T-Mobile Makes 5G Network Plans, Picks Nokia, Ericsson for Tests

  • Trial speeds at Ericsson facilities reach 12 gigabits a second
  • Chief technology officer promises solutions ‘we can’t imagine’

T-Mobile US Inc., the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, has joined its peers in outlining plans for a faster fifth-generation mobile network and has begun demonstrating higher test speeds with equipment partners Ericsson AB and Nokia Oyj.

T-Mobile, based in Bellevue, Washington, said Tuesday it reached 12 gigabits a second in trials using 28 gigahertz airwaves at Ericsson’s facilities, achieving speeds about 100 times faster than current mobile networks that already support video streaming and other data-intensive uses.

Faster connections and greater capacity will help mobile-service providers like T-Mobile offer Internet speeds competitive with fixed-line telephone and cable TV operators. Actual 5G service, equipment standards and products aren’t expected to be available until 2020.

“5G will unlock apps and solutions we can’t even imagine right now,” T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray wrote in a blog.

Sprint Corp., AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. have all outlined field trial dates and development road maps as they work toward 5G networks. The will be billions in new revenue at stake as carriers vie to offer advanced services and as equipment suppliers angle for a piece of a new building cycle.

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