T-Mobile users may need to wait a little longer for 5G than those on AT&T, Sprint or Verizon.
In an interview with CNET Monday, T-Mobile chief technology officer Neville Ray said that his company will be pushing off the launch of its 5G network to the second half of 2019 as it waits for a phone that is better equipped to work with the company’s lower band wireless spectrum.
At the industry MWC tradeshow in Barcelona last year the company said it was working to build out its network across 30 cities with a plan to start shipping its first 5G devices in “early 2019.”
New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Las Vegas were previously announced to be getting the new network first.
The news of the T-Mobile delay comes on the same day that Sprint announced it would be turning on its own 5G network in Chicago, Kansas City, Atlanta and Dallas in May, with five other cities still on track to have 5G during the first half of 2019.
T-Mobile and Sprint are currently in the process of trying to complete a $26 billion merger. Each carrier has stressed to lawmakers that it needs the other in order to speedily deploy 5G nationwide.
T-Mobile did not immediately respond to a USA TODAY request for comment on the delay.
By pushing off its launch, T-Mobile falls further behind rivals AT&T and Verizon in the mobile 5G race. AT&T launched its 5G network in 12 cities late last year, while Verizon last week announced that it will be the first carrier to offer Samsung’s new Galaxy S10 5G in the first half of the year.
The three other carriers have announced that they too, will offer Samsung’s 5G Galaxy S10 this year, with T-Mobile on its website stating that it will offer the phone “this summer.”
Follow Eli Blumenthal on Twitter @eliblumenthal