T-Mobile shuts down legacy Sprint 5G network as merger moves forward

Sprint and T-Mobile’s big merger went through earlier this year, and they have been making changes as they combine forces on their networks. The latest changes is that T-Mobile is shutting down Sprint’s original 5G network, a process they started in April. T-Mobile is now utilizing Sprint’s 2.5GHz spectrum to augment its own 5G network.

T-Mobile has already re-deployed the 2.5GHz spectrum as part of their 5G network in New York City and in parts of Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles. New York City is currently the only city that has T-Mobile’s low-band, mid-band, and mmWave 5G.

Some existing Sprint 5G smartphone users are now left without 5G access, unfortunately. Older Sprint 5G smartphones that used the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 modem will not be able to connect to T-Mobile’s new 5G network. These phones include the Sprint OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, and LG V50 ThinQ 5G. Other models launched more recently will continue to work on T-Mobile’s network and won’t be impacted by this change.

AT&T brings 5G to 137 more cities, aiming for nationwide coverage by the end of the year

AT&T launched 5G service in 137 more markets around the country this week, and AT&T senior executive vice president John Stephens told shareholders this week that the company will bring 5G nationwide this summer. Their coverage has already increased substantially in 2020, with 120 million people covered with AT&T 5G at the end of the first quarter and 160 million people in 327 after the addition of this week’s 137 launches.

“While many of us have been working from home for the past three months, AT&T’s network team continued to build and test our network so that we could emerge from this season with stronger, broader 5G coverage for our customers across the country,” said Chris Sambar, EVP of Technology Operations. “Whether it’s getting you back to work, back to school, or back to play, we’ve got you covered with the fastest wireless speeds in the nation.”

Below the is full list of new markets launched this week:

Alabama

  1. Anniston
  2. Dothan
  3. Florence
  4. Gadsden
  5. Mobile
  6. Tuscaloosa

Alaska

  1. Anchorage

Arkansas

  1. Clay County
  2. Cleburne County
  3. Cross County
  4. Franklin County
  5. Madison County
  6. Pope County

California

  1. Alpine County
  2. Fresno
  3. Kings County
  4. Salinas
  5. Sierra County
  6. Stockton
  7. Visalia-Tulare

Colorado

  1. Fort Collins-Loveland
  2. Greeley

Florida

  1. Calhoun County
  2. Citrus County
  3. Collier County
  4. Fort Myers
  5. Fort Walton Beach
  6. Gainesville
  7. Glades County
  8. Jefferson County
  9. Lakeland
  10. Tallahassee
  11. Walton County

Georgia

  1. Atlanta
  2. Bleckley County
  3. Early County
  4. Jasper County
  5. Warren County

Idaho

  1. Elmore County

Illinois

  1. Adams County
  2. Aurora-Elgin
  3. Bureau County
  4. Champaign-Urbana
  5. Clay County
  6. Joliet
  7. Montgomery County
  8. Springfield
  9. Vermilion County

Indiana

  1. Bloomington
  2. Decatur County
  3. Huntington County
  4. Kosciusko County
  5. Muncie
  6. Newton County
  7. Randolph County
  8. Warren County

Kansas

  1. Lawrence

Kentucky

  1. Spencer County

Louisiana

  1. Baton Rouge
  2. Caldwell Parish
  3. Claiborne Parish
  4. Iberville Parish
  5. Lafayette
  6. Monroe
  7. Morehouse Parish
  8. St. James Parish
  9. West Feliciana Parish

Maine

  1. Portland

Maryland

  1. Cumberland
  2. Hagerstown
  3. Kent County

Michigan

  1. Alger County
  2. Allegan County
  3. Benton Harbor
  4. Manistee County
  5. Muskegon

Mississippi

  1. Jackson

Missouri

  1. Moniteau County

Nevada

  1. Lander County

New Mexico

  1. Lincoln County
  2. San Juan County

New York

  1. Chautauqua County
  2. Elmira
  3. Jefferson County
  4. Poughkeepsie

North Carolina

  1. Anson County
  2. Hickory

Ohio

  1. Ashtabula County
  2. Columbiana County
  3. Lima
  4. Mansfield
  5. Williams County
  6. Youngstown

Oregon

  1. Lincoln County
  2. Medford
  3. The Dalles

Pennsylvania

  1. Altoona
  2. Bedford County
  3. Bradford County
  4. Huntingdon County
  5. Jefferson County
  6. Lawrence County
  7. Lebanon County
  8. Sharon

