resistance from 18 state attorneys general.
The new network, using what is known as low-band spectrum, may not be as fast as millimeter-wave but offers significantly better coverage and will be built on top of the company’s 4G LTE network to offer faster speeds compared to 4G.