T-Mobile Makes Biggest 5G Tech Play

T-Mobile says it has struck its biggest deal ever on the way to 5G.

The company said Monday it has inked a $3.5 billion deal with Nokia, which will provide software, hardware and services, including "commercial AirScale radio platforms and cloud-native core, AirFrame hardware, CloudBand software, SON and 5G Acceleration Services."

T-Mobile was the biggest winner in the broadcast 600 MHz incentive auction that freed up spectrum for 5G, and is trying to merge with Sprint, saying, among other things, that will help it get to 5G.

T-Mobile will be using that 600 MHz spectrum as well as 28 GHz millimeter wave spectrum to build out the new network.

"This will unleash on-demand virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences, driverless vehicles, medical monitoring, advanced industrial automation services, and so much more – all requiring ubiquitous low latency connectivity," T-Mobile said.

At a Hill hearing last month on the proposed merger, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said that allowing them to combine meant the U.S. would "win the race to 5G," which is a goal of the "win" focused Trump Administration.

Sprint has told Congress it will be spending over $40 billion on its 5G net over the next three years.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.