After years of waiting, one of the key points of the MWC 2019, the biggest mobile event of the year that was held a week ago in Barcelona, Spain, was that 5G is finally becoming a reality.
At the MWC, formerly known as Mobile World Congress, 5G smartphones were connected to Vodafone’s 5G mobile network, which uses 5G equipment from different telecommunications providers, including Ericsson and Huawei, while 5G live streaming tests They used Samsung’s 5G network.
Although the entire 5G ecosystem, from consumer devices to mobile operators and equipment suppliers, was present at the MWC, this report will focus, however, on the announcements made by the main EE operators. UU (AT & T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon) Interestingly, everyone had a presence at the fair despite doing small businesses in Europe.
Sprint could be the first to implement a true 5G smartphone service in the US UU
At the MWC, Sprint made six announcements related to 5G, including the commercial launch of its 5G service in May, starting in Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and Kansas City with Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and Washington DC, which also will launch In the first half of 2019.
The mobile operator in Overland Park, Kansas, also announced the first 5G devices available this spring at the launch of its 5G service, the LG V50 ThinQ 5G smartphone and the HTC 5G Hub, which looks like a Google Home Hub or Amazon. Echo Show, but acts as a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 20 connected devices and can transmit 4K videos directly to an external display.
Like most 5G smartphones this year, the LG V50 ThinQ 5G works with the first generation of Qualcomm’s 5G modem (X50) and its latest mobile processor, the Snapdragon 855. The 6.4-inch device also features a huge 4.000 mAh battery for By increasing the power consumption of 5G.
T-Mobile delays the launch of its unlimited 5G service
On the other side of the spectrum (no pun intended), T-Mobile confirmed in the program that it is delaying until the second half of 2019 the commercial launch of its 5G service, which mostly uses the 600 MHz frequency band, due to the lack of a 5G smartphone that can operate in the 600MHz spectrum.
In fact, all the 5G smartphones that were announced in the MWC, except the devices manufactured by Huawei (Mate 20 5G and Mate X), are powered by the Qualcomm X50 modem that can not operate in the 600 MHz frequency band. .
However, just before the start of the show, Qualcomm introduced the successor to the X50 modem, the X55, which will be compatible with the 5G network of the wireless operator based in Bellevue, Washington. However, 5G smartphones are not expected to work with the Qualcomm X55 modem before the crash: the OnePlus 5G smartphone could be one of the 5G devices that T-Mobile is expecting to commercially launch its 5G service, since It has a close association with the Chinese manufacturer.
However, the good news is that T-Mobile promised that its 5G service will be unlimited and will not be more expensive than its current 4G LTE service, which costs $ 70 per month.
AT&T is the first U.S. carrier with a (fake and real) 5G mobile service
The controversy surrounding AT & T’s decision to change the name of a faster version of its existing 4G LTE network “Evolution 5G”, which has a theoretical maximum speed of 400 megabits per second (Mbps) but an average speed of 40 Mbps (compared to less than 20 Mbps for 4G LTE): Followed the EE operator. UU Until the MWC, where he announced an interesting partnership with Microsoft to connect the Azure cloud computing service of the technological giant to its real 5G network, which is approximately twenty times faster. At my company, Atherton Research, we believe that perimeter computing will be a great opportunity for service providers like AT & T to monetize their 5G network, especially for ultra low latency applications that include autonomous driving, vehicle to everything (V2X), games, virtual games Reality, telemedicine or traffic systems.
The Dallas, Texas-based operator continues to expand its 5G real network, which is currently commercially available in twelve cities, including Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Louisville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Raleigh, San Antonio and Waco. By the end of the first half of 2019, AT & T’s 5G + network is expected to include Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.
Currently, the only 5G device available in the AT & T 5G business service is the Netgear 5G Nighthawk Mobile Access Point which, starting this spring, will cost $ 499 in advance and will include 15 GB of data for $ 70 per month without commitment. annual. It is a bit expensive, but I am sure that this will evolve rapidly in the coming months when the other operators activate their 5G mobile service.
Verizon adds third 5G smartphone
Verizon was the first of the main US operators. UU In launching a 5G service last October.
However, unlike all the other 5G services covered in this report, Verizon’s 5G Home high-speed broadband internet service is “fixed” and, therefore, is not a true 5G mobile service compatible with devices as smartphones or connection zones, but only with a 5G center exclusively by the operator. Verizon’s 5G service is still in the pilot phase and is currently available in limited areas of Sacramento, Los Angeles, Houston and Indianapolis.
At the MWC, the New York-based operator announced that LG’s first 5G smartphone will also be coming to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network this summer, a 5G network expected to span more than 30 cities in the first half of 2019 So far, Verizon has confirmed three 5G devices that will operate in its 5G network: the LG V50, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and the Moto Z3 smartphone from Motorola with the 5G motorcycle case that fits magnetically on the back of the smartphone.