T-Mobile announces another milestone in its 5G achievements. This time the company has combined three channels of mid-band spectrum on its 5G network, to achieve a 3Gbps network speed. T-Mobile says this technology will become available to customers on its network “later this year.”
According to Neville Ray, President of Technology at T-Mobile, “Only T-Mobile is delivering a nationwide standalone 5G network to customers today, and we’re blazing a trail with new performance-boosting capabilities that generate incredible speeds and deliver on our vision to create the highest capacity network in the country.” Ray added that “This test demonstrates the incredible power of mid-band spectrum and represents another huge step forward for standalone 5G.” T‑Mobile was able to pull off this feat with help from Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
In simple terms, T-Mobile is using Carrier Aggregation to combine different swaths of the spectrum. The company explains that using the 5G Carrier Aggregation will allow it to combine multiple 5G channels (or carriers) to deliver a greater speed and performance. In this test, the Un-carrier merged three 5G channels – two channels of 2.5 GHz Ultra Capacity 5G and one channel of 1900 MHz spectrum – creating an effective 210 MHz 5G channel. That’s all mid-band spectrum, by the way. And over 3 Gbps of speed!
The 3Gbps (or 3,000Mbps) speeds approach mmWave territory — that’s the high-band, limited range kind of 5G that gives users the ability to download a movie in seconds. Mid-band 5G typically reaches around 200Mbps, a very good range compared to that of LTE.
Although using a Carrier Aggregation to deliver impressive network speeds is nothing new. The technology has previously been demonstrated in 2020 by Verizon to deliver speeds of 4.2Gbps on its 5G network. But T-Mobile claims to be the first to use three-carrier aggregation on a live, standalone 5G network with a commercially available device: the Samsung Galaxy S22 (powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Mobile Platform with Snapdragon X65 Modem-RF System). For now, T-Mobile subscribers using the Galaxy S22 will be “among the first” to be able to testify of the unique flavour of 5G when it eventually arrives later this year.
T-Mobile has proven to be a leader in 5G with the largest and fastest 5G network. By removing the need for an underlying 4G LTE network and 4G core, 5G will be able to reach its true future potential with incredibly fast speeds, real-time responsiveness and massive connectivity. This achievement is only possible with standalone 5G architecture (SA) and is just the latest in a series of important SA 5G milestones for T-Mobile.