T-Mobile US is currently in last place for the 5G race, but if you listen to the magenta-tinged spin, its actually in first place.
Some might believe T-Mobile US claims. It only wants to launch 5G when it is a service which delivers on the lofty promise and at a time where the telco can deliver a nationwide proposition. It doesn’t want to dupe the customer into an expensive contract and limited coverage.
This is a perfectly reasonable approach, and the option to bide one’s time might be completely justified if a nationwide 5G network is launched, crushing the feeble attempts from competitors. It is a sensible business strategy. However, it might also be the case that rivals were more successful in the early days and stole a march on T-Mobile US. This is just clever spin and nuance.
Both explanations are probably true to a degree, and it may not even matter that much. The winner when it comes to 5G in North America is not going to be the first to market, but the delivery of the best performing network.