T-Mobile Touts 5G Firsts
May 5, 2020
US made several important world’s first milestones for standalone
architecture (SA) 5G. These achievements, using the Un-carrier’s newly
built 5G core, bring T-Mobile closer to taking its nationwide 5G network
to the next level. In tech terms, SA 5G will eliminate the need for a
mid-band LTE anchor, cutting out some of the limitations experienced
today. Simply stated, it’s the future of 5G. SA will allow 5G to reach
its full potential by increasing coverage and laying a foundation for
game-changing applications that can utilize blazing fast speeds,
real-time responses and massive connectivity.
Inventing the future takes a village, so T-Mobile partnered closely
with leaders across the industry to notch several “world-first”
The first SA 5G data session between commercial modems from two
suppliers on a production network with Cisco, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia
and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
The first low-band SA 5G voice
call using Evolved Packet System (EPS) fallback to VoLTE with Cisco,
Ericsson, MediaTek and Nokia. This enables high quality voice services
utilizing VoLTE in the SA architecture while the industry is fully
developing voice over new radio (VoNR) 5G technology.
The first low-band VoNR call on a
production network with Cisco, Ericsson, MediaTek, and Nokia. VoNR
allows for voice calls to run over 5G.
The first video over new radio (ViNR)
call on a production network with Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia and Qualcomm
Technologies. ViNR allows for high quality video calls to run natively,
instead of an Over the Top (OTT) data service. In other words – no app
Finally – several 5G firsts with a
commercial smartphone on a production network, including the first
low-band SA 5G data session, first call with EPS fallback, and first
VoNR & ViNR calls. These were pulled off alongside Cisco, Ericsson,
Nokia, OnePlus and Qualcomm Technologies.
All of these milestones were achieved
with T-Mobile’s new multi-vendor 5G production core on the Un-carrier’s
commercial nationwide 5G network, and they pave the way for the
Un-carrier’s launch of standalone 5G later this year. During the tests,
standalone and non-standalone (NSA) 5G devices were operating with
active sessions at the same time in the same cell. And importantly, all
of T-Mobile’s recent tests were conducted with unflinching standards for
employee and partner safety and health.
Standalone is the next evolution of 5G network architecture. Current 5G
networks are built on non-standalone network architecture, meaning 5G
signals rely on underlying mid-band LTE and leverage the LTE core. This
means 5G devices can connect to 5G and LTE simultaneously, delivering
better mobile broadband speeds and performance than LTE, but the full
promise of 5G can’t be unlocked. With standalone 5G, the LTE core is no
longer required and the full power of the next generation SA core can be
unleashed. This will enable 5G to reach its true future potential with
low latency, higher speeds and massive connectivity, making a world of
amazing new services and applications possible.
"Powerful and reliable wireless networks are more important than ever,
and these milestones mark a huge step forward for the entire wireless
ecosystem,” said Neville Ray, President of Technology at T-Mobile.
“Standalone 5G, paired with the broad and deep network we’re building by
combining the assets of T-Mobile and Sprint, will accelerate 5G adoption
and services and transform wireless!"
"T-Mobile continues to bring 5G into focus, making huge strides globally
to signify exactly how things can work with the right vision, people and
technology in place,” said Jonathan Davidson, Senior Vice President and
General Manager, Mass Scale Infrastructure Group, Cisco. “Our work
together on these series of firsts for standalone 5G to support both
voice and video calls demonstrates our industry leadership and
commitment to innovation. Our converged approach to 4G and 5G evolved
packet core will help T-Mobile to enable mobile edge and low latency use
cases with control and user plane separation (CUPS) while improving data
center space, reduced power consumption and lower operational costs.”
"With 5G networks rolling out across the globe, we’re now stepping up to
the next level: preparing the world for standalone 5G,” said Fredrik
Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson.
“Using Ericsson commercial products together with T-Mobile and our
ecosystem partners, we have demonstrated the potential of standalone 5G
on low bands. We have achieved the latest technology milestones in a
concerted effort that advances 5G technology."
"MediaTek has played a key role in the interoperability development and
testing of standalone 5G to achieve these milestones with T-Mobile and
other industry leaders. Using MediaTek-powered 5G devices to field test
its network, we are helping to drive the full potential of 5G standalone
coverage in the U.S.,” said JS Pan, GM of Wireless Communication Systems
and Partnerships at MediaTek. “We will continue to collaborate with
T-Mobile to make 5G available and affordable to US consumers."
"The breadth of 5G is truly becoming a reality at a time when
connectivity is so important,” said Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile
Networks, Nokia. “We’re proud to bring our end-to-end 5G solutions to
T-Mobile’s nationwide RAN network and 5G Standalone core. These inherent
cloud-native features and micro-service capabilities will enable
exciting new use cases for real-time latency and massive connectivity."
is proud to be the first global smartphone brand to connect to
T-Mobile’s standalone 5G network. This is an important milestone for the
industry, as leaders in 5G research and development work together to
create the next generation of telecommunications technology,” said Pete
Lau, Founder and CEO of OnePlus. “5G is a top priority in OnePlus’
long-term business strategy. Working together with partners like
T-Mobile, we look forward to connecting more people around the world
through a faster and smoother 5G experience."
"We share T-Mobile’s and OnePlus’ passion to drive 5G forward,
delivering exciting new experiences for consumers and increased
performance and cost-effectiveness for businesses across the United
States,” said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager,
4G/5G, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 5G Modem-RF
Systems are at the heart of the first devices supporting T-Mobile’s
nationwide 5G network and the evolution towards 5G standalone mode which
will help create 5G-enabled experiences and transform how the world
connects, computes and communicates."