T-Mobile Obliterates 5G Speed Record By 25% Using Innovative New Tech

Tmo 5g
T-Mobile says it has reached a new 5G milestone, boosting its already speedy network. In its most recent test, T-Mobile hit a record 345 Mbps upload with its sub-6GHz 5G SA (standalone) network. This beats the previous North American record (also held by T-Mobile) by 25%. The carrier says this tech has the potential to revolutionize the way data is beamed to and from your phone, which would be a welcome change from the middling upload speeds many 5G towers currently manage.

The test used a smartphone with Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon RF module, along with Nokia's AirScale radios. T-Mobile says this impressive showing is thanks to the combination of cutting-edge technologies available on its network, including carrier aggregation, SU-MIMO (single user multiple input, multiple output), and a new feature called UL Tx switching.

T-Mobile's announcement expounds on the benefits of UL Tx switching, calling it a "5G superhighway." T-Mobile has planned ahead for its 5G network, buying up numerous sub-6GHz spectrum licenses, including a big chunk from the Sprint acquisition. This has given it a good mix of frequencies, which is ideal for UL Tx switching. With this technology, a phone can hop between signals, utilizing both FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) and TDD (Time Division Duplex) spectrum.

Carriers tend to underemphasize upload speeds, but in fairness, downloads are more important for most use cases today. As people use mobile networks for more tasks, sluggish uploads become a bottleneck. The carrier notes that this technology will enable its customers to get the most out of online gaming, content creation, and emerging technologies like XR. Upload switching could also make fixed wireless for home internet a viable option for more people.

A Nokia AirScale radio mounted to a building.

"Uplink transmit switching has the potential to significantly boost upload speeds and capacity, and we implore our partners around the globe to build the capability into the 5G ecosystem moving forward," said T-Mobile President of Technology Ulf Ewaldsson.

T-Mobile and other carriers have offered even faster upload speeds in recent years, but only in areas served by millimeter wave. These signals are much higher frequency, so they can carry more data. However, they only travel a few hundred feet from the transmitter and cannot pass through walls. Sub-6GHz 5G is much more useful. However, sub-6GHz can be insanely fast when the right technologies are in place. 

While T-Mobile claims to be leaving AT&T and Verizon in the dust, this was just a test of the latest network upgrades. It will take time for T-Mobile to deploy UL Tx switching across its network, and you may need a new phone to take full advantage. Still, any boost to lackluster upload speeds will be very welcome whenever it arrives.
Tags:  5G, tmobile