T-Mobile says the company reached its 2021 goal of covering 200 million people with faster 5G

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Sarah Tew / CNET

T-Mobile’s lead over the 5G middleband has increased. On Monday, the airline announced that it has reached its 2021 target of covering 200 million people with this faster mobile network, which comes six weeks before its announced “end of this year” target.

The milestone gives T-Mobile the opportunity to highlight that its faster version of 5G is now available “nationwide”. The Federal Communications Commission describes a nationwide mobile network as one that covers 200 million people.

Rivals AT&T and Verizon have similar plans to launch their own, faster mid-range 5G network. All three national providers have spent billions of dollars on acquiring new wireless spectrum known as the C-band from the FCC this year.

AT&T and Verizon had planned to start launching these respective services in parts of some US cities by 2021, but a recent objection from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration over safety concerns for flights have led them to each delay the broadcast to 5 January.

Prior to the FAA objection, Verizon said it was intended to cover 100 million people with its 5G middleband
to March. AT&T aimed for cover between 70-75 million people by the end of 2022, expanded to over 100 million in early 2023.

T-Mobile said Monday that 80% of its customers are now within the coverage of its extended mid-range 5G network, what it calls “Ultra Capacity 5G.” The carrier has previously said it was targeting average download speeds of 400 Mbps on this network, which would be a remarkable step up from the 4G LTE-like performance of its low-band 5G network (what it calls “Extended Range 5G”). ). Although slower, the latter low-band network now reaches 308 million people.

Read more: From 5G Ultra Wideband to 5G Ultra Capacity, we divide the many names of 5G

As for the next steps, in March airline said it planned to cover over 250 million people with 5G middleware by the end of 2022, with a goal of reaching 90% of Americans by the end of 2023.

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