Existing 5G networks are based on the Nonstandalone version of 5G New Radio, which utilize carriers’ LTE networks as their backbone. T-Mobile plans to introduce Standalone 5G, which, as its name implies, will operate completely independently of existing 4G technology, in 2020. This week they announced that they successfully tested SA 5G in their Bellevue, Washington lab, the first test of its kind in the US.
“This major 5G breakthrough is another example of how the T-Mobile engineering team continues to innovate and drive the entire industry forward,” said Neville Ray, T-Mobile US CTO, in a statement. Ray added that the test “marks a giant leap forward in realizing the true potential of 5G with new services, ultra-low latency, and even greater coverage and capacity than existing networks.”
5G SA network launches are expected to start in China in the second half of this year, but at the moment testing is confined primarily to labs in the US.