T-Mobile continues to push its 5G network onto new levels that are helping keep it in the lead in this never-ending faux-race to have the ultimate 5G. I’m not sure we’ll ever get to the finish line, but we’ll take improvements as carriers roll them out.
For this week, T-Mobile says it has fired up its 5G standalone (5G SA) network on a nationwide level for customers to experience. Since this is a part of T-Mobile’s Ultra Capacity 5G, it means faster speeds, less lag and lower latency, and the potential for “unleashing groundbreaking new applications that will thrive on a pure 5G network.”
The big takeaway here is that last part, the “pure 5G network.” As the name implies, 5G SA is a standalone 5G experience without the need to anchor to a 4G LTE network. This is where all of the carriers should be going, because also as T-Mobile explained in their press release, a 5G SA network offers a faster, near real-time connection to your phone or tablet or whatever connected device you have.
In the very near future, T-Mobile is planning to use their 5G SA network to take advantage of carrier aggregation as well. That move would allow them to use 5G spectrum from different layers, combining 3 channels of their Ultra Capacity 5G to hit speeds upwards of 3Gbps. In the coming weeks, the Galaxy S22 series will be the first to take advantage. I cannot wait to give this a shot or see it in the wild.
And finally, as a bit of related news, T-Mobile said that they should cover 300 million people with their Ultra Capacity 5G next year, which would basically match their extended range 5G. That’s pretty big and I hope that brings coverage to you if you don’t already have it.
I can tell you from experience here in Portland that their Ultra Capacity 5G is very good. It is without a doubt the best network I’ve found in the city and regularly see the “5G UC” logo on phones like the Pixel 7. My speed tests often hit 600Mbps down and 40-60Mbps up. It is lovely to see those speeds when you are outside of your home WiFi.