T-Mobile Introduces First Nationwide End-to-End 5G Network

T-Mobile announced it has launched what it claims is the world’s first nationwide standalone 5G network. Up until now, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have all offered a version of 5G that is really 5G radios deployed on top of 4G LTE gear. T-Mobile’s new 5G network is completely “next-generation” and will enable new features as well as faster data speeds. T-Mobile stated that its 5G network is 30 percent larger than before, available in 2,000 more towns and cities in the U.S. Its network currently covers 1.3 million square miles.

VentureBeat reports that, “while early 5G networks boosted download speeds, they left upload speeds and latency unchanged from 4G, so initial 5G devices could stream larger videos more quickly from the cloud but could not send their own videos back at similarly fast rates.”

T-Mobile vice president Karri Kuoppamaki said the new standalone 5G network “will deliver up to 40 percent lower latency … as well as additional 20-30 percent improvements in download and upload speeds compared with prior performance.” Further, “in markets where T-Mobile reallocates additional blocks of low band 4G spectrum to 5G, data speeds could multiply a further 2-3 times on the newer network.”

Kuoppamaki said the new 5G coverage area is “twice the footprint of AT&T’s 5G network and around 10,000 times as large as Verizon’s currently millimeter wave-only 5G service.” Its low-band standalone 5G will benefit rural areas with “no existing mid-band LTE service and should help 5G reach indoors.”

T-Mobile will “continue to operate non-standalone and standalone 5G networks during its transition to full 5G … [although] phones connected to standalone 5G won’t need to simultaneously use their LTE and 5G radios, which will improve phone battery life in some places.”

Kuoppamaki added that, “T-Mobile’s cellular spectrum holdings are strong, including 4 times the mid-band spectrum Verizon holds, enabling it to offer 5G service without the need to suffer performance penalties from dynamically sharing spectrum.” VB says that, “T-Mobile’s new deployment is both nationwide and commercial, available to paying customers across the country and not tied to a single school or business.”

Engadget reports that, “T-Mobile says it’s working with OnePlus, Qualcomm and Samsung to make sure compatible devices can access the standalone 5G network after a software update.”

“Since Sprint became part of T-Mobile we’ve been rapidly combining networks for a supercharged Un-carrier while expanding our nationwide 5G footprint, and today we take a massive step into the future with standalone 5G architecture,” said T-Mobile president of technology Neville Ray in a press release. “This is where it gets interesting, opening the door for massive innovation in this country.”

Verizon the First U.S. Wireless Company to Offer International 5G, WebProNews, 8/3/20
Verizon Expands 5G Ultra Wideband Service into San Jose, Digital Trends, 8/6/20
AT&T’s Low-Band 5G Network Is Now Available Nationwide, CNET, 7/23/20

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