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T-Mobile grills Verizon for not meeting self-imposed 5G rollout deadline

In a separate interview, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray called Verizon's 5G deployment plan "unrealistic" and criticized the carrier for hyping its 5G network.

Published onDecember 7, 2017

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T-Mobile CEO John Legere is known for being outspoken and delivering his hot takes on rival carriers, and that didn’t change this week when the executive took Verizon to task for missing its self-imposed deadline to deploy 5G.

Legere took to Twitter, as he is wont to do, to deliver an almost impressive rant against Big Red, saying that the carrier has continually over-promised and under-delivered on its efforts to make 5G available to the masses. Legere even promised to donate $10,000 to a charity of someone’s choosing if Verizon says why it missed its two self-imposed 5G rollout deadlines.

? I mean @Verizon’s been doing it for years – they continue to over-promise & under-deliver. They even did it last week! First 5G was gonna be available in 2016, now it’s almost 2018 & NOTHING!
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) December 4, 2017
? I mean seriously, what makes them feel OK about promising, promising, promising when they know they can’t deliver?? Then to make it worse, they do it AGAIN! @Verizon, do you even remember what you “promise” customers anymore??
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) December 4, 2017

In an interview with CNET, T-Mobile chief technology officer Neville Ray echoed Legere’s sentiments, saying that Verizon’s 5G deployment plan was “unrealistic” and criticizing Big Red for hyping its 5G technology before it was ready for primetime.

On one hand, I understand where Legere and Ray are coming from with their comments. Verizon executive vice president and chief information officer Roger Gurnani first teased 5G back in 2015, when the executive said that Big Red would commence field tests in 2016 and a very limited commercial 5G rollout this year.

CNET also notes that Gurnani teased the potential for a 5G-capable smartphone to arrive in 2018, but Sherif Hanna, the product and marketing lead for Qualcomm’s 5G cellular modems, said he expects 5G smartphones to be commercially available in the first half of 2019.

Verizon's 5G network will be available in three to five cities by the end of 2018
Verizon logo

At the same time, Verizon and T-Mobile look to approach 5G from very different angles. Whereas Verizon plans to only use millimeter wave spectrum and augment it with MIMO and beam forming, T-Mobile wants to use multiple bands of spectrum to deliver those fast speeds.

We’ll see if Verizon can deliver the goods sometime in the second half of 2018, when the carrier will deploy its 5G network in three to five cities. Meanwhile, T-Mobile looks to deploy its 5G network sometime in 2020, so the race is definitely on.

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