T-Mobile spotlights 5G hurdles, successes


MARK MCDIARMID


SVP Radio Network Engineering and Development T-Mobile US

INTERVIEW: T-Mobile US executive Mark McDiarmid (pictured) highlighted access to spectrum, regulatory red tape and public misinformation as headwinds to global 5G deployments, but explained vendors and operators are pushing hard to make progress. The SVP of radio network engineering and development said in the US in particular, normally slow infrastructure approval processes combined with unfounded 5G safety concerns in 2020 “to reduce the rate at which we’re getting cell sites approved”.

He added the US mobile industry as a whole “had a bit of a struggle” gaining access to usable mid-band spectrum for 5G, an issue T-Mobile only recently overcame through its merger with Sprint.

Still, McDiarmid said progress has been made, pointing to work with vendors “to simplify so the infrastructure is easier to deploy and more reliable to deploy” once approvals are received.

The executive also highlighted momentum around next-generation handsets, stating these will offer consumers range and reliability benefits through compatibility with 5G carrier aggregation.

For more of McDiarmid’s view on 5G deployments, click here