T-Mobile and Ericsson said they have demonstrated 5G speeds of more than 5.6 Gbps on one channel of 2.5 GHz spectrum. T-Mobile said that it will begin deploying the technology necessary to achieve these speeds next year.

In the test, engineers connected eight smartphones to the same 5G radio and resources. Each of the smartphones – the OnePlus 8 5G — reached speeds of more than 700 Mbps. This was achieved via 16 unique streams of data that were transmitted, each hitting more than 350 Mbps. Each device received two of these streams.

Key to this performance is MU-MIMO, which T-Mobile described as “a fancy term for reusing the same radio resources for many users in the same cell at the same time” and beamforming, which was described as “focusing a wireless connection in a specific direction.”

Both the OnePlus 8 and the MIMO radio outfitted with 64 antennas from Ericsson used in the test are commercially available, T-Mobile said.

 T-Mobile 5.6 Gbps
“In tech terms, with 100 MHz of total 5G spectrum in the demonstration, T-Mobile was able to achieve an astonishing 50+ bps/Hz in spectral efficiency,” the company said in a press release about the T-Mobile 5.6 Gbps demo. “That is much higher than the single digit efficiency typically experienced today.”

The demonstration on 2.5 GHz spectrum is important because T-Mobile, in the wake of its acquisition of Sprint, is expanding its service in this mid-band range significantly. Earlier this month, the company said that it now is serving 89 cities and towns with the mid-band. At that time, T-Mobile announced 81 new markets for the service, focused on smaller communities after earlier announcements focused on major metropolitan areas. The carrier also said that it was on track to light up 1,000 sites per month in the mid-band.

The expansion of speed in the mid-band is interesting because of CTO Neville Ray’s stated layer cake approach in which low frequency/ low bandwidth is used for coverage, high-frequency mmWave for peak speeds and mid-band for a tradeoff between the two. The question becomes how extensive the need will be for mmWave if the mid-band can operate at such high speeds.

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3 thoughts on “T-Mobile 5G Demo Achieves 5.6 Gbps Throughput on One Mid-Band Channel

  1. Too bad that "real world" data rates that users will experience will be in the range of 5-12 Mbps like they are now. We have heard these wild claims for years and years and years now, as users in the real world have only managed to see a tiny fraction of "theoretical" data that the carriers had blared in their advertisements and in these tests they brag about. We went through it with LTE which, it was claimed, would be capable of hundreds of Mbps for users, and then most places all one can get with LTE is 12-24 Mbps at the very top end today. So forgive me if I call complete BS on these claims as well. These technologies might be theoretically capable of extreme data rates but the fact still remains, after all these years, that not one carrier has the backhaul capability across their entire system that is necessary to support those speeds. No one ever talks about that little factoid, but it is the bottom-line reason that no one ever gets anything close to carrier claims.

    1. Huh? I just did a speedtest on my 4G LTE (from a national wireless carrier) connection and got 99 Mbps downstream. Is that real world?

  2. Good for you, you are truly blessed to be living in a place where your carrier has enough backhaul installed and bandwidth deployed on the site to give you that type of speed. Sadly that is not the norm across the country, though nor with every carrier, national or regional. If the backhaul is not there, they can't give that type of speed, and if they are not using all the spectrum they own at that particular location, they cannot do it either, it takes both.

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