T-Mobile can now use three-channel bonding for even faster 5G

T-Mobile certainly isn’t afraid to brag about its own 5G achievements, and true to form, it’s today announcing another milestone: By combining three channels of midband spectrum on its 5G network, the company has achieved network speeds of 3 Gbps. It also appears to be more than a stunt – T-Mobile says the technology will be available to customers on its network “later this year”.

Those 3Gbps (or 3000Mbps) speeds are approaching mmWave territory – it’s the kind of high-bandwidth, limited-range 5G that lets you download a movie in seconds. Mid-band 5G typically hits around 200 Mbps, which is considered very good compared to LTE — but T-Mobile is doing a bit of tinkering behind the scenes to boost those speeds significantly.

Specifically, it uses carrier aggregation to combine different bands of spectrum. Don’t let the word ‘carrier’ confuse you either, it’s T-Mobile using its own spectrum. The company is already using the technology to combine two 2.5GHz 5G channels on parts of its network, while this most recent test boosts speeds with an additional third channel.

Using carrier aggregation to show off impressive network speeds is nothing new — Verizon previously used the technology to demonstrate 4.2Gbps speeds on its 5G network in 2020. But T-Mobile claims to be the first to use tri-carrier aggregation on an over-the-air standalone network. 5G network with a commercially available device: the Samsung Galaxy S22. Incidentally, T-Mobile subscribers with a Galaxy S22 will be “among the first” to be able to use this unique flavor of 5G when it arrives in more places later this year.


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