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T-Mobile reaches $3.5B deal with Nokia to support 5G network deployment

T-Mobile US Inc. reached a $3.5 billion, multiyear deal with Nokia Corp. to utilize its technology, software and services to launch T-Mobile's next-generation 5G wireless network, the companies said July 30.

As part of the agreement, Nokia will help build T-Mobile's 5G network with 600 MHz and 28 GHz millimeter wave 5G capabilities compliant with 3GPP 5G New Radio standards. The 3GPP or 3rd Generation Partnership Projection is a telecommunications industry group that works to streamline standard development for wireless technologies. The two companies plan to develop and launch 5G connectivity services for a wide range of industries, including utilities, transportation, health, manufacturing, retail, agriculture and government agencies.

Low-band spectrum, like 600 MHz and 700 MHz bands auctioned by the FCC in recent years, is good at traveling long distances and penetrating obstacles but is generally crowded. High-band spectrum, like the 24 GHz and 28 GHz bands set to be auctioned by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission later this year, is largely fallow and good for high data throughput, but it cannot travel far distances or penetrate various surfaces.

T-Mobile, which ranks No. 3 in the U.S. for wireless subscribers, is in the process of attempting to merge with No. 4-ranked Sprint Corp., in a deal that the companies have said would help speed the deployment of 5G wireless network technology in the U.S.

"We are all in on 5G," said T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray in a statement. "Our agreement with Nokia underscores the kind of investment we're making to bring customers a mobile, nationwide 5G network. And together with Sprint, we'll be able to do So. Much. More."