The Truth About T-Mobile 5G
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The Truth About T-Mobile 5G


– Sponsored by Surfshark. For the third year running,
Qualcomm flew me to Hawaii for the annual Snapdragon summit, where, for the third year running, the next-generation smartphone and laptop chips were announced, and a parade of executives
proclaimed that 5G is here. But this year is different, because it’s actually true. On December 6th, T-Mobile made it official by flipping the switch on a
nationwide deployment of 5G that covers 200 million people. But what does that really mean? And more importantly,
should you care enough to spend money on it? Well I took a 5G phone for a
Maui test drive to find out. (electronic music) 5G can be confusing because
it’s not a single technology. It can mean different things depending, mostly on what carrier you use. Take Verizon. The 5G network that it’s
pushing the hardest, is built brand-new, from the ground up. And it delivers the kind
of incredible data speeds that let you download a whole season of a TV show in minutes. You can learn more about
that network in my Chicago and Providence 5G test drive videos, which will also show
you just how unimpressed I was with them. The reason? To reach those crazy data speeds, network and phone need to
operate at very high frequencies, called high band, or millimeter wave. And those waves can’t
penetrate obstacles very well. Lemme illustrate what that
means with a real-world example. Remember when Verizon said this week that it was the first carrier
to deploy 5G on a beach? – [Presenter] To have 5G on a beach? Just go right outside. – Our search for millimeter
wave reception has brought us to the kiddie pool. I’m not happy about it. I went to that beach with
The Unlockr’s David Cogen, whose borrowed Samsung
review unit did indeed latch on to the signal from
one of the two 5G nodes on the roof of the resort here. And, did we get amazing speeds? Absolutely. But, to get them, we had to hold still. Putting anything between us and that node, palm trees, umbrellas, our own bodies, would interrupt the signal. Hmmm.
– Hmm, sad. – Hmm, millimeter wave, everybody. Now T-Mobile had some fun with that reality with the coverage maps that handed out with
our phones here on Maui. This is T-Mobile’s asserted
5G coverage in Hawaii. And um, this, is Verizon’s. Corporate shade, gotta love it. So then why was the
U.S.’s second smallest, nationwide carrier able to flip a switch and suddenly claim 5G coverage
over 200 million people? Well, because again, 5G
isn’t just one thing. While Verizon emphasizes
its 5G build out way up in the millimeter wave
spectrum at 28-39 gigahertz, T-Mobile’s nationwide focus
is way down the scale, at 600 megahertz. In terms of cellular communications, that’s some of the lowest
down real estate you can get, which is great for penetrating walls and keeping you connected, even indoors. The minute I powered up my OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren review device, I had a solid 5G connection
that barely wavered as I meandered all over the resort. 5G, hello! See, just like Verizon, T-Mobile had a 5G cell
site right on the roof. So I took an Uber to the
neighboring town of Kihei, little ways up the coast, to
see how the signal held up in as close to the real
world as I could get. And while the McLaren did
occasionally fall back to 4G as it connected to cell sites that haven’t yet been upgraded, more often than not, when I
looked up at the status bar, it was a 5G indicator glowing back at me. So what’s the catch? Well, the same 600 megahertz radio waves that are so great at penetrating walls, are not so great at giving
you fast data speeds. Even T-Mobile itself
estimates only an average of 20% faster download
speeds on its low-band 5G, compared to its 4G network. And in my testing
alongside Andrew Martonik’s 4G T-Mobile phone, well,
sometimes 5G was faster. And, sometimes not. I put the phone to some
real-world use tests, like downloading Spotify playlists and sure enough, it didn’t
really feel all that different. These are just download
speeds, by the way. Upload speeds were always lower than on a comparable 4G phone. And due to a firmware issue that won’t be addressed until 2020, mobile hotspot still works over 4G. So, if you’re like me and you have visions
of pairing your laptop to your superfast 5G phone and uploading big files
from the road, well, give it some time. My initial conclusion on T-Mobile 5G and the McLaren OnePlus 7T Pro after a quick word from my sponsor. If you use free public WiFi a lot, your data bill is probably in good shape. But, your security might not be. That’s why you should
encrypt your connection with a VPN like today’s sponsor. Surfshark VPN protects you while you’re sharing a public network and it also helps when traveling to countries with internet censorship, which can limit access to
tools like Google and YouTube. Just open Surfshark, hit
the quick connect button, and presto! You can browse anywhere as
if you were back at home. This also comes in handy for streaming geo-restricted
movies, or TV shows. Try Surfshark now at the link below and use promo code MRMOBILE. You’ll get 83% off a two year subscription and three additional months for free. Thanks to Surfshark for
sponsoring this video. So today, 5G is kind of
a choose-your-pain game. Millimeter wave offers
bursts of incredible speed in a handful of tiny areas, while lowband offers great coverage, but speeds that kinda feel like 4G. Now, this doesn’t mean
that 5G is vaporware. When it’s ready, it really
is going to enable a whole new generation of connected devices, and it’ll help solve
many of the congestion and speed issues we’re
seeing on today’s networks. But, getting to that future is going to be immensely complicated. It’s one of the biggest reasons T-Mobile has so aggressively pursued
a merger with Sprint. Only by combining their spectrum holdings can they build out the necessary coverage across low, mid, and high bands to give us a real 5G
experience that matters. I’m generally against mergers
that decrease competition, and I fully expect prices to go up once this one inevitably goes through. But I can kinda see their argument. And speaking of money,
while you don’t have to pay more per month to use T-Mobile 5G, you’ll need to drop $900 on this McLaren edition OnePlus 7T Pro, or $1,300 on the Galaxy
Note 10+ 5G to use it. Each represents about a $2-300 premium over its non-5G equivalent. I’ll be doing some more
testing on T-Mobile’s 5G network in New York next week, and sharing impressions on my Instagram and Twitter channels, stay tuned for that. But, from what I’ve seen so far in Maui, my conclusion seems unlikely to change. 5G might technically be here, but it’s not worth you
spending more money on it. Not yet. This video was produced at the 2019 Snapdragon Summit in Maui, and Qualcomm provided travel, lodging, and meals to some members of the media, including Mr. Mobile. T-Mobile also, provided the
OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren edition review sample on a one-week loan basis. And neither company was offered an early look at this content, or copy approval, though, that means they’re seeing
it for the first time right alongside you. Please subscribe to theMrMobile on YouTube if that’s the kind of video
you’d like to see more of. Until next time, thanks for watching! And stay mobile my friends.

