SPOKANE, Wash. — T-Mobile is bringing its 5G network to residents of Spokane and North Idaho. But there's a catch: you will need a compatible phone to access the service. 

In a news release, the company said it lit up the first nationwide 5G network on Monday. The network covers more than 60% of the U.S. population, with much of the coverage in rural America.

Spokane, Spokane Valley, Coeur d’Alene, and other cities throughout eastern Washington and North Idaho are part of the 5,000 cities and towns included in the coverage.

T-Mobile says two phones that can access the network are the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren and the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G. Both are available in T-Mobile stores on Friday. 

The price for both phones starts at about $900, according to T-Mobile. 

T-Mobile expects to release more phones in 2020 that are capable of utilizing 5G spectrum bands. 

What is 5G?

In the simplest of terms, 5G is the newest generation of a mobile network — or what lets you use the internet without a wireless connection. These are the networks that we have seen before, with 4G LTE being the most popular right now. 

Over the past year, phone companies have been launching 5G in bigger cities across the country, with the promise of faster internet on-the-go. 

According to the tech company Qualcomm, 5G is more than just a faster mobile network. It is expected to be cheaper and more consistent, and to grow to be a large part of different industries. 

This means 5G will ideally deliver faster download speeds, real-time responses and enhanced connectivity. High amounts of data can be transmitted more efficiently with 5G as opposed to 4G LTE.

The 600MhZ low-band spectrum, which TMobile is launching in the Spokane area, travels farther and can pass through more obstacles.

T-Mobile says its 5G access costs the same as other service and works indoors, meaning it is not blocked by walls, windows and leaves.

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Where is 5G available in your area?

T-Mobile has released a map of cities included in its 5G network coverage.

Here is a list of those in our area.

Washington

Airway Heights

Country Homes

Deer Park

East Wenatchee

Ellensburg

Ephrata

Metalline and Metalline Falls

Millwood

Moses Lake

Omak

Pomeroy

Republic  

Idaho

Coeur d’Alene

Hayden

Hayden Lake

Kootenai

Lewiston

Ponderay

Post Falls

Rathdrum

Sandpoint

Shoshone

Visit the T-Mobile website for an interactive map of coverage areas and a full list of included cities.

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