T-Mobile achieves standalone 5G world firsts ahead of launch later this year


T-Mobile has been placing a lot of focus on 5G over the past year, launching its mmWave coverage and then its nationwide 600MHz 5G network and now using Sprint’s 2.5GHz spectrum to augment its network. Now T-Mo is taking another step with 5G by achieving several 5G firsts.

T-Mobile has partnered with companies like Cisco, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, OnePlus, and Qualcomm to accomplish several standalone (SA) 5G world firsts. These include the first SA 5G data session between two commercial modems from two suppliers on a production network with Cisco, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, and Qualcomm.

The first low-band SA 5G voice call using Evolved Packet System (EPS) fallback to VoLTE was achieved with T-Mo, Cisco, Ericsson, MediaTek, and Nokia. This will enable high quality voice services with VoLTE in the SA architecture.

The group of T-Mobile, Cisco, Ericsson, MediaTek, and Nokia also achieved the first low-band voice over new radio (VoNR) call on a production network. VoNR enables voice calls to run over 5G.

The first video over new radio (ViNR) call on a production network was completed by T-Mobile, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, and Qualcomm. ViNR enables high quality video calls to run natively rather than using an over the top data service, meaning you don’t need an app to conduct the video call.

Lastly, the group of T-Mobile, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, OnePlus, and Qualcomm achieved a series of 5G firsts with a commercial smartphone on a production network. Those include the first low-band SA 5G data session, first call with EPS fallback, and first VoNR and ViNR calls.

The move to SA 5G means that T-Mobile will no longer need a mid-band LTE anchor for its 5G network. Here’s a quick explainer from T-Mo on what that means:

“Standalone is the next evolution of 5G network architecture. Current 5G networks are built on non-standalone network architecture, meaning 5G signals rely on underlying mid-band LTE and leverage the LTE core. This means 5G devices can connect to 5G and LTE simultaneously, delivering better mobile broadband speeds and performance than LTE, but the full promise of 5G can’t be unlocked. With standalone 5G, the LTE core is no longer required and the full power of the next generation SA core can be unleashed. This will enable 5G to reach its true future potential with low latency, higher speeds and massive connectivity, making a world of amazing new services and applications possible.”

T-Mobile plans to launch standalone 5G later this year.

Soruce: T-Mobile

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  • marque2

    So if I buy a 5g phone now – does that mean it is already obsolete because it doesn’t support SA 5g?

    • slybacon

      I don’t believe this affects consumer devices. It’s simply how the network functions in the background. 5G will still broadcast on the same frequencies as before and your device will pick those up.

      • RealShit

        Essentially the answer to that man’s question is yes—the device is obselete to SA 5G. But they won’t take down 4G that won’t happen for YEARS.

        • Jay Holm

          Is the S20 capable of SA 5G? I would think it is… just not positive.

        • slybacon

          Pretty sure the answer is NO. Qualcomm X55 modems support both NSA and SA already. And he didn’t even ask about 4G…

        • Shaun Michalak

          I think it may be somewhere in the middle.. I would guess that they do not support it now, but I would guess that all it would take is an update to make it compatible.. after all, it is not like they are switching to a new frequency, like when band 71 came out.. or going from 4 to 5G..

        • marque2

          It would be nice if a mere update could get the current 5G phones to use SA.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I think it would all have to depend on what 5G it supports though.. If it is 600mhz 5G from T-Mobile, then I would say it is a possibility.. 5G from Sprint, not so much..

  • Waboo

    Oh boy! Now if they could just do “standalone” deals on a phone that doesn’t require a current customer of 18 years to add a line…

    • SparklingCyanide

      so crass and sarcastic, the human race is in terrible shape these days

      • riverhorse

        15-20-++ years ago each line cost $100+++, before data & not unlimited.

        And anyone can afford the most expensive 5G phone- for one month give up taxis (or park the car & use public transport) clubs drugs booze soda + budget down restaurant & fast food.
        All without even needing swappa, side gigs, bank bonuses & card % cash back.

        • Shaun Michalak

          And anyone can afford the most expensive 5G phone- for one month give up
          taxis (or park the car & use public transport) clubs drugs
          booze soda + budget down restaurant & fast food.
          All without even needing swappa, side gigs, bank bonuses & card % cash back.

          I want your budget.. Minimum wage people make about $1600 a month, before taxes.. About $1200 after.. and how much is the most expensive 5G phone.. About $1000.., So yea.. I am sure all those people can afford $1000 in play money.. Most people on SS are even worse..

        • marque2

          I think Tmobile is working on lower cost phones. They just brought in the Oneplus 8 @ $799 vs $1000 -$1200 for the Samsung 20. I think they are also bringing in a lower cost LG phone in the $599 range, a new iPhone even lower.

          It takes about a year to get the new technology into super – affordable phones for minor changes. 5G is pretty major. I suspect in 2021 we will start seeing 5g phones in the $250 range.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I actually expect it to be closer to 6 months after they get the specs down flat, and fully working and tweaked.. They always put out flagship models first, and then every couple months after that, they release a lower price ranged phone to support it.. I do not think it will take a year to do it though..

