In brief: Numerous cellular providers have promised widespread 5G network roll-outs in the near future, but T-Mobile is putting its money where its mouth is. The company today announced that it would be purchasing $3.5 billion worth of 5G tech from Nokia to speed up the deployment of its 5G network.
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.