Promises of widespread 5G connectivity from the US' top cellular providers are nothing new. AT&T has been announcing cities scheduled to receive the technology in 2018 for months now, but nothing much has come of these announcements. Verizon is in a similar boat, promising last year that it would begin to roll out 5G tech during the second half of 2018.
T-Mobile, on the other hand, is putting its money where its mouth is. According to a press release published today, T-Mobile and Nokia have signed a multi-year 5G network agreement.
The terms of this agreement will see T-Mobile purchase a whopping $3.5 billion worth of 5G equipment and tech from Nokia. T-Mobile hopes this deal will allow it to "accelerate" the deployment of its nationwide 5G network.
"We are all in on 5G. Every dollar we spend is a 5G dollar, and our agreement with Nokia underscores the kind of investment we’re making to bring customers a mobile, nationwide 5G network," said T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray in a statement. "And together with Sprint, we’ll be able to do So. Much. More."
Based on T-Mobile's announcement, it sounds like this will be a true partnership rather than a simple gear purchase. "Nokia will help build T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network with 600 MHz and 28 GHz millimeter wave 5G capabilities," the press release reads, suggesting on-going collaboration between the two companies.
T-Mobile's 5G network will reportedly enable "faster speeds, massive connectivity," and a "super-responsive" network from a customer standpoint. Though the use cases for 5G networks are virtually infinite, T-Mobile specifically mentions the potential of "on-demand" VR or AR, driverless vehicles, and any other tech that would require "ubiquitous" low latency connections.
As nice as it is to see T-Mobile invest such a substantial amount into the advancement of 5G tech, it'll likely be a while before the average consumer gets to take advantage of it. In May 2017, the company said it wouldn't begin to launch its own 5G network until sometime in 2019.