T-Mobile US has indicated that it is poised to switch on its Standalone (SA) 5G mobile network in the third quarter of 2020 (i.e. before 30 September 2020). In a blog post from 21 July, CTO Neville Ray wrote: ‘We’re also hard at work getting ready to light up Standalone 5G this quarter, having recently completed the world’s first Standalone 5G data session on a multi-vendor radio and core network, and the first Standalone 5G data session of any kind in North America. Standalone 5G will expand our coverage and bring with it improved latency and faster uploads.’
When it goes live, the SA 5G network will complement the cellco’s Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G network, which already covers 225 million people across nearly 6,000 towns and cities and over one million square miles. T-Mobile asserts that its NSA 5G network boasts a footprint 10,000 times bigger than the 5G network presided over by mobile market leader Verizon Wireless. T-Mobile is expected to leapfrog both AT&T and Verizon in subscriber terms when the three companies publish their 2Q20 results in the coming weeks; T-Mobile closed its takeover of Sprint on 1 April, with the latter brand set to be phased out on 2 August.