T-Mobile said today that it reached a download speed of 3.3 Gbps on a commercial device operating on the company’s standalone 5G (5G SA) network using four-carrier aggregation. The company also said it has expanded its voice over new radio (VoNR) service to four additional cities and plans to cover 100 million people with VoNR in the coming months.

Operators initially deployed 5G on core networks designed to support earlier-generation service. The goal was to get to market more quickly. The next iteration — standalone core networks — are 5G-exclusive and are expected to support faster speeds, better performance and expanded use cases.

T-Mobile, working with Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung, aggregated two channels of spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band and two channels in the 1900 MHz band for a total capacity of 225 MHz. The demonstration used a Samsung Galaxy S23 device.

Standalone 5G became operational on T-Mobile’s mid-band network last year.

“We are working with industry leaders around the globe to move the 5G ecosystem forward for the benefit of wireless customers everywhere,” Neville Ray, T-Mobile’s President of Technology, said in a press release.

The four markets where VoNR is newly available are Cincinnati, New Orleans, New York City and Seattle. The capability has already been available in Salt Lake City and Portland, OR.

VoNR is designed to support a better calling experience and is an enabler of services such as network slicing, that require a continuous connection to a 5G core.

Opensignal testing in 2021 confirmed that standalone 5G gave T-Mobile’s network a boost. Researchers said that latency in the carriers SA 5G network in the 600 MHz band was 23.8% better than on its non-standalone network in urban areas and 21.6% better in rural areas.

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