        • riverhorse

          Oh, please. Please… Please!
          Just simple budget cutting alone for one year can do it. Port cellular out to Unlimited ranging from free to $25 monthly depending on carrier. Cord Cut Cable TV. Give up vices. Only eat from Dollar menu. You only need one or two, but doing all = several thousand.
          And… Add 1K more to your monthly min wage fig- many areas @ $15+ minimum hourly + many companies are nationally committed to that.
          Overtime or second job are options.
          Temp agencies have plenty of convention, catering, restaurant, etc. extra last minute gigs… At more than minimum.
          Just one Saturday bartenderserver shift in a casino, hotel, upscale restaurant should yield $200 to $1,000.
          Then there are many side govt jobs with free training: census, election, proctor, dispatcher, emt, CS, etc…At more than minimum too.
          Starting at under 68K yearly and or senior status you begin qualifying for Medicaid, food stamps, utilities & rent help…
          If you check thrift websites, they show you how to make an extra 1K monthly between surveys, bonuses, class action rebates, health studies & clinical trials, focus groups , mystery
          Many fintech & crypto startups competing with $100+ signup bonuses, only DD small deposit required. Such a round should net another 1K+.
          There’s retail arbritrage- Sky’s the limit on that, Google it.

          Yes, there are exceptions. Maybe one lives in the boonies of say Virginia or Mississippi under a whirlwind of negative conditions- $8 min wage & no one given over 20+30 weekly hours, stingy public assistance benefits, poor transport options & few nearby large businesses, poor cellular & WiFi signals. Move then. Even if you have to walk all the way cross country.

          This is the most prosperous nation, anyone that can’t swing a 5G phone and or finds cellular TV too expensive is: underage, in remote area, handicapped (God Bless), addicted, unmotivated, or dense.

        • Shaun Michalak

          Starting at under 68K yearly and or senior status you begin qualifying for Medicaid, food stamps, utilities & rent help…

          I am not sure where you live, but that sure is not true around here.. A few years ago my step dad lost his job.. He was only making 8 or 9 dollars an hour at that job to start off with.. He then went on unemployment (shop closed down) and my mom and him went down to see about getting him some medical help.. FYI, she was only making about $9 hr at the time too, so it was not like they were making a lot of money combined… and they refused to help him because he had a 10+ year old car..

          Still, there is a big difference between your original “month” and second “year” comment.. and the fact still remains, it all depends on where you live, and the cost of living.. because that will directly influence how much you will make in that area in wages..

        • riverhorse

          Yes, you’re absolutely correct. This is why i mentioned the exceptions towards the end… And the need to seek greener pastures- 17 states + 3 individual cities have double digit minimum wage, a handful as high as $15+.

          It’s not greatly advertised, but take seniors. Below that income level (depending on state like you said), they qualify also for Medicaid: so pay $0 for Medicare monthly premiums & $0 everything else (10k yearly saved in premiums & the donut hole) + get $$ for food & utilities (another 2-3K).

          But you know, it’s only a few years since hourly wages went up generally…in my area from $8 to $15 in like 5 years, while some unlucky neighboring states still remain at single digit.

          It pays to be resourceful too. Volunteer at local senator or mayor’s election campaign- don’t worry if not paid. Heshe can repay noobs with at worst a BS gov job @ double the minimum wage and or lower income housing in a nicer neighborhood.

          I was addressing those who price-whine: they and anyone CAN do something about it.
          For instance, a single person on a budget shouldn’t be with TMO, or even Metro, on a non-grandfathered plan… They get almost the same with Visible, unlimited for $25. That’s $300-600 (yearly plan savings for one – two years) + $100 (port-in) +$200 (phone rebate) & the phones are discounted to boot.

          Or stay on TMO but tighten belt for 1-2 months & spend $10-20 less each day.

          Or just resell online. That’s more money than a middle class income.

          All the best & greetings to your Pop.

        • Shaun Michalak

          The visible thing only works if you have multiple people that are willing to go into the plan with you.. We have Metro here, but I got their 4 / $100 plan through them years ago.. If you do not use a lot of data, just get a prepaid plan.. T-Mobile starts them at just $15 + tax now.. which should come up to under $20 with a couple gigs of data.. Mint Mobile has about the same thing, just with more data too.

          Where I live, which is PA, we are still at $7.25 for the minimum wage.. But to be fair, we do not have a huge cost of living here either.. I just looked and on apartments dot com, the cheapest apartment on there is $425.. I found a lot of them for even cheaper then that on facebook marketplace.. But I guess it all just depends on how nice of a neighborhood you want to live in. So it is not like a person needs $20 hr to be able to get by in this city..

          There is no consistency in medicaid, so I am not even going to try and go there.. One state you can make $35k a year with a kid and get it, the next if you make $10k with one kid, you make too much..

        • Ryan Loftus

          Get a job in construction, I’ve never heard of a laborer getting paid minimum wage. All it takes is getting off your butt and actually working for a dollar

        • Shaun Michalak

          Around here, most people make about $10 hr, plus or minus a little, for basic labor jobs.. and you usually have to have some knowledge to do construction work.. I do not know anyone that would get hired in that field that did not know the difference between a 3 tab and architectural shingle.. or the difference between a common and a finish nail..

        • Ryan Loftus

          What city and state do you live in? I guarantee I can jump online right now and find construction work zero experience necessary starting at 15 plus per hour and that’s after the Coronavirus. I’ve been in construction my entire life in multiple different states. There’s good money in construction but people aren’t willing to work it

        • Shaun Michalak

          I did not say that the jobs are not there.. Oh, there are definitely jobs out there “if” you want to work.. But at the same time, companies still want “competent” employees, and that can start off with knowing the basics.. After all, what employer wants to hire some kid that does not even know what a screw driver, or a pry bar is.. and has to describe, and teach them what every tool is.. I do not know a single employer that wants to take the time to do that.. They still need to know the difference between a pressure treated 2×4 and a non pressure treated one.. at least some basic info so they do not need to spend months trying to teach them the very basics..

    • Joe

      Unfortunately offering deals to current customers is not really value added for carriers. Most customers dont leave so they dont have a reason to do anything until they start loosing enough people.

  • maxnix

    That’s interesting because the next (and maybe last?) separate Qualcomm modem is meant to be the first to aggregate 4G LTE and 5G bands.

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