100 Comments

  • MrMobile [Michael Fisher]

    Not sure I'm sticking with the headline long-term, but since it's there now, some additional "truth" for you folks:
    – T-Mobile is also building out 5G in the high-band mmWave space (it already has the beginnings of such a network underway in Las Vegas and LA, among other places).
    – Its 600MHz deployment (which I test in this video) is built on spectrum it acquired in 2017. It's had LTE deployed there for a while, and has also had all that time to prepare for this 5G rollout, hence the "switch flip" moment.
    – Not all sites have been upgraded with the 5G equipment. When your phone connects to a specific T-Mo cell site using the 600MHz band, the site can indicate to the handset whether or not it's so equipped. If so, the phone switches the network indicator to "5G" to let you know that connection is available. If not, it stays put at 4GLTE.
    – The rollout, as with all carriers, is continuous. Expect coverage to increase, but expect speeds to remain about the same due to the limitations of low-band frequencies discussed in the video.

    More here: https://www.androidcentral.com/5g-t-mobile-everything-you-need-know

  • anirdb55

    I dislike tinfoil hats. But seeing 5G can be interrupted by our bodies and other solid objects, kinda makes nervous about its impact on our bodies.

  • Jonny Lee

    Thanks to you Michael. Because of your previous video about 5G, I've made up my mind to get the non 5G of Mate 30 Pro and saved some bucks for the price difference to get the Huawei proprietary nano SD card instead.

