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T-Mobile chief: We're on the fast track to 5G

CEO John Legere expects the year ahead to continue T-Mobile's advance toward 5G as it builds on the wireless spectrum it acquired in 2017.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere has high expectations for his company in the year ahead.
James Martin/CNET

T-Mobile wants to remind you that it's serious about our 5G future.

On Thursday, CEO John Legere offered up a series of reflections on 2017 and predictions for 2018, with T-Mobile front and center. In the case of 5G, he expects the year ahead to be a stepping-stone as T-Mobile builds on the wireless spectrum it just acquired.

"We will be the only ones on the fast-track toward a real, mobile nationwide 5G network in 2020 -- and have already started deploying 5G ready equipment," Legere said in a blog post. This is a reiteration of what T-Mobile, the No. 3 carrier in the US by number of subscribers, has been preaching hard in recent weeks: That it's ahead of its US rivals when it comes to the next great leap in cellular tech.

Expectations are high for 5G, a technology that will greatly rev mobile speeds beyond our fastest fixed-line broadband connection. Imagine downloading the entire "Simpsons" series in high definition in about half an hour. Beyond speed, 5G has the potential to change our world by offering an easier and cheaper way to connect everything from farming equipment to self-driving cars.

T-Mobile is focused on building a mobile 5G network that would work something like today's cellular networks, theoretically allowing you to walk around and enjoy fabulously high speeds anywhere.

Verizon, the largest carrier in the US by subscribers, earlier this month said its rollout of 5G broadband service, to a handful of cities, would begin in the second half of 2018. It had originally intended for that to happen this year. Chipmaker Qualcomm, meanwhile, expects 5G phones to be commercially deployed in the first half of 2019.

CNET's Roger Cheng contributed to this story.

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