Mobile one-ups other carriers by launching first nationwide standalone 5G network

Joanna Estrada
August 5, 2020

While Verizon is deploying its high-throughput, low-latency mmWave network in new US cities every month, T-Mobile and AT&T are rapidly expanding their slower but more accessible sub-6GHz networks across the country.

After T-Mobile and Sprint merged, the network architecture has been combined to accelerate the expansion of 5G across the country. Even though T-Mobile vaguely announced back in May that its standalone 5G launch would take place "later this year", following that up with a more aggressive but similarly imprecise "later this quarter" timeline less than a couple of weeks ago, the big day has already arrived.

Standalone here implies the 5G network can operate independently of the company's 4G LTE network, which is how other carriers' implementation of 5G works - for now, at least. T-Mobile, however, doesn't need to use DSS (which incurs performance penalties), as it has a lot of mid-band spectrum in which it can offer 5G service.

T-Mobile is launching what it is calling a "standalone" 5G network across the USA on Tuesday just in time for the "iPhone 12" launch this fall.

To celebrate the occasion, T-Mobile made its way to Lisbon, North Carolina to show off the reach of its 5G network, as well as the low latency and potential applications it can enable via a drone show.

That means almost 250 million people in over 7,500 cities and towns across no less than 1.3 million square miles are now (theoretically) covered, up from the 225 million people, nearly 6,000 cities and towns, and over one million square miles boasted before today's announcement. This expanded coverage is now possible because, under T-Mobile's new SA 5G network, a 600MHz 5G signal can cover much more distance from a single tower.

The rollout of 5G networks across the United States has been complicated and somewhat underwhelming.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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