Rhode Island

  1. Newport County

South Carolina

  1. Anderson
  2. Calhoun County
  3. Laurens County
  4. Oconee County

Tennessee

  1. Chattanooga
  2. Fayette County
  3. Giles County
  4. Maury County
  5. Memphis
  6. Nashville

Texas

  1. Amarillo
  2. Brownsville
  3. Bryan-College Station
  4. Galveston
  5. Killeen-Temple
  6. Parmer County
  7. Runnels County
  8. Tyler

Utah

  1. Beaver County

Virginia

  1. Caroline County
  2. Danville

Washington

  1. Okanogan County
  2. Olympia
  3. Pacific County

West Virginia

  1. Charleston
  2. Grant County
  3. Huntington-Ashland
  4. Tucker County

Wisconsin

  1. Kenosha
  2. Racine
  3. Sheboygan
  4. Wood County

Samsung Galaxy S20 for Verizon sacrifices RAM for mmWave 5G

The new Galaxy S20 for Verizon supports Ultra Wideband (UW) millimeter-wave 5G, Verizon’s super fast 5G network. However, the Verizon UW 5G-capable model lacks some features available on the standard S20 available for other carriers (which can connect to 5G, but not the millimeter-wave frequencies).

The Verizon version of the Galaxy S20 5G UW has 8GB of RAM, while the standard Galaxy S20 has 12GB. The Verizon model also does not include a microSD card slot. “We had to make certain design and hardware decisions to provide a device with the form factor and price point as other S20 models,” a Samsung spokesperson explained.

The Galaxy S20 5G UW for Verizon and the standard Galaxy S20 both retail for $999.99.

T-Mobile roaming deal makes 5G available in all 50 states

Thanks to a roaming deal with Alaskan provider GCI, T-Mobile now offers 5G coverage in all 50 states. The roaming agreement allows T-Mobile subscribers in Anchorage to utilize 5G via GCI’s network. T-Mobile also said that the coverage could expand to Fairbanks, Juneau and “other fiber-served communities.”

T-Mobile’s 5G network does not cover all areas of any of the country, but having coverage available in at least parts of each of the states is a big benefit for travelers or anyone who wants to be able to enjoy 5G service in as many locations as possible.

San Diego partners with Verizon to deploy more 5G

The city of San Diego and Verizon Wireless came together this week to announce the citywide expansion of 5G wireless service. The demand for faster internet service throughout the city has increased dramatically in recent months thanks to the stay at home order, with residents needing to work and participate in school online, and remote services like digital medical appointments skyrocketing.

San Diego and Verizon reached an agreement to accelerate the deployment of 5G, with San Diego providing Verizon with a streamlined permit process in exchange for making the high-speed network available to communities faster and more efficiently.

“The pandemic is transforming everything from healthcare to school to business, and San Diego is making sure we have the technology to transform along with it. At a time when San Diegans are relying on the internet to remotely work and learn and stay healthy, the City and Verizon’s partnership is accelerating the availability of fast 5G connections,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

The 5G service launched Thursday will be initially available in Mission Valley near Westfield Mission Valley and SDCCU Stadium, Linda Vista along Linda Vista Road, Kensington near El Cajon Boulevard, and Bankers Hill on 1st Avenue.

First responders can get free 5G service from T-Mobile

In a video published this week, T-Mobile President and CEO Mike Sievert discussed their “Connecting Heroes” program, which makes 5G access free of charge to public and nonprofit first responder agencies for 10 years.

