After teasing a major network announcement Monday, T-Mobile has announced a world first: a standalone nationwide 5G network.
The first 5G implementations have been built on non-standalone technology. That means the backbone of the network is based on 4G LTE tech. The benefit is that compatible devices can connect to LTE or 5G simultaneously. This provides faster performance than traditional 4G networks, especially when it comes to data speeds. A true standalone 5G network, where all components are based on 5G tech, offers opportunities that can’t be achieved with a non-standalone network.
The potential of standalone 5G makes T-Mobile’s milestone all that much more significant.
“In the near-term, SA allows T-Mobile to unleash its entire 600 MHz footprint for 5G. With non-standalone network architecture (NSA), 600 MHz 5G is combined with mid-band LTE to access the core network, but without SA the 5G signal only goes as far as mid-band LTE,” says the company blog. “With today’s launch, 600 MHz 5G can go beyond the mid-band signal, covering hundreds of square miles from a single tower and going deeper into buildings than before. Thanks to T-Mobile’s ongoing 5G build, and by flipping the switch on SA, the Un-carrier has immediately increased its 5G footprint by 30 percent — now covering 1.3 million square miles in more than 7,500 cities and towns across the country.”
According to T-Mobile, it’s 5G network is now two times larger than AT&T’s and 10,000 times bigger than Verizon’s.