T-Mobile may have made a name for itself by offering the nation’s first nationwide standalone (SA) 5G network, but its focus on adding more mid-band and high-band (mmWave) spectrum to its network should cement its place even further. Look no further than the evidence seen with its collaboration with Ericsson where the “un-carrier” was able to get not one, not two, but eight devices to hit astounding speeds of 700 Mbps. Using 16-layer multi-user multi-input multi-output (MU-MIMO) technology, they were capable of reaching cell throughput that peaked at 5,600 Mbps. These tests were performed on the mid-band spectrum (2.5 GHz).
5G promises to serve the nation with untold wireless download speeds but to do so in a country where devices outnumber the population by 30%, networks are going to have to find a way to support a growing number of phones, tablets, virtual assistants, and whatever else comes their way. This includes the Internet of Things (IoT) where we will see a variety of devices, both traditional and non-traditional, interacting, collaborating, and communicating together. According to T-Mobile, “At scale, this technology means T-Mobile could connect massively more devices to the same cell infrastructure and still deliver blazing fast speeds to all of them without compromising performance and that means wireless companies will be able to deliver even better 5G performance to even more people.” As it stands, T-Mobile subscribers can access up to 8-layers on its 2.5 GHz 5G network with as many as 4-layers on its FDD mid-band. It is working to unleash its 16-layer MU-MIMO for customers beginning in 2021.
Using advanced software, eight OnePlus 8 5G smartphones were sent transmissions from 64 antennas in a parking lot. Each device received two streams from T-Mobile using Ericsson’s equipment with each stream reaching over 350 Mbps. The test proved that the carrier was able to send tremendous speeds through concentrated, small beams all while maximizing the spectrum being used. Spectral efficiency measures how effective spectrum is being used with current measurements failing to move beyond single digits. T-Mobile was able to reach 50 bits per second per hertz in a phenomenal show of efficiency.
The tests come in a year that is continuing to see change and momentum for T-Mobile throughout the United States. The company recently took a stronger hold of the wireless market by merging with long-time rival Sprint and has not slowed down since. Intending to add thousands of mid-band sites throughout the country by the end of 2020, T-Mobile is on track to add much of the newly acquired mid-band spectrum it received from the merger to its already impressive nationwide 5G network.
Source: Fierce Wireless