    Being your top fan of tech reviews since Pocketnow era.

  • Clayton Coffey

    I like T-Mobile's bottom-up approach better than the top-down of ATT & Verizon. LTE speeds are more than adequate at the moment, and the increased distance and penetration of these low-band 5G signals means it'll become ever so less common to find a dead spot.

  • Smart Phone Fix

    There is no any 1g 2g 3g 4g 5g 6g 100g it is just labeling .. it is ONLY increasing frequency and bandwidth … and another increasing is just in baby state so they need to install new masts which supports higher frequencies and bandwidth

  • Mikhael Giron

    Thank you! One of the few people who explained the 5G experience CORRECTLY! Other YouTubers were completely misinformed and spewing verbal anthrax when in fact they failed to do their homework FIRST. 5G is going to have different layers like a cake 🍰

  • ZenZory Overload

    T-mobiles low band 5g still on average slower than Verizon’s 4g lte, it’s just marketing b.s at the moment…….all I want is a damn cdma one plus 7t pro!

  • OZbibaO

    5G is useless… 4G can already reach high speeds (getting upwards of 180mb/s down (Montreal) and 30 up. Its more than anything you'd need for a phone

  • Luigi Bellantoni

    LTE+ or LTE advanced networks in Canada (Ontario at least) can download 200-300mbps. Doesn't seem like 5g is gonna be ready for anything useful for the next few years.

  • Jose Fuentes

    I totally get everyone out there saying T-mobile 5G isnt that much greater than 4g but none of you live in near San Bernardino, Rialto or Highland CA, 4g speeds out here never peak over 10 mbps even at 2am with low network congestion. Daytime speed between noon and midnight are almost unbearable never reaching above 2mbps, sometimes .12mbps 🥺 My Mclaren OP7TP has changed my experience entirely. I can now do mobile gaming watch Mr.Mobile videos in 1080p with ease instead of 360p or waiting 20 min for a 7 min video to download. I know that eventually network congestion may slow the speeds again but I hope with mid band and high band speeds eventually coming out it wont be as bad as 4g has been for me over the past few years. Im all for the 5g rollout and super happy with the extra money dished out for the 5G phone so that I can finally use it to its full potential.

  • Durragas

    The USA version of "5G" on the 600MHz is slower than most tests I do in the UK on 4G… just tested on the network EE in uk using my 4G phone and I'm getting a solid 90mbps with spikes into hundreds. www dot speedtest dot net/result/a/5559172653 my buddy from romania gets about 150mbps, here's a test he sent me a while ago: www speedtest dot net/result/i/3464772027

  • amaz1ngpizza

    If you think about it logically, low band 5G is the future, even if it's not quite there yet. It makes sense to keep it as a more upgraded version of LTE than have a mmWave band that is too "fragile" (and perhaps even harmful for us).

  • flamesword300

    I’m looking forward to 5G because of its potential impact for gaming. It’s lower latency means cloud gaming and multiplayer mobile games should see better connections. The faster speeds means for those use use mobile hot spots for their consoles will see lower pings. And lastly however you want to word it cellular providers bringing 5G into people’s homes will bring high speed Internet to more people hopefully.

  • Nala!

    Most people will not need it. Most people don’t need a car that goes from zero to 60 in less than three seconds. Why pay $60K on a Cadillac or Lexus when you can buy a Toyota or Nissan at half that cost?

  • Ali

    5G is completely impractical as it currently stands, it will be atleast 3 more years before we get any semblance of a functioning 5G network.

  • Mark Shan

    Is that the average LTE speeds you normally get on any carrier in the US? I get a consistent 100+ Mbps on Rogers in Canada (west coast)

  • Winnie Id

    If it offers same speed or benefit as 4G, could it really be called 5G. If no benefit why we should care and pay more for less.

    Need more in depth review of the benefits of low frequency 5G vs 4G.

