To tout its upcoming advances in 5G, T-Cellular summoned a soccer ball and a toy automobile, amongst different props in a demo staged for journalists this week.
But it surely neglected one factor that would have strengthened its 5G gross sales pitch: a map breaking out the areas the place its mid-band 5G affords a tantalizing mixture of velocity and vary unavailable from AT&T and Verizon.
The Bellevue, Washington, service additionally had no information about any plans for 5G in private hotspots and in dwelling broadband, two areas the place its rivals have been shifting ahead.
As an alternative, Wednesday’s Tech Experience demo by way of a Zoom video convention leaned into devices.
Hosts Erin Raney, senior director community know-how companies and innovation, and Jimmy Mwangi, senior product supervisor, started by illustrating 5G’s decrease latency by exhibiting how for much longer telephones on a 4G LTE sign (with latency estimated at 10 to 30 milliseconds) took to indicate a soccer ball in movement than 5G telephones (with latency below 1.5 ms).
That’s a standard-issue gross sales pitch for 5G, however their subsequent demo was not. Raney and Mwangi confirmed how a laptop computer on a 28 GHz millimeter-wave 5G sign from a transmitter in the identical lab might simply hit 1.5 Gbps in a velocity check. Nonetheless, holding up an indication made out of laminated paper and aluminum foil in entrance of the laptop computer’s receiver reduce that velocity down to close zero.
That exhibition of mmWave’s limits, in addition to the duo’s reminders of its roughly 300-meter outside vary, appeared a transparent shot at Verizon and its emphasis on mmWave.
T-Cellular affords mmWave and slower, longer-range low-band 5G, however it’s moved quickly to capitalize on the 2.5 GHz spectrum it picked up when it purchased Dash. It first switched that over to T-Cellular’s community in New York to serve up what it calls a whole “layer cake” of 5G frequencies and has since lit up mid-band 5G in some 210 places nationwide.
T-Mobile’s Sept. 29 press release asserting the newest enlargement of mid-band 5G cites common speeds of 300 Mbps and protection “tens of hundreds of instances” that of mmWave.
“T-Cellular has a major benefit by way of mid-band spectrum, which has a superb mixture of velocity and attain,” stated Avi Greengart, president and lead analyst at Techsponential, in an e-mail.
Raney and Mwangi then walked attendees by way of demonstrations of 5G powering augmented actuality interfaces and offering distant management of a toy automobile—no 5G gross sales pitch is full with no nod to autonomous automobiles.
The T-Cellular presentation additionally touched on its narrowband-Web-of-Issues ambitions. It sketched out in a demo exhibiting how parking sensors deep inside a storage might nonetheless work over that skinny stream of knowledge, and a plan to acquire a fleet of drones that would present backup LTE protection after pure disasters.
However for viewers hoping for extra particulars about client purposes of mid-band 5G, T-Cellular’s present left a lot to the creativeness. The corporate had no information about Wi-Fi hotspots that may substitute the HTC 5G Hub Dash had bought till this spring, nor did it supply any updates on the 5G home-broadband challenge it unveiled last year.
Nor did the corporate present any extra specifics in regards to the availability of mid-band 5G past an assurance that it’ll cowl “thousands of sites” by the tip of the yr.
“It’s extra problematic that T-Cellular’s maps don’t escape the place customers can discover mid-band spectrum, as a result of T-Cellular’s nationwide 5G lowband community has quite a lot of protection, however comparatively gradual speeds,” Greengart stated.
On prime of the inadequate descriptions of 5G compatibility for individual handsets on T-Mobile’s site—guests should know that “n41” is the band quantity for its 2.5 GHz 5G—a lot of T-Cellular’s 5G potential stays shrouded in thriller for customers.
“T-Cellular’s problem is determining how you can convey a reasonably technical message on how you can get a tool that may entry that spectrum, and the place to search out it,” Greengart summed up. “T-Cellular has merely chosen to not strive.”