T-Mobile has achieved speeds of more than 3Gbps on its standalone 5G network (5G SA) by combining multiple spectrum channels using carrier aggregation.
The US mobile operator combined two lots of spectrum in the 2.5GHz band with another in the 1900MHz band to effectively create 210MHz of mid-range capacity to reach the desired transmission rate.
T-Mobile says it’s the first time that an operator has achieved such a feat on a live production network using a commercial device – in this case a Samsung Galaxy S22 powered by Qualcomm’s technology – and that customers could see the benefits sooner rather than later.
5G FWA broadband
Carrier aggregation is already used by T-Mobile in some parts of its network, with customers able to access to the two channels of 2.5GHz.
The additional third 1900MHz channel will be added later this year, allowing anyone with a Galaxy S22 to experience the headline transmission rate.
“This test demonstrates the incredible power of mid-band spectrum and represents another huge step forward for standalone 5G,” said 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.”
T-Mobile claims its 5G network now covers 315 million people in the US, with 225 million of those able to access it fastest ‘Ultra Capacity 5G’ service. The latter figure is expected to reach 260 million later this year and 300 million in 2023.
The magenta-obsessed operator has started rolling out Voice over New Radio (VoNR) in some locations, allowing users to make and receive phone calls using 5G, arguing this will ensure a higher quality and more consistent 5G experience.
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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.