  • Accumulator •

    Everytime you say 5G you need to say millimeter wave after it or else your basically lieing to everyone. Only millimeter wave tech can produce those kinds of speeds. Therefore your gonna need a mini cell tower every couple hundred feet, that means AT&T and Verizon will need to pay trillions of dollars to bury fiber optic cables every couple hundred feet across the entire country to get good 5G millimeter wave coverage and then everyone’s bill is going to quadruple so they can recoup the money.

  • Brian

    Tmobile 5G is not Stand alone yet.
    So you get NR71 band for 5G with a little speed then adds LTE for the speeds.
    When 5G goes Stand Alone the things will be better.

  • racoonzattack

    I wonder if people who buy 5G capable devices now to use with this low band 5G will be able to use the same devices with Ultra Wide Band once they roll that out. Or is Ultra Wide Band aka millimeter wave a Verizon thing only?

  • Ronald Collins

    5G isn't always about the speed, it's about the thruput also, you can actually play a computer or console game on 5G and the experience will just like being on a regular isp.

  • Black Conservative Patriot

    Great honest review, even when Qualcomm and One Plus provided travel and gear. And this is why Capt.. 2 Phones remains on of my top fave YouTubers.

  • GreenFuel

    Another video, no, not just another video for it was filmed on location in Hawaii! I really enjoyed the consistency of your audio, great comparison between Verizon & T-Mobile. Do you plan on keeping your OnePlus 7 McLaren smartphone?

  • David Hillen

    TMobile launched on dec 6th… it's the 12th. Just like 4g LTE took time to deploy and get enhancements, 5g will be the same. I see tons of comments saying it's fake and not worth it etc… it will get better, especially with the merger once its approved officially. Patience is a good thing in most cases

  • keahie

    Well, technically this is 5G but In my eyes, this just looks like another advertisement move from T-Mobile. Selling 5G contracts with a minor improvement of 4G. I mean, at last, these contracts aren't more expensive than a 4G contract

  • Earth Taurus

    At 600Mhz it's really just 4.5G not really 5G persay and to get 5G speeds touted that will enable a revolution in mobile computing… we a lot of mmwave equipment… but…

    There is an whole other issue with mmWave given how prolific equipment will have to be become to provide ubiquitous 5G coverage.

    Given how the waves get absorbed by almost anything including people so if you extrapolate it on a massive scale there is a major health risk caused by cellular attenuation for prolonged periods.

    So much that at last count 26,000 scientists signed against the current roll out of 5g (if you have an small glimpse or understanding how X ray's work then you will see the risk straight away). https://principia-scientific.org/petition-26000-scientists-oppose-5g-roll-out/

    To provide ubiquitous coverage equipment will have to be installed on lamp posts and there is already a quite back and forth about that – https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/may/19/revealed-5g-rollout-is-being-stalled-by-rows-over-lampposts .

    A better rollout would be something what T Mobile is doing and merge with existing 4G LTE. But that's really 4.5 G when you think about it.

  • Milton - Canada

    Radio frequency waves 'possibly carcinogenic to humans'. There is certainly evidence that ties RF-EMF exposure to a small increase in the risk of developing certain cancers and other adverse health outcomes. But the jury is still out on how serious a threat RF-EMFs in general — and 5G bandwidths in particular — pose to our health. For those of us who live in densely populated areas, there is no escape from the myriad radio waves zipping through the air all around us. To reduce our exposure to RF-EMFs, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source suggest cutting down how much time we spend on our cell phones, as well as using speaker mode or a hands-free kit to create more distance between our devices and our heads. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend limiting the time that kids and teenagers spend on mobile devices. Long-term studies that investigate the effects of exposure to digital networks are ongoing. One of these is the COSMOS study, which started in 2007 with the aim of following at least 290,000 people across six European countries for 20–30 years to assess their cell phone usage and health outcomes.Only time will tell what the results of this and other studies show.

  • crisismcnoodle

    it seems like LTE is competitive enough to make low band 5g irrelevant. they could focus more effort on mid band and mm wave and it seems like most consumers wouldn't notice a difference. good lte can easily push 100 mbps anyway.

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