T-Mobile is officially launching its nationwide 5G network a few days ahead of schedule, the company announced in a press release Monday.
Last month, the Uncarrier said that its 5G network would become available in 5,000 cities and towns across the U.S. on Dec. 6 (if the T-Mobile and Sprint merger went through).
Now, T-Mobile says its 5G network is currently going live in those cities.
The caveat, of course, is that the 5G network is currently based on 600 MHz “low-band” 5G. Low-band 5G essentially piggybacks on existing LTE airwaves but combines them with new cellular technology to deliver faster speeds.
That means the network won’t be quite as zippy as the 5G speeds from other carriers. But T-Mobile’s low-band 5G will have greater range and fewer problems with penetrating walls, however.
Additionally, the usage of existing LTE airwaves means that the carrier’s nationwide 5G will be available to a lot more people than other 5G networks. More than that, the low-band 5G will cost exactly the same as the carrier’s existing 4G LTE plans.
“We’re committed to building broad, deep nationwide 5G that people and businesses can access at no extra cost with the New T-Mobile .. and today is just the start of that journey.”John Legere, T-Mobile CEO
The carrier did not reveal just what kind of speeds customers will be able to get from the new network, however. Whether or not the low-band 5G will be much faster than existing LTE will largely depend on a customer’s region.
If the T-Mobile and Sprint merger goes through, the Uncarrier said that it will add Sprint’s existing 2.5 GHz 5G spectrum into the mix. That will allow for better speeds and improved range over the low-band spectrum.
While T-Mobile is launching its 5G network a few days early, you’ll still have to wait until the previously promised Dec. 6 date to use it.
That’s because that’s when T-Mobile will begin selling the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren Edition and the Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G — two devices that will be able to connect to T-Mobile’s low-band 5G. (Although they won’t support mmWave 5G.)