NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES - 2020/02/20: Customers at a T-Mobile store, with 5G signage. (Photo Illustration by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

T-Mobile has become the first carrier to provide 5G coverage in all 50 states… in a manner of speaking. The network now offers 5G in Anchorage, Alaska not through its own network, but through a roaming deal with GCI. It’s far from ubiquitous coverage as a result, but it should be helpful if you want a national provider with speedier data regardless of which state you visit.

The Alaskan 5G coverage could eventually expand to Fairbanks, Juneau and “other fiber-served communities,” T-Mobile said.

The news is no doubt meant for bragging rights when it adds just one city and is only usable with a handful of phones like the Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8 series. Still, this suggests that 5G is slowly moving beyond its earliest phases. Now, announcements are less about having any kind of 5G (no matter how fussy) and more about offering meaningful access that goes beyond a few cities. It’ll likely take a long while before you can simply assume you’ll have 5G in most areas, but this is a step in the right direction.

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