T-Mobile, Nokia and Qualcomm employed carrier aggregation to make a data call with an uplink speed of 207 Mbps on a live commercial standalone 5G network, according to the carrier. Despite the similarity to AT&T news, T-Mobile claims this is a “first.” (More on that later in this post.)
The test was made on a test smartphone outfitted with a Snapdragon 5G modem-RF System from Qualcomm. T-Mobile – which claims that the uplink speed was the fastest ever using sub-6 MHz spectrum – said it achieved similar speeds weeks earlier in the lab.
Carrier aggregation is the combination of multiple channels or carriers into what in essence is a single channel. In the test, T-Mobile merged 2.5 GHz and 1900 MHz mid-band spectrum.
T-Mobile said that it will begin rolling out uplink carrier aggregation early next year.
The T-Mobile news is quite similar to news that came out from AT&T recently but a close reading of the two announcements reveals that while the AT&T achievement occurred in a lab, T-Mobile’s achievement occurred on a commercial network. That, combined with the 207 Mbps speed, is apparently where T-Mobile is claiming a “first.”
AT&T said that it had completed the first 5G standalone uplink two-carrier aggregation data call in the United States. The test, which was conducted at AT&T Labs, featured Nokia’s 5G AirScale portfolio and MediaTek’s 5G M80 mobile test platform.
The test featured aggregation of low-band n5 and mid-band n77 spectrum and achieved speeds of over 70 Mbps on n5 with 40MHz of n77 and over 120 Mbps on n5 with 100MHz of n77.
“T-Mobile has led the industry with 5G standalone since 2020, and we’re continuing to drive breakthroughs that advance 5G technology around the globe,” T-Mobile President of Technology Ulf Ewaldsson said in a press release. “We’re building the most advanced 5G network in the world, opening the door for massive innovation and laying the foundation for new capabilities that will transform the world around us.”
Last June, T-Mobile said that it merged three channels of mid-band spectrum – two channels in the 2.5 GHz band and one channel in the 1900 MHz band—to create what in essence was a single 210 MHz channel. The test used a Samsung Galaxy S22 device outfitted with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Mobile Platform with a Snapdragon X65 Modem-RF system.
Joan Engebretson contributed to this post