T-Mobile says it has officially launched “the world’s first independent 5G network”, allowing the company to maximize the use of its 5MHz 5G spectrum. Previously, this 600MHz track was directly connected to the carrier LTE coverage map and thus was limited in reach. “With today’s launch, the 600MHz 5G could go beyond the mid-range signal, covering hundreds of square miles of a single tower and penetrating deeper into buildings than before,” T-Mobile wrote in a press release.
It celebrated this expanded 5G availability – T-Mobile claims the standalone 5G boosts its 5G footprint by 30 percent ̵1; setting up a drone show in Lisbon, North Dakota, an example of one of the small towns now taking 5G for the first time . Overall, standalone launch brings 5G “to nearly 2,000 additional cities and towns”.
This is good luck for the first day, but T-Mobile says the standalone 5G is about the future. It “will lead to an environment where transformational applications have become possible – things like car-related vehicles, overloaded IoT, real-time translation … and things we’ve never dreamed of.” “SA, T-Mobile engineers have already seen a 40 percent improvement in latency during testing,” the company said.
Some existing T-Mobile 5G smartphones will work with the standalone 5G network. “OnePlus, Qualcomm Technologies and Samsung have helped Un-carrier ensure that existing devices access SA 5G with a software-based compatibility update,” the carrier said.
T-Mobile competitors eventually plan to launch their own standalone 5G networks, though for now, they are still in non-standalone (NSA). The eventual 5G network of Dish Network will also be independent as there is no existing 4G network to be supported.