How T-Mobile is breaking 5G speed records in the United States and why our smartphones are not ready to take advantage of it

The American operator has reached 3 Gbit/s of speed on its commercial network by aggregating several 5G frequency bands. We explain to you why the conditions are not met in France to obtain the same performance.

T-Mobile announces this week that it has reached a peak of 3 Gbps of download speed on its network 5G stand-alone. A performance. It is indeed the first to carry out the aggregation of 5G frequencies on its commercial network and with consumer smartphones.

The devices used were Galaxy S22. Their particularity? They embark the Qualcomm X65 modem which is able to support multiple 5G carrier wave aggregation. Concretely, T-Mobile relies on three carriers. Two of them use the 2.5 GHz band, and the third the 1900 MHz band. The interest is to benefit from a greater spectrum width, in this case 210 MHz, to obtain more throughput and less latency.

This process of aggregation is absolutely not new. It has been run in with 3G and especially 4G. What we called the 4G+ from 2014 was essentially based on it. SFR had been particularly active on the subject reaching 500 Mbit/s based on four carriers. The difference is that 5G allows you to accumulate a lot more.

You need a network and compatible smartphones

It is likely that French operators will soon be won over by this excitement and are carrying out laboratory tests. However, we will probably have to wait before benefiting from it on our smartphones in real life. On the one hand because the network would have to be 5G stand-alone, that is, it no longer works with a 4G core network but a 5G core network. What is not planned before 2023 at least in the case of Orange for the general public. In the meantime, operators could possibly play on dual connectivity and combine 5G and 4G carriers, but not several 5G bands.

Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR do not necessarily have an interest either in embarking on the race for aggregation. At the end of 2021, only 4% of users had switched to 5G in France. The level of adoption is still low among the population and there is no point in rushing in the absence of a large base of 5G subscribers.

In addition, most 5G smartphones released since 2020 are not compatible. Qualcomm’s X65 modem was only presented in February 2021. It equips Samsung’s Galaxy S22 released this winter and will probably be present on the next iPhone 14 in September. Only a minority of the park will be affected for some time to come.

We can also assume that French operators are betting on waiting until the use of millimeter frequencies for mixing 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz in urban centers and high density areas. However, here again, this should not happen before 2023, the award procedure having been delayed.

Source :

T Mobile

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How T-Mobile is breaking 5G speed records in the United States and why our smartphones are not ready to take advantage of it


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