T-Mobile isn’t shy to brag about its 5G successes, and now it’s revealing yet another one: the business has reached 3Gbps network speeds by merging three channels of mid-band spectrum on its 5G network. This appears to be more than a publicity gimmick, since T-Mobile states the technology will be available to T-Mobile users “later this year.”
Those 3Gbps (or 3000Mbps) speeds are getting close to mmWave territory, which is the high-band, limited-range 5G that lets you download a movie in seconds. T-Mobile is fiddling behind the scenes to improve mid-band 5G speeds dramatically. Mid-band 5G generally hits around 200Mbps, which is regarded quite strong compared to LTE — but T-Mobile is doing a little tinkering behind the scenes to significantly boost those speeds.
It does it by combining various swaths of bandwidth via carrier aggregation. Don’t be fooled by the name “carrier”; this is T-Mobile utilizing its own airwaves. On some portions of its network, the company already utilizes similar technology to merge two 2.5GHz 5G channels, while this latest test boosts speeds with a third channel.
Using carrier aggregation to demonstrate amazing network speeds is nothing new; Verizon utilized the technology to demonstrate 4.2Gbps speeds on their 5G network in 2020. T-Mobile, on the other hand, claims to be the first to use three-carrier aggregation with a commercially available handset on a live, standalone 5G network: the Samsung Galaxy S22. T-Mobile Galaxy S22 users will be “among the first” to be able to enjoy this special taste of 5G when it becomes available in other regions later this year.