T-Mobile today announced that it has completed the world's first 5G data transmission on the 600 MHz spectrum in partnership with Nokia. The two companies signed a deal earlier this year with 5G in mind, and this seems to be the first visible result of that agreement.
The era of 5G is inching ever closer, and carriers are already starting to deploy service in select locations, while the first smartphones to support the technology are expected to arrive in 2019. However, most of those devices, for now, are aiming to use 5G with millimeter waves, which can't get very far and require a direct line of sight.
T-Mobile, on the other hand, has been making big bets on low-band networks, specifically the 600MHz spectrum, which it started deploying last year. The low frequency of these waves means they can reach much farther than the millimeter waves used by the likes of Verizon. T-Mobile says its technology can cover hundreds of square miles with a single tower, a stark contrast to the higher frequency's range of under a square mile.
The first 5G data transmission on the lower frequencies is a big step in bringing 5G to everyone, and T-Mobile says believes it can deliver on that promise by 2020. The Un-carrier's current 600 MHz network is already ready for 5G, so it shouldn't be too hard to upgrade the signal when the company is ready to make the move.