As 5G networks continue to roll out nationwide, T-Mobile is making the claim that it's the first of the wireless carriers to offer such a network in all 50 states.
It's just not everywhere in every state, at least not yet.
The company announced a partnership Monday with Alaskan telecom company GCI in order to become available in Alaska, which is the 50th and final state to get such service. Under the deal, "T-Mobile customers with 5G smartphones to tap into 5G while roaming in Anchorage, Alaska."
GCI launched its own 5G service in April. According to T-Mobile’s announcement, what GCI has already built out in the Anchorage area will “serve as a model for GCI’s network modernization efforts as the company moves forward to expand the service across Alaska,” with future expansion planned in such cities as Juneau and Fairbanks.
“The massive nationwide 5G network we’re building and expanding by the day — paired with important partnerships like this — extend our 5G leadership over the competition and deliver meaningful 5G experiences to our customers,” said Neville Ray, president of technology at T-Mobile, said as part of the announcement.
T-Mobile and Sprint officially completed their merger two months ago, on April 1, and have since been combining their 5G networks. In May, T-Mobile sped up its 5G capability in New York, among other markets, by utilizing the spectrum formerly controlled by Sprint.
As of now, 5G capability is available on a limited number of devices, including several from Samsung, although that number is steadily increasing, with Apple expected to debut its first 5G iPhone later this year. The list of most popular existing 5G devices, both domestically and internationally, is currently dominated by Samsung, followed by a few different Chinese manufacturers.
There has been, however, a dark side to 5G, with reports in Europe as well as Canada of people destroying 5G towers and other equipment, due to baseless conspiracy theories about the technology supposedly causing the spread of coronavirus. Meanwhile, last week, an "anti-5G" device being sold in Europe turned out to merely be a USB stick, per The BBC.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.