T-Mobile Switches on its 600MHz 5G Network

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T-Mobile turned its 600MHz 5G network on, but no one can use it until 5G-capable smartphones are released, like two this Friday.

The “nationwide” 5G deployment relies on a slower form of 5G, using T-Mobile’s 600MHz spectrum. This “low-band” 5G essentially takes airwaves like the ones used for LTE and bundles them together with some new technology to deliver faster speeds.

T-Mobile doesn’t offer specifics on what kind of speeds you’ll see on the new network, and the actual improvements will vary a lot by location. “In some places, 600 MHz 5G will be a lot faster than LTE. In others, customers won’t see as much difference.”

Custom 5G Apple Modem has Goal of 2022 Release

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Reports say that Apple has moved its timeline for a custom 5G Apple modem to 2022.

It won’t be easy. In fact, bringing a new modem to the finish line in two years is really pushing it, my source said. After all the design work is done, and the fabrication of the chips themselves is underway, an arduous testing and certification process still awaits.

Right now I think 5G is overhyped and even the previous rumor of a 5G iPhone in 2020 didn’t make sense.

The 5G 'Health Hazard' Was a Misinterpretation

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In 2000 a physicist was asked to study the health risks of wireless networks. He found [PDF] that there “was likely to be a serious health hazard.” Except he was wrong.

In his research, Dr. Curry looked at studies on how radio waves affect tissues isolated in the lab, and misinterpreted the results as applying to cells deep inside the human body. His analysis failed to recognize the protective effect of human skin. At higher radio frequencies, the skin acts as a barrier, shielding the internal organs, including the brain, from exposure. Human skin blocks the even higher frequencies of sunlight.

Despite all the studies showing a link between smartphones and cancer being debunked, I don’t think this idea will ever go away.

U.S. Might Ban 5G Tech Made in China

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5G graphic (mesh)

It could be a political move, a ploy, amidst tariff tensions between the U.S. and China. Or it could be something else. USA Today reports:

The U.S. is considering a requirement that next-generation 5G cellular technology for domestic use be made outside of China, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing sources.

First T-Mobile 5G Test Reaches 493 Mbps in New York

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During the first T-Mobile 5G test in New York City, the service scored 493 Mbps using a Verizon phone.

T-Mobile’s feat becomes greater when you understand that the carrier is using much less spectrum than Verizon is. Allnet Insights says T-Mobile is using 80MHz of spectrum in New York, which would make its theoretical maximum speed 500Mbps, but I’ve also heard that T-Mobile is using 100MHz, which would make the theoretical maximum 625Mbps.