The launch of 5G services from the big four carriers has given misleading information. In addition to confusing rollout schedules, the public-facing narratives about each operator’s 5G efforts have been filled with contradictory statements and unproven details. In the case of T-Mobile, that has especially been the case with its recently launched “ultra-capacity” network.

    The company is using a millimeter-wave spectrum to provide faster speeds than its competitors in select markets, with plans to expand coverage in 2020. This article breaks down everything you need to know about T-Mobile’s ‘Ultra Capacity’ network, including what it means for you as a customer and what it means for the future of 5G in the United States.

    What is 5G UC T-Mobile Network

    What is 5g UC T-mobile

    T-Mobile USA has 5G coverage branded “Ultra Capacity.” Assuming your phone has the appropriate logo to display said network, you will be able to see “5G UC” branding on your smartphone if it is accessing this network. The T-Mobile 5G UC network works with 2.5 GHz and 24/28/39 GHz bands.

    If we peek at some simple infographics about 5G, we see the differences between the various sorts of 5G coverage. T-Mobile aims to cover multiple layers, from the slowest and most widely available 5G to the fastest and most short-range 5G. In addition to T-Mobile 5G Extended Range, the UC branding on T-Mobile 5G is multiple layers deep.

    5G Definitions:

    • Low-band: Under 1 GHz
    • Mid-band: 3.6-6 GHz (Under 6Ghz is Sub-6)
    • High-band: 24-40 GHz (Over 24Ghz is mmWave or UW or Ultra Wideband)

    So with T-Mobile 5G Extended Range, you have a bit of low-band 5G (600 Mhz), and T-Mobile UC includes 2.5 GHz and 24/28/39 GHz bands. Therefore, they are trying to cover a collection of bands to ensure as much 5G coverage as possible in the United States.

    With a significant amount of low-, mid-, and high-band coverage, T-Mobile appears to be winning the 5G War. The speed increase you will see on your phone will not likely be as game-changing as when you moved from 3G to 4G. Nevertheless, mobile carriers will continue getting super excited about making sure you’re expecting to need a 5G-compatible smartphone soon.

    Why Is Ultra Capacity Important for T-Mobile

    In a battle for network supremacy, speed is power. T-Mobile’s “ultra capacity” network gives the operator an edge in speed but also makes coverage a little easier. Since the bandwidth needed per customer is lower, T-Mobile can provide coverage in more places or offer the same range with fewer towers. That could be key in the coming years as T-Mobile invests in network expansion to catch up to Verizon and AT&T.

    Although the operator consistently ranks high in terms of coverage, its network still lags behind its competitors in terms of capacity. This is likely a big reason T-Mobile has focused on the mmW spectrum. The spectrum allows the operator to provide more bandwidth than a lower-frequency spectrum.

    Conclusion

    There has been a lot of misleading information about T-Mobile’s “ultra-capacity” 5G network, especially its expected coverage. While the network launches in only a few cities, it is essential to note that this does not mean it will not be available elsewhere in the future. The network is still new, and the company has not yet announced plans to expand to additional locations.

    There is also a chance that the network will grow and evolve to offer even faster speeds, though this is impossible to predict now. In the short term, T-Mobile’s ultra-capacity network is a significant competitive advantage and could be a big step toward bringing 5G to the masses in the US.