T-Mobile isn’t hesitant to brag about its own 5G milestones, and today marks another one: the business achieved 3Gbps network speeds by combining three channels of mid-band spectrum on its 5G network. This appears to be more than a publicity stunt, as T-Mobile states that this technology will be available to consumers on its network “later this year.”
Those 3Gbps (or 3000Mbps) speeds are entering mmWave territory, which is the high-band, limited-range type of 5G that allows you to download a movie in seconds. Mid-band 5G normally hits approximately 200Mbps, which is regarded as extremely fast when compared to LTE — but T-Mobile is fiddling behind the scenes to considerably enhance those speeds.
More specifically, it is combining distinct swathes of spectrum through carrier aggregation. Don’t be misled by the term “carrier” either; this is T-Mobile using its own airwaves. On some portions of its network, the company already utilizes similar technology to merge two 2.5GHz 5G channels, but this latest test boosts speeds with an additional third channel.
Using carrier aggregation to demonstrate remarkable network speeds is nothing new; Verizon has shown speeds of 4.2Gbps on its 5G network in 2020. T-Mobile, on the other hand, claims to be the first to use three-carrier aggregation on a live, standalone 5G network with a commercially available device: the Samsung Galaxy S22. T-Mobile customers with a Galaxy S22 will be “among the first” to be able to enjoy this special taste of 5G when it becomes available in more regions later this year.