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.