LAFAYETTE — Last Friday, T-Mobile marked another big step in its nationwide 5G rollout, officially lighting up Lafayette and the surrounding area. From Montmorenci to Dayton to Shadeland, the citizens of the greater Lafayette area can now access 5G via the exclusive OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren and the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G, the first two phones in the wireless industry to work on an honest-to-goodness nationwide 5G network.

“We’ve been building toward this day for a really long time. Personally, professionally and as someone who works in this area, it’s incredibly rewarding to bring the community a technology that has the potential to close the Digital Divide and level the playing field for rural America,” said Craig Iredale, field technician for T-Mobile. “Today marks the beginning not the end. As we add more cell sites and continue to build out our 5G network in Lafayette, the wireless experience is only going to get better.”

The very heart of wireless service is based on spectrum, invisible highways in the atmosphere that transport voice and data from a phone to a cell site. This first nationwide 5G rollout from T-Mobile, and the network in Lafayette, is based on a spectrum band called 600 MHz, also referred to as low-band spectrum. It provides the foundational layer for T-Mobile’s 5G network. Download speeds on T-Mobile’s 5G on 600 MHz will be around 20% faster than LTE on average to start and that experience will improve exponentially over time, just like with 4G.

If the pending merger with Sprint closes, in the coming months and years New T-Mobile will build upon this foundational 5G layer with mid-band and high-band spectrum that will add capacity, or more “lanes” using the invisible highway analogy, for greater speeds and better coverage. Only this combination of T-Mobile and Sprint will deliver a 5G network with both breadth and depth, something the other carriers simply cannot do as quickly. The stakes are high for the U.S. as billions in economic growth and jobs are expected to come from 5G and the innovations it will unleash.