At a recent Federal Communications Commission auction, T-Mobile pulled in 45% of the 600 Mhz low band spectrum for nearly $8 billion. The US carrier giant plans to use that technology to provide the first ever 5G wireless networks by 2019 and a nationwide coverage by 2020.

This will be T-Mobile’s largest investment by far.

Neville Ray, the carrier’s chief technology officer, said “We’re going to run it and run it hard,” according to USA Today. Although other carriers, Verizon and AT&T, also claimed that they have plans for the next generation of wireless, Ray said that T-Mobile would be the first to roll out the 5G network.

What is the 5G wireless network?

5G technology promises to provide at least ten times and up to 100 times faster than today’s 4G networks, which translates to 10 Gbps. 5G has low latency and can provide better battery life on smartphones and other devices.

The technology might also be adapted to self-driving vehicles and appliances connected to the internet. T-Mobile claims with 5G; people will never lose anything again as various objects can be equipped with small sensors that can be tracked.

5G will also be able to serve the future needs of education, government, and business.

Verizon’s different path

Verizon decided to sit out the FCC’s spectrum auction and is putting more emphasis on “millimeter wave spectrum.” Verizon’s chief network officer Nicola Palmer says the company will focus its growth on enhancing fixed and mobile broadband and low-latency services.

This means Verizon is looking for more connected services and devices and larger bandwidth capacity.

It is contrary to T-Mobile’s focus, which prioritizes coverage over speed in using low-band spectrum. The 45% of the 600 Mhz low band spectrum acquired from the FCC covers the entire US and Puerto Rico. Verizon and AT&T are trying out significantly faster 5G with its high band spectrum.

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Verizon plans to offer 5G trials to limited customers in 11 US cities in the first half of 2017.

Also, the infrastructure needed for 5G is not yet complete and still being built. However, different entities such as smartphone makers and government regulators are stakeholders of the technology and are eager to see what the hype is all about.

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