T-Mobile is becoming the first carrier to bring a next-generation wireless network to Colorado Springs as part of a nationwide rollout that also covers much of the Denver area, Fort Collins and Greeley.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based company, which operates a customer service center in the Briargate area, said its 5G network reaches more than 200 million people in 5,000 communities, or about 60% of the U.S. population. The network is about 20% faster than the existing LTE (4G) wireless network offered by it and other major carriers.
“5G is here on a nationwide scale. This is a huge step towards 5G for all,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said Monday in a news release. The company, he added, is “committed to building broad, deep nationwide 5G that people and businesses can access at no extra cost.”
Verizon Wireless offers 5G in parts of downtown Denver, near Mile High Stadium and in parts of the Denver Tech Center, while AT&T offers its 5G service in 15 cities and Sprint in nine cities (neither offer 5G in Colorado). T-Mobile’s service is carried on a low-band, 600 MHz spectrum, which is not as fast as the 2.5 GHz spectrum other carriers use but travels farther and can pass through barriers like walls and windows, T-Mobile said.
T-Mobile is taking preorders on two new phones that can use the new service — the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren and the Samsung Galaxy Note10 + 5G — through its website. The phones will be available in T-Mobile stores on Friday and include promotions that make the OnePlus phone free for new customers through bill credits.
T-Mobile agreed in an October settlement to deliver download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second to at least 92% of Colorado’s population within the next six years in exchange for Colorado dropping out of a multi-state lawsuit to block its merger with Sprint. Douglas County-based Dish Network, which is buying Sprint’s prepaid wireless units, also agreed as part of the deal to base its new wireless operations in Colorado and serve the state by 2024.
The new phones offered by T-Mobile also will be able to access Sprint’s 5G network, carried on the mid-band 2.5 GHz spectrum, if its merger with Sprint is completed. T-Mobile plans to move into higher-band coverage in some areas, offering a network that has both wide geographic coverage and the fastest speeds in urban areas.