“When we’re at our most vulnerable, first responders are there for us … and they are under more pressure today than ever before. Connecting Heroes is one way we’re saying ‘thank you’ in this critical time,” Sievert said. “People who save lives shouldn’t have to choose between life-saving equipment and wireless service. And with Connecting Heroes, they won’t have to. We’re not limiting this program to a few months or a year … first responders can get free service including 5G access, for a full decade.” 

T-Mobile’s program is expected to save fire, EMS and police departments across the U.S. billions of dollars, eliminating network connectivity costs from their budgets. T-Mobile estimates the program could save $7.7 billion over the next 10 years if all eligible agencies opt in.

Comcast Xfinity Mobile 5G service on Verizon’s network now available

Xfinity Mobile, a division of Comcast, has launched 5G service which operates on Verizon’s network. The Verizon 5G network is available in parts of 34 markets nationwide, and where it isn’t available, the service will use Verizon LTE or Comcast Wi-Fi infrastructure.

New plan options were launched in conjunction with the 5G announcement. Pricing starts as low as $15 per month for up to 1GB of data, and residential users have the option to sign up for unlimited service for $45 per month (although speeds are scaled back after 20GB are used).

Rui Costa, Senior Vice President of Innovation & Customer Value Propositions at Comcast Cable said this about the launch: “From day one, Xfinity Mobile has been proud to be the only provider to empower customers to design a mobile plan that fit their needs, as well as have the flexibility to seamlessly switch between unlimited or per gig to save money. We’re excited to now extend that benefit with 5G data plans.”

AT&T promises 15 5G-capable devices in 2020

In an interview with CNET’s Daily Charge podcast, AT&T CEO Jeff McElfresh discussed the network’s 5G rollout, including their plans to make 5G more accessible by offering more devices. “You should not assume that 5G is an exclusive capability for the most expensive handsets, and found only in the most expensive rate plans,” he said. AT&T plans to launch 15 devices with 5G capabilities this year.

McElfresh also discussed how AT&T may focus on serving business users, possibly by reserving access to AT&T’s fastest 5G network on the millimeter wave spectrum strictly for higher end plans. But he also noted that AT&T will “definitely be reactive to the way the market responds,” making changes to their offerings as 5G continues to develop.

Dish vows to make their 5G network better and less expensive than the big 3 carriers

AT&T, Verizon, and the newly-merged T-Mobile/Sprint carriers have all made big pushes on their respective 5G networks this year, but there is a fourth 5G provider that will give consumers another options soon: Dish Network. Based in Colorado and primarily known as a satellite TV provider, Dish has made a $1.4 billion deal to acquire Boost Mobile and is building a 5G network from scratch. Dish’s commitment to 5G was essential in T-Mobile and Sprint gaining approval to merge, as Dish promised to step in as the 4th major 5G provider in the US.

Dish chairman and co-founder Charlie Ergen discussed their Q1 financial report and their 5G plans this week, confirming that funding is not an issue and that they plan to “build a better network that’s less expensive and less expensive to operate and more flexible” than the other major carriers. “It’s Netflix versus Blockbuster,” he said.

Dish’s 5G network will be ready for a trial launch in one to-be-named US city by the end of 2020. Per their agreement with the US government, they must provide 5G coverage to at least 70% of the country by 2023 or incur penalties.

iPhone 12 prices leak; 5G iPhone to start at $649

The iPhone 12 series of phones may not be available until a bit later than anticipated (it was reported earlier this week that they would be about a month delayed, largely due to coronavirus-related issues), but it looks like Apple will be making their 5G-capable iPhones affordable enough to appeal to the masses.

GSM Arena received leaked reports indicating that the premium models – the iPhone 12 Pro with 6.1-inch display and Pro Max with 6.7-inch display – will have the same pricetag as their iPhone 11 counterparts, $999 and $1099 respectively.

There are also lower cost options rumored, a standard iPhone 12 with 6.1-inch display expected to come in at $749, and a 5.4-inch variant expected at just $649.

All of the rumored models will include 5G, with no premium price added for that luxury!