T-Mobile talks acquisitions, spectrum and Ryan Reynolds – FierceWireless

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  • T-Mobile CFO Peter Osvaldik talked up the carrier’s 5G coverage in a chat at a MoffettNathanson conference

  • The CFO  bragged about voice-over-new radio (VoNR), network slicing and updated push-to-talk, enabled by 5G

  • Regarding the recently completed Mint Mobile acquisition, people only have one question, the T-Mobile money man said

T-Mobile’s CFO discussed spectrum options, 5G and acquisitions during a Tuesday chat at MoffettNathanson’s Media, Internet & Communications conference.

“We’ve touched the vast, vast majority of all of our sites with 5G,” Peter Osvaldik said, talking about T-Mobile’s 5G standalone (5G SA) and non-standalone (NSA) network, which encompasses 600 MHz low-band, 2.5 GHz mid-band, and a smattering of millimeter wave high-band radio access networks after the completion of its merger with Sprint in April 2020. 

T-Mobile was the first operator in the world to launch a 5G SA network in August 2020. Now much of this increased capacity rests on its 2.5 GHz footprint, particularly now that AT&T and Verizon have rolled out comparable C-band spectrum (3.4 GHz – 4.2 GHz).

Osvaldik said C-band spectrum is good spectrum, but 2.5 GHz coverage spreads further. “2.5gHz relative to C-Band propagates 30% more than C-band,” he claimed.

Osvaldik continued to crow about the new 5G features that T-Mobile’s standalone position provides. “We’re far ahead on VoNR,” Osvaldik said of T-Mobile’s voice-over-new radio 5G calling feature. Features like carrier aggregation and VoNR can only be offered on a pure, standalone 5G network, rather than a network that relies on 4G control plane as NSA 5G networks do.

The CFO also highlighted T-Mobile’s move forward on 5G network slicing and the operator’s recent move to update its push-to-talk (PTT) service, favored by diverse groups such as first responders and construction workers.

And the executive touched on how much spectrum could be moved from 4G to 5G use for T-Mobile. “There’s a lot of ability to create capacity in very capital-light ways with refarming spectrum from 4G to 5G,” Osvaldik said, suggesting that more of that would be happening in the future.

Acquisitions and such

Osvaldik discussed the magenta maven’s current and possible future acquisitions during the talk. “Whether it’s UScellular or whether its our fiber joint ventures…it has to create shareholder value,” the CFO said, while noting that none of the cable or mobile operators could expect to build out a truly nationwide fiber footprint in the U.S.

The CFO said that Mint Mobile, which T-Mobile has just completed the purchase of, will operate in much the same way as its Metro prepaid arm does. Osvaldik insisted that actor Ryan Reynolds would still be involved with the brand.

“That’s the only question we get,” he laughed. “Have you met Ryan Reynolds, and is he going to stay on? Osvaldik said.

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