T-Mobile has announced its latest advancement with 5G Standalone at MWC today. Previously, the Uncarrier has touted speeds up to 3Gbps by merging three channels of 5G. Now it’s boosted that to 3.3Gbps. The news comes as Apple has delivered official support for 5G SA in the US with the iOS 16.4 beta. Additionally, T-Mobile has shared voice over 5G is rolling out to new cities in the US.
T-Mobile’s president of technology Ray Neville shared the news during a keynote at MWC and the company highlighted the details in a newsroom post:
Ray announced that T-Mobile achieved the world’s first four-carrier aggregation data call on its 5G SA network with a commercial device, reaching speeds above 3.3 Gbps. Ray also unveiled the Un-carrier has deployed VoNR service in four additional cities and plans to cover 100 million people with VoNR in the coming months.
5G Standalone (5G SA) has already been available in a number of countries and in the US with T-Mobile since 2020. However, it wasn’t until November 2022 that T-Mobile launched its “Standalone Ultra Capacity 5G” with speeds up to 3Gbps.
However, it was only available at launch for flagship Samsung Galaxy smartphones with support for more devices promised to be coming soon.
It seems all but certain T-Mobile and Apple are working on the official 5G SA launch on iPhone for this spring as the iOS 16.4 beta brings support:
Up until now, T-Mobile was using carrier aggregation with 5G SA to merge three channels of mid-band spectrum to get super-fast performance up to 3Gbps.
The news today is the Uncarrier has successfully completed a test merging four channels (two channels of 2.5 GHz Ultra Capacity 5G and two channels of 1900 MHz spectrum) to get a new record of 3.3Gbps.
T-Mobile says its customers “with the Samsung Galaxy S23 will be among the first to experience four-carrier aggregation later this year with more devices to follow.” We’ll likely see up to 3Gbps with three-channel aggregation come to iPhone before that.
Voice over 5G
T-Mobile also announced that it’s taking voice traffic to 5G in four new cities. The capability called VoNR was already live in Salt Lake City and Portland, here are the four new ones:
- Cincinnati, OH
- New Orleans, LA
- New York, NY
- Seattle, WA
- Portland, OR (previously available)
- Salt Lake City, UT (previously available)
Planning a much broader rollout for VoNR, T-Mobile says it will “will expand this technology to additional cities covering more than 100 million people in the coming months.”
T-Mobile also touted its 5G network “covers 325 million people across 1.9 million square miles – more than AT&T and Verizon combined.” And that it expects to “reach 300 million people with Ultra Capacity this year – nearly everyone in the country.”
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