October 6, 2022

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T-Mobile continues 5G push with new innovation center for developers in Bellevue near HQ

2 min read

Inside T-Mobile’s new 5G Hub. (T-Mobile Photos)

T-Mobile is amping up its 5G blitz with a series of investments targeted at smaller companies and developers, including a new 24,000 square-foot “5G Hub” near its headquarters in Bellevue, Wash.

T-Mobile has spent millions touting its 5G capabilities to consumers, including a Super Bowl ad last month that took aim at competitors. Now it wants to attract company-builders.

On Wednesday the wireless carrier unveiled DevEdge, a developer platform that helps startups plug into T-Mobile’s 5G network.

“We feel the network is ready to bring on developers to start really driving a new wave of innovation and capability,” said Neville Ray, T-Mobile’s president of technology.

The 5G Hub, meanwhile, lets developers test 5G tech and work with T-Mobile engineers. The center is based in Bellevue’s new Spring District, home to large offices for Facebook parent Meta and the University of Washington’s Global Innovation Exchange.

T-Mobile also announced new investments out of its T-Mobile Ventures fund in SignalWire, a startup developing APIs for communication apps, and SpectroCloud, a Kubernetes enterprise management platform.

Despite billions spent on 5G-related marketing and infrastructure by T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T over the past few years, there are no must-have applications that require high-speed connectivity – not yet, at least.

But T-Mobile executives remain bullish, particularly as nearly 50% of its entire network traffic is now on 5G.

“Sometimes the most disruptive things sneak up on you before you even realize it,” said John Saw, T-Mobile’s executive vice president of advanced and emerging technologies.

Saw pointed to how 4G and LTE helped enable businesses such as Uber and Snapchat.

“Neville and I have been involved in every“ G ”in wireless and 5G is the first developed from the ground up, to help enterprises and to transform businesses with low latency and high bandwidth,” Saw said.

T-Mobile is also using its 5G network to sell high-speed home internet service and enable the first 5G-connected cars.

The company is also partnering with Microsoft, Intel, and others on the 5G Open Innovation Lab, a Seattle-area startup program, and is providing the University of Washington’s CoMotion Labs with 5G access.

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