T-Mobile 5G: When & Where You Can Get It (Updated for 2019)

T-Mobile 5G cities, speed expectations, and more

Picture of the T-Mobile logo

T-MOBILE USA, INC.

T-Mobile customers can expect 5G access in the US this year, at least in a handful of locations.

The company will start with mobile 5G but might one day offer a 5G broadband service so that you can get 5G's ultrafast speeds at home, too.

Metro, the company's prepaid brand, is also getting 5G in 2019.

T-Mobile 5G Cities

T-Mobile has 2020 as their target date for a nationwide 5G rollout, but they rolled out mobile 5G in 30 cities in 2018 to prepare for their 2019 launch.

These will be the first cities to experience T-Mobile's 5G services this year:

  • Dallas TX
  • Las Vegas NV
  • Los Angeles CA
  • New York NY

Although T-Mobile laid the groundwork for 5G in dozens of cities in 2018, they won't be usable until 5G smartphones are launched sometime this year.

T-Mobile 5G: Current Progress

According to T-Mobile, by 2021, they plan to provide download speeds of at least 100 Mbps for nearly 2/3 of the US population, and eventually, users can expect 450 Mbps download speeds, and even higher (up to 4 Gbps) in the future.

After a multi-billion dollar 5G investment with Nokia was announced in July, 2018, Ericsson announced in September an agreement with T-Mobile to provide the company with hardware and software from their 5G Platform to help deploy T-Mobile's 5G network.

T-Mobile announced in September, 2018, that they had laid the foundation for 5G in over 1,000 cities with their deployment of 600 MHz Extended Range LTE. This is what will push T-Mobile into providing nationwide 5G coverage by 2020.

The company also successfully performed their first low-band 5G signal in Spokane, Washington, in November, 2018. This 600 MHz, low-band 5G test is important because the company plans to provide 5G service to a broad area, which is possible with low-band waves that can deliver 5G to hundreds of square miles from a single tower.

The company plans to use mmWaves (millimeter waves) for 5G, too, which aren't as far-reaching as the low-band spectrum, but will be useful in specific areas.

T-Mobile launched Poland's first 5G network in December of 2018. However, access to the network is limited to select T-Mobile partners, and only in the center of Warsaw.

In early January, 2019, T-Mobile, Intel, and Ericsson successfully completed the world's first 5G video call and data call on the 600 MHz spectrum. During the tests, it was confirmed that from just one tower, the 5G signal could reach more than a thousand square miles.

T-Mobile's Fixed Wireless Access Service

5G fixed wireless access (FWA) provides access from one location, like your home, not "everywhere" like mobile 5G via your phone, but could be hugely beneficial to rural communities where fast home internet speeds might not be currently available.

T-Mobile might provide FWA 5G if they merge with Sprint. In this FCC filing, T-Mobile says that the new company will "extend the Un-carrier customer care model to in-home fixed wireless broadband services" and estimates that "20-25 percent of its in-home fixed wireless subscribers will be located in rural areas where there is limited broadband availability."