T-Mobile expects to see a range of benefits from its nationwide launch of standalone 5G in mid-band spectrum today.
T-Mobile uses the name Ultra Capacity for 5G deployed in the mid-band. That network covers 250 million people, the company said.
Carriers initially deployed 5G in a non-standalone mode in which the network shares some functionality with the carrier’s earlier-generation network. Standalone 5G relies on a separate cloud-native core network.
According to T-Mobile, the nationwide 5G capability will enable faster speeds and greater capacity by enabling the carrier to combine different layers of 5G spectrum into a single channel. The company said it will begin combining three channels of Ultra Capacity 5G, which in tests produced peak speeds exceeding 3 Gbps.
Those tests, conducted in June, combined two channels of 2.5 GHz spectrum and one channel of 1900 MHz spectrum.
T-Mobile customers with the Samsung Galaxy S22 will be able to use this new capability in “the coming weeks,” according to a press release.
T-Mobile Standalone 5G
T-Mobile also expects to see lower latency as a result of the mid-band standalone 5G deployment, which would improve customers’ experience with streaming, gaming and other latency-sensitive applications.
In addition, the company said it expects to unleash “groundbreaking new applications that will thrive on a pure 5G network.”
Although the company didn’t specify what it meant by groundbreaking new applications, it may have been referring to network slicing, in which network resources are configured into logical or virtual networks with customized characteristics and service level agreement (SLA) requirements to meet the needs of specific customer types.
T-Mobile standalone 5G was launched nationwide in the 600 MHz band back in 2020. That’s a lower-frequency band, which supports a greater range but at lower speeds.
Mobile network performance data from OpenSignal confirmed that deploying standalone 5G in that band did indeed reduce latency.