T-Mobile is the last of the major cellular service providers in the United States to officially launch a 5G network, with Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint all in on the action already. Today, however, the company announced its plans to launch its 5G network on December 6, and as expected, it'll be based on the 600MHz spectrum that the Un-carrier has been promoting for some time.
Not only that, T-Mobile says this will be nationwide 5G, covering more than 200 million people and 5,000 cities, which is easily ahead of its competitors in terms of scale. To use the company's 5G network, you'll need a Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G or a OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren Edition, and if T-Mobile's merger with Sprint is approved, those devices will support Sprint's sub-6GHz 5G network, too.
T-Mobile's outspoken CEO, John Legere, commented on the news, saying:
"We’re building a 5G network that will allow us to deliver future New T-Mobile moves that are going to be SO massive we couldn’t WAIT to share the first few. We have definitively put a stake in the ground around the kind of company the supercharged Un-carrier will be and the ways we can put this radically better 5G network to work doing GOOD for this country — good for consumers, good for competition and good for innovation! Only the New T-Mobile’s transformative 5G network will FINALLY have the capacity and reach to make the BOLD moves we announced today that are squarely aimed at SOLVING inequities that have huge impacts on our society. When it comes to wireless service, many have been taken advantage of, left behind or completely forgotten. It’s time for another wave of change and the New T-Mobile will be at the forefront of that!"
In addition to the network launch on December 6, T-Mobile made a few promises in case its merger with Sprint is approved. First, the company announced the Connecting Heroes Initiative, which will see the carrier providing free 5G access to every first responder in "public and non-profit state and local police, fire and EMS agency across the entire country". The New T-Mobile promises to maintain this commitment for 10 years.
There's also Project 10Million, which will see a $10 billion investment from New T-Mobile to give free internet to children in households with no internet connection, in an attempt to bridge the "homework gap" - T-Mobile says seven out of 10 teachers assign online homework. In addition, T-Mobile will invest $700 million to gprovide hardware to 10 million households. Recipients of Project 10Million will get 100GB of free data per year, plus a T-Mobile Wi-Fi hotspot for free, and even those users will be able to benefit from the company's 5G network.
Finally, the New T-Mobile will be offering a T-Mobile Connect plan, which is half the price of the cheapest prepaid plan it currently offers. At just $15 per month, users will get unlimited talk an text, plus 2GB of data, which support 5G. For $25 per month, data can be bumped up to 5GB. Additionally, T-Mobile says it will add 500MB of data to your plan every year for the next five years, assuming you stay on the plan. It also won't increase the price of the plan for that time. One things that's worth noting is that data will stop working once the limit is reached, instead of simply throttling the speeds. Additional data can be purchased separately.
Aside from all of that, T-Mobile made some more promises that are undoubtedly attempting to sway regulators to approve the merger with Sprint. The company promises to create more jobs by 2024 than the two separate entities could create combined, expand its Team of Experts to help more customers, and promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives.
The Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice have approved of the merger, but there are still some more hurdles in the process. If all goes according to plan, the merger should be finalized in 2020.