mmWave 5G network may be the fastest commercially available 5G coverage in the US
due to its exclusive high-bands utilization, but T-Mobile just achieved something equally spectacular by using... the 2.5GHz spectrum acquired thanks to its merger with Sprint.
More precisely, by partnering with Ericsson and creating a "16-layer multi-user multi-input multi-output (MU-MIMO) demonstration
," T-Mobile managed to hit 5.6Gbps 5G throughput on just one channel, split between eight devices.
This means that each of the OnePlus 8
5G phones was getting served more than 700Mbps from a radio that would've served just one before 5G hit the tape. Needless to say, T-Mobile
is pretty proud of its tests:
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.
That's one of the big 5G network promises - the ability to hook up much more 5G-enabled devices to one and the same tower or base station, and all of them enjoying blazing fast speeds, virtually eliminating the dreaded network congestion and gridlock at peak times or events.
There's still a lot of work to do for T-Mobile to fully integrate Sprint's network, but the mid-band it acquired with the merger, is already paying off, it seems:
Using a commercially available massive MIMO radio with 64 antennas from Ericsson and the OnePlus 8 5G smartphones T-Mobile sells today, 16 unique streams of data were transmitted — each stream capable of hitting more than 350 Mbps. And with two data streams for each device, that’s 700+ Mbps for each smartphone, all using the same radio resources at the same time.
In simple terms, the test is significant because the technology will allow T-Mobile to bring blazing fast 5G speeds to more customers. In tech terms, with 100 MHz of total 5G spectrum in the demonstration, T-Mobile was able to achieve an astonishing 50+ bps/Hz in spectral efficiency. That is much higher than the single digit efficiency typically experienced today. T-Mobile expects to begin deploying this technology next year as they continue the goal of building America’s best 5G network.