T-Mobile 5G customer verdict: “It’s barely faster than regular LTE”

(Image credit: T-Mobile)

T-Mobile 5G launched its low-band network earlier this week, but customers weren’t able to get their hands on the supporting 5G phones, which were the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren and Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G until today. T-Mobile’s recent 5G launch was significant, as it was the first company to offer nationwide coverage, spanning 200 million people. 

Sadly, it appears that it hasn’t performed quite as well as people hoped…

4G in disguise? 

So far, many people have described their experiences with T-Mobile’s 5G service as virtually identical to the current 4G LTE offering. Furthermore, many are struggling with “dead” zones, where the service cuts out entirely.

T-Mobile is very much aware of the speed issues with its 5G network, though. It may be the first of the nationwide 5G networks that can pass through walls unlike the super-fast, but super-limited 5G that Verizon is offering. However, this comes with quite a hefty cost and that’s the actual speed of the network.  

Having said this, the company isn’t actually charging extra for 5G, like Verizon and AT&T are. The phones are more expensive, but the plan that goes with it isn’t. T-Mobile said it expects 5G to be on average 20% faster nationwide than its 4G LTE service. This doesn’t meet the speeds of its rival,  but it could be more practical. 

What’s the frequency? 

The speeds are all down to the 600-Mhz spectrum which T-Mobile also uses for its 4G service. This frequency is much lower than that being used by AT&T and Verizon. These companies are using mmWave which cannot pass through solid objects. But customers seem more concerned with being misled:  

Currently, it appears that companies can’t really win at 5G. You can either have wide coverage like T-Mobile, but underwhelming speeds. Or, you can enjoy super-fast speeds in a very limited area like other carriers. 

T-Mobile has laid a solid foundation for 5G moving forward, and if the customers stick with the service, the company says speeds will gradually improve.

Fiona Leake

Fiona discovered her love for investing and making money from a young age. Since then this interest has grown and now she loves writing about investing and business, and follows the 5G market closely. She is also a technology enthusiast, and so they tend to be her favourite investments.