All 3 big carriers announced 5G upgrades in the past 2 days — but none have networks yet

The 3 major carriers are all making announcements about 5G coming around the corner -- but actual mobile service probably won’t arrive anytime soon.


September 12, 2018

After AT&T announced updated 5G partnerships and rollout plans on Monday, T-Mobile announced a $3.5B deal with Ericsson to build out 5G infrastructure.

The press made it seem like T-Mobile gained ground on AT&T and Verizon in the 5G race, but 7 hours later, Verizon set the record straight by outlining its plan to launch 5G internet on Oct. 1.

A lotta talk, not a lotta calls

Last year, AT&T announced the debut of its “5G Evolution” network — but it was really just 4G. After rolling out fake 5G in 141 markets, AT&T now promises real 5G in Houston this year and 19 other cities by “early 2019.”

Not to be outdone, Verizon said it will offer 5G in 4 cities by October. But for both carriers, there’s a catch: 5G will only be available for home internet — mobile won’t happen until 2019 at the earliest. 

For 3rd-party suppliers, ‘profit’ is spelled with 5Gs

Until you’ve got a functional 5G wireless phone in your hand, it’s safe to assume 5G announcements are smoke and mirrors. 

But, as 5G infrastructure spending soars to an expected $326B by 2025, 3rd-party component suppliers are the real winners. Nokia and Ericsson both have contracts to supply hardware to all 3 of the major providers — and if T-Mobile’s deal is any indicator, they are likely $3.5B or more.

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